I’ve been dabbling in meditation off and on for the past four years or so. Over that time frame I have discovered and rediscovered some things that I really love and that seem to work for me. I think that all of us humans are different, though, so the style of meditation that really floats my boat may do nothing for you. But here is what I’ve found works for the best for me. Try some of these out, and let me know what you think in the comments!
The simplest form of meditation is focusing on your breath – breathe in/belly rise, breathe out/belly fall. This is a very relaxing form of meditation, but when it’s self-directed (e.g. Heather is telling Heather to breathe in and breathe out), Heather gets distracted and starts thinking about brushing her teeth or which Moleskin she is going to buy next or how dirty the floor is.
And that is why I am a big fan of led meditations. And fortunately with the advent of computers and smart phones and apps, there is a plethora of options to choose from. Here are some links to my current meditation tool-set.
- Dharma Ocean 10 Points Meditation. This somatic (body-based) meditation focuses your mind on different parts of the body. It helps keep my attention focused, while at the same time allowing me to consciously relax tension that I am unconsciously holding.
- Yoga Nidra. I LOVE yoga nidra. This is the thing that sparked my interest in yoga 5-6 years ago. With this style of meditation, the mind’s awareness is drawn methodically through different areas of the body in an almost hypnotic fashion. I love to listen to this type of meditation before I go to sleep. Here is a link to a couple of different yoga nidras:
- Google “Yoga Nidra,” and I bet almost anyone you find will be delightful.
- Insight Timer. This is an amazing free app that has a TON of different meditations. You can search for a specific type (yoga nidra, loving-kindness, etc.), or you can scroll through and look for ones that sound interesting. It has meditations of several different lengths, so if you only have 5 minutes, scroll for 10 seconds, sit or lay down, and meditate for 5 minutes. There are a lot of led meditations by British people, and that accent just really does it for me. 😉 The app also gives you the ability to connect with others meditating in your area, which forms a nice, non-intrusive meditation community.
- Design of the Body podcast. For ~30 mins, Dr. Donna Embree walks you through a meditation where you breathe up from the earth, drawing energy through all your chakras, balancing then and tuning in to your body’s “dashboard.” This meditation is a little bit “woo-woo,” but when I do it (usually while taking a walk), I feel more centered and grounded. If you listen to this one, try to have an open mind and let go of judgement, and I think you will enjoy it.
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
- 8 Minute Meditation Guide. This is the first book I bought on meditation. If you do not want to go the “led” route, this book will teach you several different forms of mediation which you are encouraged to practice for just 8 minutes a day for a week. My personal favorites are loving-kindness and body scan, but I got value from all of them.
Obviously I really love body-based meditations. 🙂
Hopefully you found this information helpful. If you get on Insight Timer, look me up, so we can support each other in our meditation practice.
Take care, and have a fabulous Labor Day! Thanks for reading!