Meditation is no longer considered as a mystical practice reserved exclusively for monks and new age enthusiasts. Even regular citizens are now aware of its benefits and many are incorporating it into their daily schedule as a way to enhance various aspects of their lives including their jobs. As noted in a previous blog post, mindfulness training and meditation help improve employee performance through boosting concentration and promoting interpersonal relationships in the workplace. However, what many people do not know is that there are several different types of meditation. Check out five of the most popular types below.
Vipassana meditation is a good entry point for beginners because it focuses on regulating breathing. Mindful Minutes says the practice is anchored on traditional Buddhist meditation, and practitioners are asked to pay attention to their breathing as it passes in and out. It also encourages practitioners to create labels for any thought that comes to mind but then return to concentrating on breathing once the label is given. Due to its relaxing effect without chanting or reciting any form of mantra, Vipassana is commonly used in silent retreats.
Indian billionaire Subhash Chandra, the chairman of Essel Group, is notable a practitioner of Vipassana meditation. He credits the practice in helping him sharpen his mind, a needed boost considering how large a company he is managing.
Mindfulness meditation is also anchored on the teachings of Buddhism, although it has since evolved into a non-sectarian practice, making it popular in the West. It aims to improve the level of awareness of the self and the surroundings by teaching practitioners to accept anything that comes without any judgment. Instead of focusing on each and every thought that comes to mind, this form of meditation encourages people to simply let every contemplation float by without paying much attention.
Health Guidance cites mindfulness meditation as being promoted by cognitive behavioral therapy practitioners. It is also commonly used by anxiety sufferers to help calm their nerves.
Dr. Deepak Chopra, the famous advocate of alternative medicine, is an enthusiast and teacher of mindfulness meditation. He says that the practice minimizes the effects of stress and keeps a variety of ailments, including cardiovascular diseases, at bay.
Transcendental meditation, or more popularly known as TM, is a meditation technique in which the practitioner repeats a mantra over and over again throughout the session, while seated in the lotus position. Like mindfulness meditation, this also helps calm nerves, making it a good choice for anyone who wants to help reduce their stress levels and manage anxiety.
Hollywood actress Heather Graham, who is currently the face of British gaming site Foxy Bingo is a known devotee of TM, alongside other celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry. Graham says that meditation enables her to find a peaceful place within herself even when she is in a stressful environment. She also credits it for helping keep her centered, which is important given the crazy world of show business.
Movement meditation goes against the common belief that meditation is all about remaining unmoving from one spot throughout the course of the exercise. MindWorks says that known practices such as yoga, tai chi, Qigong, and certain forms of martial arts actually fall under movement meditation. This is the perfect meditation technique for people who are always on the go, as well as those who have trouble sitting still for prolonged periods.
British actor and comedian Russell Brand is well-known for being an advocate of yoga. He said that practicing it helped him kick his addiction to drugs and alcohol. He now has his own yoga studio, where he hopes to teach others the many benefits.
As the name suggests, guided meditation requires practitioners to follow a guide, usually in the form of a recording, which will walk them through the meditation session. In most instances, this usually means visualizing being transported into a different environment, such as a waterfall or the sea, to help calm the mind and distract people from the stresses of everyday life.
Guided meditation may be used by employers and leaders to help their employees visualize success when faced with challenges at work. Cheat Sheet says that guided meditation can also help a person focus.
Headspace is one of the most popular guided meditation mobile apps available today, with celebrities such as Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Zach Braff among its user base. The easy-to-follow instructions allow beginners to follow the steps anytime and anywhere they need to clear their head.