By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP and Bhavan Kumar
How can one start learning about meditation today? What kind of meditation is easiest for the beginner? From ancient Vedic teachings to the latest technological tools, answers are as varied as the many different styles of the age-old practice of meditating. While each style has its advantages, the obvious choice for any beginner is the one that he or she will feel comfortable with and practice regularly.
Why is Everyone Learning About Meditation?
Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or struggling to focus? It’s time to take a deep breath and clear your mind. Meditation is an ancient practice that helps us calm our thoughts, reduce stress levels and increase overall well-being. Today, we’re exploring the world of meditation – from its history to different techniques, benefits, and tips for beginners. Let’s begin a journey of self-discovery as we learn about the power of mindfulness in today’s fast-paced world.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice used for centuries to promote personal and spiritual growth. The basic premise of meditation is to still the mind and focus on the present moment. When the mind is allowed to wander, it can become easily distracted and stressed. However, when the focus is placed on the present moment, it becomes easier to find inner peace and calmness.
There are many different types of meditation, but all share the common goal of promoting relaxation and mindfulness. Some people use meditation as a way to connect with their spirituality, while others use it as a tool to reduce stress and anxiety. No matter what your reason for meditating is, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.
Different Types of Meditation
There are many different types of meditation, and it can be helpful to learn about them all to find the best fit for you. Some popular types of meditation include mindfulness meditation, Transcendental Meditation, guided meditation, and Walking Meditation.
Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on a task like breathing or eating and being present at the moment without judgment. This type of meditation can be done anywhere at any time, making it very accessible.
Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a form of mantra meditation that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi popularized in the 1950s. In TM, you repeat a mantra (a word or phrase) over and over again to help you focus and transcend thinking about everyday problems.
Guided meditation involves listening to a guided recording or following along with live instruction from a teacher. This type of meditation can be helpful if you find it difficult to focus on your own or if you need some guidance in getting started with meditation.
Walking Meditation is a form of mindfulness that can be done outdoors. It involves paying attention to your body and surroundings as you walk and letting go of thoughts that come into your mind. Walking Meditation can be a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while also practicing mindfulness.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has been shown to offer a host of benefits for both the body and mind. In addition to promoting relaxation, meditation has been shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Meditation can also help improve focus and concentration, as well as promote better sleep.
How to get Started with Meditation
If you’re interested in starting a meditation practice, you should know a few things. First, finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down is essential. You may want to use a pillow or blanket to support your back. Once you’re settled, you can close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. If your mind begins to wander, simply bring your attention back to your breath. You may also want to focus on a mantra or phrase that you repeat to yourself. With regular practice, you’ll be able to extend the length of time you meditate for.
Tips for a Successful Meditation Practice
To have a successful meditation practice, having a regular routine and setting aside time each day for your practice is crucial. It is also essential to find a comfortable place to sit or recline in where you will not be disturbed. Once you are settled, close your eyes and focus on your breath.
Breathe in and out slowly and evenly, letting your mind become quiet and still. If thoughts come into your head, observe them without attaching to them or judging them, and then return your focus to your breath. With regular practice, you will develop more profound levels of concentration and peace of mind.
The Best Time of Day to Meditate
There are many different opinions on when the best time of day to meditate is. Some people say that early morning is best, while others find evening or nighttime more conducive to meditation. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide what time of day works best for them.
Morning meditations can set the tone for the entire day and help to ground and center oneself before taking on the challenges of the day ahead. Evening or night meditations can help wind down from the day and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
Some believe that anytime is a good time to meditate, as long as it is done regularly and with intention. No matter what time of day you choose to meditate, the important thing is that you make it a part of your daily routine.
Where to Learn More About Meditation
There are many ways to learn about meditation and its benefits. Plenty of books, articles, and websites can introduce you to the basics of meditation and help you get started. Aura Wellness Center maintains this blog and provides two meditation courses. One course is for mindfulness meditation, and the other is for Yoga Nidra.
One great way to learn about meditation is to take a class or participate in a workshop. Many locations offer these classes, so finding one should not be difficult. Taking a class will allow you to ask questions and get personalized instruction.
Another option is to find a meditation group or practice circle in your area. This can provide support and accountability as you learn and practice meditation. These groups usually meet regularly, so be sure to check schedules before joining.
If you want to explore meditation on your own, plenty of resources are still available. Many different apps and websites offer guided meditations, which can be helpful if you are unsure how to meditate independently. Additionally, numerous videos and podcasts discuss various aspects of meditation practice.
Meditation Classes In Person
Regardless of style or lineage, meditation classes can help to establish a routine and find support while learning the basics. If you’re looking for a more in-person experience in learning about meditation, plenty of classes are available.
In most cases, these classes will be offered at a local community center or health club. However, many standalone meditation studios offer classes regularly.
When choosing a class, finding one that a qualified instructor teaches is crucial. There are many different techniques and approaches to meditation, so you’ll want to make sure that the class you choose is teaching a method compatible with your goals and needs.
Additionally, it’s essential to find a class that fits your schedule and budget. Some classes may be free, while others may charge a fee. Many online courses are also available if you prefer to learn in the comfort of your home.
The bottom line is that many great options are available for those who want to learn about meditation. With so many choices, you’re sure to find a class or program that is right for you!
Meditation Classes Online
Meditation has become an increasingly popular way to relax and focus the mind, with many people finding it helpful in managing stress and anxiety. While plenty of resources are available on how to meditate, including books, apps, and websites, sometimes it can be helpful to take a class from a qualified teacher.
While plenty of in-person meditation classes are available, sometimes it’s more convenient to take a class online. Several websites offer meditation classes, which can be taken at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.
Before you choose a meditation class, it’s important to do some research to find one that’s right for you. Consider what your goals are for taking the class, as well as your schedule and budget. Once you’ve found a few potential classes, take some time to read reviews from past students to get an idea of what the class is like.
When you’re ready to start meditating, you’ll need a few basic things: a comfortable place to sit or lie down, some quiet time without distractions, and perhaps some guidance from a book or app. But once you get started, the most important thing is to focus on your breath and let go of any thoughts that come into your mind.
Guided Meditation Sessions
Guided meditations are available on this blog, by streaming video, or from online downloads, often taking listeners on a journey that requires only imagination and a quiet place to listen.
If you want to learn more about meditation, several guided meditation sessions are available online and in person. These guided sessions can help you better understand the practice of meditation and provide a structure and support system to help you get the most out of your practice.
Guided meditation sessions typically involve a teacher leading a group of students through a relaxation exercise and guiding them through a visualization or other mental activity. This can be an effective way to learn how to meditate, as it can help you to focus your thoughts and stay on track. Additionally, being in a group environment can also provide support and motivation.
Many different types of guided meditation sessions are available, so it’s crucial to find one that’s right for you. If you’re new to meditation, starting with a beginner’s class or session might be helpful. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can move on to more advanced techniques. Specialized classes are also available for specific purposes, such as reducing stress or improving sleep quality.
No matter what type of guided meditation session you choose, the important thing is that you commit to regular practice. Meditation is an ongoing journey; the more you do it, the more benefits you’ll experience.
Visualization as a Meditation Tool
This technique is picturing a tranquil or desirable scene in the mind’s eye and can be accompanied by guided meditation, music, or one’s thoughts. A visualization is a form of meditation in which you focus on a specific image or scenario.
The goal is to clear your mind of all other thoughts and focus solely on the visualization. This can be done by proxy, such as looking at a still image, watching a video, or using your imagination to create the scene yourself. There are many benefits to using visualization as a meditation tool.
One is that it can help to increase your concentration and focus. When you can clear your mind of other thoughts and focus solely on the visualization, you can achieve a state of mindfulness better. Additionally, visualization can help to reduce stress and anxiety. By taking some time out to relax and focus on a positive image or scene, you can help to ease tension and worry.
If you are interested in trying visualization as a meditation tool, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, finding a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be interrupted is vital. Second, try to choose a calming and positive image or scenario. It should be something you can easily visualize and hold in your mind for an extended period. Finally, give yourself enough time to focus on the visualization. Once you have chosen an image or scenario, spend several minutes focusing on it intently. Allow yourself to immerse yourself in the experience.
Using Binaural Beats
Binaural beats are designed to re-create brain waves that occur during traditional meditation. This is accomplished by delivering a combination of different but intricately timed sounds to each ear.
If you want to learn meditation but are unsure where to start, binaural beats may be a good option. Binaural beats are played at different frequencies in each ear. When these tones are combined, they create a third tone that is said to help promote relaxation and well-being.
There are many different types of binaural beats available, each with its own unique benefits. Some binaural beats are designed to help you relax, while others are said to help improve focus and concentration. There are even some that are said to promote better sleep.
To get started with binaural beats, all you need is a pair of headphones and a quiet place to sit or lie down. Once you have those things, simply choose the type of binaural beat you want to try, put on your headphones, and let the tones do their work.
Yogic Breath Awareness Meditation
Meditation has been practiced for centuries, but it’s only recently that people have begun to learn about its benefits of meditation. In the past, people were mainly concerned with controlling their thoughts and emotions. Today, we know that meditation can help us focus our attention, control our breathing, and improve our health.
There are many different types of meditation, but one of the most popular is yogic breath awareness meditation. This type of meditation is based on the principles of yoga, which is an ancient Indian practice that includes physical and mental exercises.
Yogic breath awareness meditation involves sitting comfortably and focusing on your breath. You allow your thoughts and emotions to float away as you focus on your breath. This can help you to achieve a state of inner peace and calmness.
If you’re interested in trying yogic breath awareness meditation, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down is essential. You may also consider using a pillow or blanket to support your back.
Second, focus on something helpful while meditating, such as a mantra or your breath. You can also try counting each inhale and exhale as you breathe deeply.
Thirdly, don’t worry if your mind wanders during meditation; bring your attention back to your breath whenever you notice your thoughts have drifted away.
Lastly, mantra, yoga nidra, and Trataka (gazing) are also Yogic forms of meditation, which are entirely different from breath awareness, so be aware that yoga contains volumes of information for various techniques.
Mudra Practice to Enhance Meditation
Complicated hand positions, known as Mudras, can be distracting for beginners. Finding a comfortable hand position that makes relaxation easy may be more beneficial in the early stages.
Mudras are hand gestures that are often used in meditation and yoga. They are thought to enhance the body’s energy flow and can be used to help focus the mind during meditation. There are many different mudras, and each has its purpose. Here are a few of the most popular mudras for meditation:
1. Jnana Mudra: This mudra is often used during mantra recitation or japa meditation. The index finger and thumb touch to form a circle while the other three fingers remain extended. This mudra represents wisdom and knowledge.
2. Chin Mudra: This mudra is often used during pranayama or breath control exercises. The index finger and thumb touch to form a circle, while the other three fingers remain extended. This mudra helps to focus the mind and direct energy toward (Ajna) the third eye chakra.
3. Bhramari Mudra: This mudra is said to be helpful for those who suffer from anxiety or stress. The index and middle fingers are placed on the eyebrow center, while the thumb touches the nostril closest to the ear being plugged with the pinky finger. The ring finger remains extended. This mudra helps to calm the mind and nervous system.
4. Shakti Mudra: This mudra is said to increase energy levels and promote vitality. The index finger is placed under the thumb, while the other four fingers wrap around it from above like a claw.
Mindfulness meditation is a form of mindfulness that involves focusing on your breathing and letting thoughts come and go without judgment. It can be done seated or lying down, and there are many variations of the practice. One popular variation is the body scan, which involves focusing on each part of your body in turn and noticing any sensations you feel.
Mindfulness meditation can be a helpful way to focus your attention and learn to be more present in the moment. It can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and negative thinking. If you’re new to mindfulness meditation, it’s best to start with a short practice (5-10 minutes) and gradually increase the length of time you meditate as you become more comfortable with the practice.
Moving meditations offer an alternative for people who find it challenging to sit in one position. Walking meditation involves centering the mind on each step and is sometimes done while walking a labyrinth.
Walking meditation is a form of mindfulness meditation that can be done anywhere, anytime. All you need is a safe place to walk and the willingness to be present. Meditation is enhanced when you are familiar with the course and walking in a safe place.
Walking meditation aims to bring your attention to the present moment and your body as it moves through space. You may notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground or the feeling of your clothes against your skin. You may also notice your breath and how your body feels as you move.
Walking meditation can be a great way to reduce stress and increase awareness and concentration. If you’re new to meditation, practicing with a friend or group may be helpful.
Focusing During a Task
Activities – such as listening to music, reading, creating art, or spending time in nature – can be powerful forms of meditation to create a state of flow or transcendence.
When you focus during a task, you give your full attention to the activity. You are not thinking about anything else other than the task at hand. This can be challenging to do, but it is essential to practice to improve your focus.
You can do a few things to help you focus during a task. First, make sure you have a clear goal for what you want to accomplish. Once you know what your goal is, break the task down into smaller steps that you can complete. This will help you stay on track and not get overwhelmed by the task.
Another tip is to eliminate distractions before starting the task. Turn off your phone, close your door, and put away anything else that might distract you. This will help you give your full attention to the task at hand.
Finally, take breaks when needed. If you start feeling overwhelmed or like you are losing focus, take a break and return to the task when you are feeling refreshed. It is essential not to try and push through when your brain needs a break.
If you can learn to focus during a task, it will help improve your productivity and overall quality of work. It might take some practice, but it will be worth it in the end!
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a state of complete relaxation and mindfulness. It is one of the deepest forms of meditation, as it allows the practitioner to reach a state of complete physical, mental, and emotional rest. During Yoga Nidra, the body is completely relaxed, and the mind is allowed to wander freely without judgment or attachment. This allows a deep sense of peace and well-being to wash over the practitioner.
Learning about meditation today can be intimidating, but it is well worth the effort. With its many benefits to mental and physical health, it can improve your overall wellness and create a sense of peace in your life.
If you want to find balance and reduce stress or anxiety, consider trying meditation. There are numerous resources available online that guide starting or deepening your practice. Start slow and take things one step at a time – who knows what kind of transformation awaits?
Regardless of the method, all styles of meditation have the same goal. Meditating brings about a greater sense of well-being and contentment, but it also sharpens intuition and enhances the ability to make wise choices for a purpose-filled life.
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