Meditation

Today, I want to inspire you and write about meditation. As a coach and yoga and meditation teacher, my daily meditation practice has changed my life a lot. My mind calms down and I feel more relaxed, happy and “free”. I live in the present moment and become a more real version of myself. Truly? I am so thankful that I started my daily meditation journey. Meditation changed my life in a very positive way. That’s why I would love to inspire you and teach you about meditation! If you want to change your mind-set and would like to be motivated and inspired in your daily life make sure you follow my Instagram – @yogafantasy and check out my daily stories!

Ok, are you ready to start your practice? I hope the answer is YES!
First of all, let’s talk about what it is.

What is meditation?

Meditation is an exercise for your mind. The simple meaning of meditation is to be right here in the present moment. It is a way of teaching the mind to watch and see, it is a technique to achieve a certain state of mind.
Meditation was originally created to overcome suffering and to find a deeper meaning of life connected to the high reality. Meditation is meant to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focus the attention. Today meditation is used to attain personal growth, improve performance and achieve well being and health.

There are several types of meditation. It may seem difficult to know which to try first, but taking some time to reflect and explore is a great first step. That’s why I would like to share my favourite types of medication with you!

Here are some of the types of meditation:

  • Mindfulness Meditation: stay in the present moment, attain non-judgmental awareness about how your mind and body work.
  • Body scans or progressive relaxation: the body scan is related to progressive muscle relaxation. During a body scan you mentally “scan” your muscles looking for areas of tension. Whenever you discover an area of tension, gently move the muscle to loosen it, and then relax it.
  • Active meditation: active meditation is a style that advocates movement followed by silence. It was created by the Indian mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later known as Osho. He advocated around 100 meditation techniques. He believed that a meditation style that involved physical activity was more practical for the modern world.
  • Kinhin: walking meditation that is practiced between long periods of sitting meditation known as Zazen.
  • Zazen: keep the mind present, open and aware. Just sit-down right now. PS: don’t engage with your thoughts.
  • Vipassana: means seeing things as they really are. Is not for calming or relaxing, but for developing insight into the nature of your body and mind and awaking to the reality of things as they are.
  • Pranayama: is a breathing exercise that calms the mind and turns your awareness inward.
  • Yoga Nidra: aims to release all tensions (emotional, muscular, mental) and is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage.
  • Yoga Asanas: stillness from pose to pose.
  • Tai Chi: the slow, focused movements are thought to relieve stress and develop mental clarity and help you experience a sense of calmness and fluidity in your movements. It is meditation in motion – if you can learn the moves. Tai chi is essentially a slowed down form of martial art. Every movement is a self-defence application in which the opponent is imaginary.
  • Neiguan: also known as an inner observation / vision of the body. When you practice this type of meditation, you can visualize the inside of your mind or body, your inner deities or even the flow of inner energy.
  • Mantra Labelling: when repeating a mantra as a spiritual practice, try to simultaneously contemplate the meaning or state represented by that mantra. In a way, that’s what makes mantra meditation much more than a glorified affirmation practice.
  • Kundalini: an uplifting blend of spiritual and physical practices. Moving the mind through the different chakras in the body, use of visualization, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity.” The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness.
  • Trataka: is a powerful way to still the mind. It is a method of meditation that involves staring at a single point such as a small object, black dot or candle flame. It is said to bring energy to the “third eye”.
  • Visualization: develops concentration and improves your creativity and memory. Visualization is a healthy way of bringing positive energy into your mind, body and spirit
  • Third Eye Meditations: a door to super consciousness, the third eye is said to be located around the middle of the forehead, slightly above the junction of the eyebrows.
  • Inner Silence: is one of the most popular and approachable meditation techniques. Develops self-awareness, witnessing and acceptance.
  • Sufi Heartbeat Meditation: is about falling in love with Divine or Spirit and keeping your mind and heart bathing in that blissful feeling of surrendering to love.
  • Expand Your Consciousness: this is an exercise in imagination, visualization, and feeling. Working to expand your consciousness gives you the ability to dream beyond your philosophy.
  • Zuowang: sitting and forgetting. It is a classic Daoist meditation technique, described as, “a state of deep trance or intense absorption”.
  • Loving-Kindness Meditation: loving-kindness meditation is one of the most popular meditation techniques around, and for good reason. The basic point of loving kindness meditation is to focus benevolent and loving energy toward oneself and toward others.
  • Self-Enquiry: who am I? This helps us to attain self-knowledge through self-control and self-development. Its goal is to experience and understand the Divine Self (Atma) within us.

Now, you should choose one type of meditation technique. I would suggest you go through a process of self-experimentation, because we are all unique and we are all different. You can go through all the types of meditation and after some time you will find the type of meditation which is most suitable for you.

Before you start meditating, ask yourself; what do you want from meditation?
What benefits are you seeking? Relief from stress, depression, anxiety, or to connect with your inner self or improve your memory?
What skill do you most want to develop? Relaxation, concentration, awareness?
What feelings do you most value in meditation? Love, peace, kindness, insight, stillness, clarity????

OK, did you ask and answer those questions?
Are you asking what next? The next step is to find a cozy place where you want to meditate and start your meditation practice. As I already said, choose one meditation technique and stay with it for a minimum of 14 days to one month. Afterwards you can choose another technique and explore a different type of meditation, do it until you find the perfect meditation for yourself.
It would be perfect if you could create a habit of daily meditation forever. Why not try to challenge yourself and see where it leads?
You don’t need to meditate for hours, just start with 5 minutes per day, then 10 minutes, 20 minutes and so on. (It’s up to you how long you meditate at the start, the most important thing is to meditate at least once per day).

BEFORE YOU START TO MEDITATE:
Before you start your daily meditation make sure you write down all your feelings and thoughts. Simply jot down everything that is in your mind. You should do this before and after meditation. Why should you do this? Because you should understand yourself, your feelings and your thoughts.

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Why meditate?
Meditation is a very powerful tool! Meditation helps you physically, but also mentally and spiritually.
Meditation can result in changes to the brain which will help protect you against certain mental health conditions.
Meditation helps us even when we’re not actively meditating.
Rapid memory recall improves with daily meditation.
We experience less anxiety as meditation loosens connections to particular neural pathways.
Meditation is linked with decreased cigarette, alcohol, and drug use.

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There is now compelling evidence that meditation is a powerful tool in managing anxiety and stress, pain relief, and much more. Don’t forget to Meditate everyday day for at least 5 minutes!

“Sit down, go inside and give yourself a bit of space to just be. Your daily practice will offer you something new.”

In the Yoga Sutras, written sometime between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D., the sage Patanjali (who created a common thread that all schools of yoga follow) defined meditation in four Sanskrit words: yoga citta vritti nirodha, which means “oneness is the progressive quieting of the fluctuations of the mind.”

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Have a beautiful week, and don’t forget to meditate! Stay shining, balanced, happy and yourself! With love from Martina

PS: don’t forget to follow my account: Instagram – @yogafantasy  and Facebook – @yogafantasy and to stay inspired daily by the yoga, meditation and healthy lifestyle journey.

Photo by: warman.photo & crpges 

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Yoga + Meditation + Love Retreat in the middle of Bali