The Types of Meditation

It's commonly understood that meditation induces a heightened state of awareness and focused attention, while scientific studies prove the practice relieves stress, manage anxiety, reduce inflammation, and improve memory and attention. In the Yogic texts, meditation is separate from concentration. While concentration is focused awareness, meditation is expanded and de-focused awareness. The power of meditation is no doubt profound, but getting started can often seem intimidating and overwhelming. Luckily, there is a world of information and resources to make meditation welcoming, simple and approachable for beginners.

First, let's familiarize ourselves with the six most popular types of meditation to explore which may suit your lifestyle and needs best:

Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to your thoughts as they arise and pass through your mind. You do not engage, judge, or become involved with these thoughts. Rather, you become aware of the patterns as you observe where your mind wanders. It's a type of meditation originating from Buddhist teachings.

Christian contemplative prayer, Jewish kabbalistic practices, and Sufi dhikr are sometimes called Spiritual Meditation. Here, practitioners try to develop their spiritual connection to a higher power by contemplating spiritual or religious wisdom and meaning.

Transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is a mantra based, effortless meditation. You attempt to quiet the mind and induce a state of tranquility and calm, with the final goal to transcend your current state of being. Transcendental meditation requires an initiation into a mantra, and is practiced twice per day in two twenty-minute periods. The Primordial Sound Meditation of Deepak Chopra is similar in intention, but uses mantras that are determined by the individual’s astrological chart.

Loving-kindness meditation is different to other types of meditation. It strengthens feelings of love, kindness, and compassion towards yourself and others. Also known as Metta meditation, practitioners believe in sending messages of loving-kindness into the world, even to people you dislike or cause you harm. People with depression, anxiety, anger, PTSD, frustration, or other internal conflict report significant benefits from this type of meditation.

Movement meditation can involve gentle forms of yoga, tai chi, even gardening or walking. During movement meditation, there is a constant focus on bodily awareness. You'll often find martial artists use movement meditation to improve the precision of their actions. In yoga, we use it to strengthen our minds and bodies, achieving a feeling of restful peace following a session.

The YOGA365 app provides a variety of guided practices in our Meditation learning path. Visit our app for lessons which will teach the foundational principles for each of the above meditation types.