When it comes to starting a meditation practice, there are many different types to choose from. From breathing exercises to mindful meditation, love and kindness meditation, body scan meditations, walking meditation, transcendental meditation, guided meditation, mantra meditations, visualization, and movement meditation - there is something for everyone. Each type of meditation offers its own unique benefits and can be tailored to fit your individual needs. Breathing is the foundation of most types of meditation, as it serves as an anchor for your attention and helps bring you into a state of meditation.
Love and Kindness Meditation (also known as Metta Meditation) is designed to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness towards everything, including enemies and sources of stress. Mindful meditation can be done almost anywhere - while standing in line at the supermarket or while walking your dog - and has been linked to improved health. Breathing awareness is similar to mindfulness meditation but requires more discipline and practice. It can be used for relaxation or as a spiritual path.
Mindfulness meditation involves being aware of what you are doing in the present moment - without judgment or expectation. It can be difficult for beginners to stay focused on their breath, so they may prefer a more formal mindfulness meditation practice. Body scan meditations focus on consciously relaxing different parts of the body and can help relieve tight shoulders or a tense neck caused by stress or anxiety. Walking meditation encourages you to focus on each step and be present in the moment.
Transcendental meditation involves focusing on a specific mantra or phrase and repeating it during meditation. It may not be the first choice for someone starting out, but research has found that it can have similar benefits to mindfulness meditation. Guided meditations involve a teacher guiding you through the steps of practice either in person or through an app like Headspace. Combining meditation with a daily habit such as brushing your teeth or taking a shower can help make it part of your life.
During Love and Kindness Meditation, you can address phrases of goodwill and positive intentions to yourself, loved ones, difficult people in your life, and even strangers. It is recommended that students practice twice a day - once in the morning and once in the afternoon or early evening.