International Yoga Day 2020: What is meditation, its various forms and how it helps...

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International Day of Yoga 2020:Yoga has become an increasingly popular form of exercise in the past few years and people are turning to it more to lose weight, improve flexibility, blood flow and mobility and to also to attain mental peace. Meditation is the part of yoga which deals with mental relaxation and concentration. Meditation is the art through which one can acquire peacefulness and consciousness. It is important not to think of it as an achievement but rather a practice through which our day to day can become less stressful. Meditation is the practise of observance, becoming one with our surroundings. It is not something that can turn you into a new person or change the course of your life in one session. It is an exercise in awareness and gaining perspective. It does not seek to control or restrict your activities, rather it enables you to explore what and who you are in the scheme of things. As existential as this may sound, meditation is not nearly as hard as it has been made out to be, it is simply the practice of being.

The working of our brain is a complex process, and one that we are often not in control of. It is not some state of enlightenment that needs to be reached. It is understanding that enlightenment is letting go. Not in the sense that you let go of your thoughts and emotions, but rather letting go of the judgment that accompanies them. When it comes to meditation, you do not have to silence your mind or try to rid yourself of all thoughts and emotions. All you need to do is acknowledge them as they are and let them go without judgment. Once this is done, meditation will come automatically.

As everyone’s mind functions differently, here are 5 different types of meditation from which you can pick the one that is most comfortable for you -

Spiritual Meditation –

This type of meditation is more about seeking to establish a connection with God or the universe through prayer, and is commonly practised in religions like Hinduism, Daoism and Christianity. It can be a silent or chanted prayer. Non-theistic faiths like Buddhism are more focused on self-awareness and actualization. This type of meditation is well suited for people who are looking for spiritual growth.

Movement Meditation –

Most practices in meditation require you to be stationary for a period of time in order to completely be immersed in the meditative state. However, this practice is meant for those who have trouble keeping still. Attaching a physical element to the mindfulness of meditation is a common technique used in a lot of martial arts. The trick is to be absolutely present in the body during movement. This type of meditation can be practised during most activities that require movement like walking the dog, gardening, jogging, etc.

Focused Meditation –

In contrast to the previous method, this technique requires a single-minded devotion to the activity taken up. Here you train your mind to concentrate so singularly on doing just one thing that all other activities seize. This type of meditation is very beneficial for people trying to improve their focus and attention span. It can be practised anytime, for example, if you are concentrating on your breathing, every time your mind begins to wander, bring it back to breathing.

Visualization Meditation –

In this technique you must train your mind to visualize feelings and thoughts in the form of an image. The image can be anything form a beautiful landscape to a filing cabinet. As long as you can imagine it and your thoughts inside of it, the metaphor can help strengthen your mind. This type of meditation is rooted in observance of one’s surrounding. The more detailed the visual, the greater the possibility of being submerged in meditation. This type of meditation works well for creative people.

Chanting Meditation –

This practice of meditation revolves around the repeated chanting or a particular phrase or word. While chanting, you should focus on the rhythm and melody of word. It uses the repetition of the same world to cleanse the mind while also enhancing the ability to concentrate. The chanting does not have to out loud.  

The practice of mindfulness is essential to all types of meditation, so if you can spare even 5 minutes of your day to reflect, that can go a long way your process of meditation. With World Yoga Day around the corner, this is perfect time to start your physical and mental transformation journey.

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