How do you meditate & Its Benefits

Sep/26/2021 / by Team SEEMA
Meditation Benefits
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Meditation

If you have a busy lifestyle and deal with different types of sicknesses or medical disorders, meditation might help. Many who lead active lives feel as if they are too busy to sit still, so to speak. However, meditation, which is an essential way to balance the mind-body connection, can bring more harmony back to a busy mind.  But, what exactly is meditation? How often should you meditate? Is it necessary for Kapha and Pitta minds? And, importantly, how do you meditate if you are already so busy?

Let’s explore these questions and how to achieve the most through meditation.

Meditation as an Ayurvedic Practice

When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”

―Ayurvedic proverb

Meditation is a traditional healing tradition that originated in India. It takes its roots from Ayurveda which is one of the oldest systems of natural healing as it includes the elements of fire, air, earth and water. Estimated to have started in the Indus River Valley, some believe that Ayurveda has been available since 1700 BC.

As a powerful tool and alternative to medicine, it allows for the continuous flow of energy and healing thoughts into the brain. It can reduce stress, decrease toxicity and bring an inner calm that opens the chakras and revitalizes you.

Meditation Benefits
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What is Meditation?

Meditation is training the mind and a calming and relaxation technique that brings the mind and body into better alignment by inducing a different mode of consciousness. Ayurvedic medicine teaches that the mind and body have the intelligence to heal themselves and need to maintain an equilibrium.

Hindus believe that with Ayurvedic healing practices, a Creative Principle is a force that uses energy and works with all creation. Hence, man is both matter and energy and diseases are seen through a similar lens.

Meditation and yoga are often integral parts of an Ayurvedic curriculum. Hence, it is often thought that diseases can be avoided with the right spiritual journey. This ties in with Vipassana which is a way to see yourself as you are. It’s a universal remedy for diseases that has existed for over 2,500 years.

Ideal for everyone, even children can learn to meditate at a young age. It is also something that you can include in your daily living habits. Benefits of daily meditation include that it’s a way to stay centered and promote a healthier lifestyle.

How you meditate may depend on your dosha and the state of mind you might be in. It can also depend on your nature or Prakruti. As an example, a Pitta mind needs to learn how to stay calm. A Vata mind should be kept still and quieted, while a Kapha mind is one that needs to remain in a busy and active state, which we’ll explore. Mantras are also sometimes said during meditation to help balance the doshas. And, some meditation is done standing while another type of meditation is done sitting or lying down. Teens and children can even start or end their day with Baby Cobra pose (Ardha Bhujangasana) or cross-legged pose (Sukhasana).

But, you might ask, how do I meditate if I’m busy? Or, you might question how to meditate for long periods if you can’t relax your mind? How can you sit still if you are anxious? Remember, everyone has a different personality type. Perhaps you are super organized and efficient or you lose time because you are often too distracted. Hence, to better understand how to meditate, we must address the doshas as meditation starts with knowing your dosha.

The three doshas are:

Meditation Benefits
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Pitta: Fire

Life is one percent what happens to you, and ninety-nine percent how you respond to it.”― Shubhra Krishan

Pitta personality types are super productive, goal-oriented and always active. Hence, meditation might be difficult as they are accustomed to being busy all the time. A pitta mind needs appropriate meditation based on their Manasa Prakruti, i.e., Pitta might use the meditative quiet time to plan tomorrow’s schedule! They may benefit from Shitali pranayama, alternate nostril breathing. These all work to calm and cool their sometimes agitated Pitta heat.

Kapha: Earth

“If you seek peace, be still. If you seek wisdom, be silent. If you seek love, be yourself.”– Becca Lee

Kapha personalities are grounded and remain calm. But, similar to earth, at times they might need a kickstart as Kapha can be slow. Compare them to the earth which is heavy, thick, stable, cool and smooth. A Kapha mindset is one that is robust but they might find it hard to meditate. Kaphas do best with non-sedentary settings and need a strict schedule. Hence, walking meditation is best and NO meditation lying down as they might fall asleep!

Vata: Air

A well-lived day is medicine unto itself.” ―Acharya Shunya

Vatas are imaginative and very creative. However, Vatas can become overwhelmed by their thoughts where it’s like a tornado of activity in their heads. Because there is so much energy that moves through them, they can’t be still and may find it hard to meditate or concentrate. Vatas can benefit from Ashtanga yoga and pranayama that builds up gradually.

To meditate as a Vata, use mantras or affirmations. One affirmation you might want to say repeatedly is “I am focused. I am centered.” Another example is the Sanskrit mantra Ram which can help you connect to your root chakra. As a side note, some Vatas suffer from back pain so consider using a meditation chair for added comfort and support.

Next, let’s take a look at different ways to meditate, so you can find the meditative technique that suits you.

Meditation Benefits
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7 Types of Meditation Techniques

In exploring what is the best type of meditation, it’s important to understand that there are about 30,000 different ways to meditate. It sounds like a lot, right? However, they each share key components that include a quiet space, your body in a certain posture, your thoughts centered and a positive state of mind/enlightenment.

Let’s take a look at a few common types of meditation that you might want to try out. In this section, we will cover mindfulness, Tai Chi, concentration, guided imagery, yoga, transcendental meditation and walking. 

Some of these are so easy, you’ll get the hang of it (and might wish you had started sooner!).

1. Transcendental Meditation

This form of meditation which is also referred to as mantra meditation became popular in the 50s and 60s. It works by using repetitive vibrations, affirmations and sound as a way to increase enlightenment and get the mind to focus on one area.

Historically because only a few mantra teachers were available, repeating these mantras was sacred. However, now there are thousands of instructors all over the world who lead individual or group classes. 

2. Concentration (Focused Attention Meditation)

If you can envision a Buddhist monk sitting silently for hours at a time, that’s the type of prolonged silence that goes into concentration. Not to be confused with mindfulness, the intensity of this session is that you focus entirely on physical sensations like the air coming into and exiting your lungs.

If you find that your mind begins to wander then you will pick a different sensation like the temperature in your fingers. This helps to block busy thoughts and is essential when the senses receive too many stimuli.

3. Guided Imagery

Often referred to as a mind exercise, guided imagery can be done online or in a class. A teacher will walk through different sensory stimuli to encourage you to focus on them. They might include visualizations related to your sight, smell, touch, sounds or moving objects.

Guided imagery is a great way to shift your focus away from the day-to-day stresses that life may bring. It’s also a meditative technique that can be performed by beginners.

4. Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is a therapy that adults and children can do. It’s actually quite popular with celebrities and athletes as you let thoughts come into your head. Hence, you don’t block them but focus on what you’re thinking about at the time.

Benefits of mindfulness meditation include that it can help you manage your thoughts. This is especially helpful if you have worrisome thoughts because you can deal with them instead of blocking them out. The idea is the peace and calm that you experience can help you better manage your thought life without all the bothersome distractions.

5. Tai Chi

Based on ancient Chinese practices, Tai Chi dates back to the 12th Century. It strengthens both the spirit and the physical body as it targets the body and mind and sees them as an interconnected system.

With the emphasis on life energy, common Tai Chi methods include Qi Gong and Neigong. They work on developing your chi through breathing, good posture and meditation for renewed energy. Hence, Tai Chi can improve your physical and mental health.

6. Walking

As some people need a strenuous way to unwind, walking is a type of movement meditation that’s active. One area where walking helps is with the sensory system as it’s easier to get in tune with nature when you hear the sounds of pebbles, leaves or twigs underfoot.

The relevance is not on how far you walk but on centering your thoughts and breathing to stay in the moment. Hence, this type of meditation can be done at the beach, in your neighborhood or in a nearby park. 

Meditation Benefits

7. Yoga

Despite not being a type of meditation, yoga often includes breathing exercises and meditation. Yogis and yoginis add meditative quiet time before and after their sessions.

While yoga is a way to improve your balance and strengthen the mind-body connection through stretching and breathing, it also channels your thoughts. Hence, yoga can include Ujjayi breathing techniques and other types of breathwork.

Depending on the instructor, a yoga class can become deeply meditative, and not always strictly about strenuous physical exertion.

Meditation Benefits
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Basic Meditation for Beginners

If you want to give meditation a try, now’s your chance. This instructional session is an easy way to try meditation for the first time and you don’t need to buy anything. Simply follow the helpful steps below to get started.

  • Pick a Quiet Location: Find a quiet area where you will not be interrupted. It’s okay if there’s mild traffic noise in the distance or you can hear your neighbors. You just need a quiet space to begin.
  • Pick a Pose: For the duration of your meditation, you will need one convenient pose to get into. Hence, it might be best to sit down cross-legged style. If you aren’t comfortable in that pose, sit with your legs stretched out in front of you and your back against a wall. Another option is to lie on your back and look up (but don’t fall asleep).
  • Pick Your Breathing Technique: A simple breathing technique is to calmly breathe in and out and don’t force your breaths.
  • Pick An Object: To help you stay focused, you might want to focus on an item in the room like a clock on the wall. An alternate way to meditate is to use your physical senses. Meaning, close your eyes and listen to your breathing. Feel the air in your lungs and throat. And, listen for your heartbeat. Don’t get frustrated if your thoughts drift. That’s natural. Simply refocus and keep going.
  • Pick It Up Again: Practice your breathing and meditation for 5-minutes every day. You will start to feel more comfortable with it so add more time to it. And, if your mind wanders briefly, re-channel your thoughts and pick another object to focus on. You’ve got this!

Have 5 Minutes?

Watch the video below to find out how to easily add 5-minutes of basic Tai Chi into your daily routine!

Or, Take 10…

Ten minutes is all you need to cover 10 Tai Chi movements

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Meditation Benefits

Meditation isn’t simply about blocking out stressful thoughts. It’s a soothing way to develop a peaceful mind and block all kinds of illnesses. Below are a few meditation benefits that can occur when your mind is at peace.

Develop a Healthy Mood and Better Outlook

Effects of meditation include that it can help decrease the stress in your life. It’s also a way to channel good thoughts and more positive energy. The centered thoughts and calm help balance and open the 7 chakras. Hence, as they function more optimally, it’s easier for you to receive more life force (prana). Suggested approaches include transcendental, mindfulness and mantra.

Have a Healthy Response to Stress Triggers

Meditation can serve as a way to block out anxious thoughts, panic attacks and stress. Maybe you’re concerned about public speaking or have a big test coming up. Using a technique like mindfulness meditation can help you face those fears and decrease the anxiety you are feeling. It’s also why athletes use mindfulness meditation before big games – and why it’s easier for them to have their game faces on!

Strengthen Your Mental Capacity and Coping Mechanisms

A lot of people suffer from mental distress. This can come from tough exams to a grueling work schedule. However, meditative practices like transcendental meditation can help to decrease anxiety and block out depressive thoughts. Aside from centering your thoughts, meditation can increase your enlightenment and sense of spirituality. Hence, instead of worrying thoughts that plague you, you are able to focus more on meaningful aspects of your future.

Meditation Benefits for Your Health

As it promotes balance in the mind-body connection, there are different health benefits of meditation. It can lower blood pressure and your heart rate. Some forms of meditation can bring relief if you suffer from menopause or irritable bowel syndrome. Meditation can even help you stop smoking when you combine meditating with yoga. 

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Tips on How to Meditate

Meditation is easy to do even if you are a beginner. There are all kinds of videos, books and classes available about meditation and you can find free YouTube videos for beginners. If you want to take a class, look for a teacher that aligns with your goals and beliefs. And, remember, you can start for 5-minutes a day. Hence, the more you put in, the more benefits you will receive.

Because there are so many types of ways to meditate, you can start meditating from home and you don’t need any special equipment. Some types of meditation like mindfulness and concentration can be done in your house, a parked vehicle, or a picturesque park, lake or beach. A few basic tips can help you get started.

These include:

  • Set a regular time and location aside to meditate. That way you can get into the habit and your mind and body start to unwind as they remember the breathing techniques and position you are in (standing, sitting, lying down).
  • Schedule meditation during a time when you are not busy so your mind can relax. Try in the early morning hours or at night. If early mornings are a problem because you have a busy day ahead, map out your schedule the night before so you are already prepared in the morning. Benefits of morning meditation include you can become more focused, organized and ready to start your day.
  • Keep your mind centered and calm the entire time you meditate. Turn off your phone and other devices. If you have small children, meditate when they go to sleep or about an hour before they wake up.
  • Let your inhalations and exhalations be rhythmic when you breathe. While a stray thought might pop up, don’t stop. Keep focusing on your threatening or mantra. Even when you start, don’t force the mind to focus, but let your breathing be what you center your thoughts on.
  • When you start meditating, if you are seated, keep your spine straight and have your head and neck in alignment. Face east or north.
  • Give yourself time to meditate. Remember, there is a duel self that might try to jockey for attention. However, continuing to focus on a focal point can help you achieve and maintain a pure thought state.
  • If you select an object to focus on (tree, flower, fruit), and your mind wanders, switch to a different object.
  • If you find that after several attempts you cannot focus on that particular type of meditation, switch to another. Choose one that is ideal for your dosha type. There are all kinds of meditation practices. A few include yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness, guided imagery, walking and transcendental meditation. Hence, when you find what works for you, it’s so much more meaningful!

FAQ

What are 5 benefits of meditation?

Meditation can reduce stress, promote better health and improve your sleep and mood. It can also lower your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure.

What meditation does to the brain?

Meditation benefits for brain include that it can help to calm a busy thought life. It can refocus your thoughts and help you develop coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, panic and anxiety.

Is it good to meditate everyday?

Yes! Meditation can be done whenever you feel stressed. It’s also ideal to start meditating in the morning before a busy day or at the end of the day to help you unwind before bedtime.

What happens to your body when you meditate?

When you focus on an object, for example, you can block your mind from overthinking in an area. You can also center your thoughts to bring your mind-body connection back into balance.

What happens if you meditate for hours?

Meditating for hours can be very enlightening! It’s a great way to open the chakras, add more blood flow into the brain and receive more prana (life force). Hence, having quiet time where you can reflect and regroup can help you be more aware, alert and successful in your daily activities. But even if you only start with a few minutes a day, there are spiritual benefits of meditation.

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