When a person successfully completes this meditation, he finds himself very energetic and a complete different human being. He feels more relaxed and calm and can cope with his surroundings and challenges with much comfort and vigor.
This is the second part of the series “relaxation techniques". In this part, i will concentrate on meditation and its process to gain optimum relaxation, hence improving overall health and personal development. You guys may already be known to the term "meditation" but, as i need to compose my post thinking a total newbie, simple basic understanding is always better.
So, what is Meditation?
Oxford Dictionary defines meditation as 'The action or practice of profound spiritual or religious reflection or mental contemplation or a continuous thought on one subject or thing'. This is the most simple and to the point definition. One way thinking to one subject or thing at one time without a least diversion of thought process is the purpose of meditation. There are various types of meditation according to what the meditator's purpose is. However, all meditation types are inter-related and have multiple common benefits. One of them is relaxation of mind and body and we are going to talk this part. Some of the major types out of thousands using for relaxation and freeing of mind are briefly described below:
Mindfulness Meditation (Vipassana):- This is the most powerful and popular meditation which is believed to be originated from Buddhist Tradition. The main theme of this meditation is "being in present". Its all about accepting whatever thoughts arise in mind. Concentration on one's breathing without trying to modify the natural pattern is one process of mindfulness meditation. This meditation is practiced as Vipassana in eastern countries. A minimum series of 10 days is to be completed by the meditator. In Vipassana meditation, communication to other participants plus self-talk is not allowed which makes it very challenging for some individual to even complete the 10 days minimal period. When a person successfully completes this meditation, he finds himself very energetic and a complete different human being. He feels more relaxed and calm and can cope with his surroundings and challenges with much comfort and vigor.
- Kundalini Meditation:- Kundalini meditation comes from the Hindu Religion or specifically from Vedanta. In Hindu religion, it is believed to have energy centres in our physical body which regulates the life force or prana shakti which helps us to maintain our health and well-being. Kundalini is the ultimate universal power which lies dormant at the base of the spinal cord or muladhara chakra. When a person is in optimal relaxed state practicing kundalini meditation, kundalini activates which is known as kundalini awakening and starts to stream from bottom to up through each energy centres or chakras of human body and trying to release back to the universe from the crown chakra (energy centre defining head). In this meditation, the practitioner concentrates on his breathing and visualizes and follows the ultimate power rising from bottom to top. But, before practicing kundalini meditation, one must clear all the chakras or energy centres because the blockage of kundalini energy in any of the energy centre can have negative effects to the practitioner which is also known as kundalini syndrome.
Guided Visualization:- Guided Visualization is another technique for mind-body relaxation. Generally, it is done by concentrating upon an object preferably image with soothing music (baroque or classical) playing in background or even in headphones. It is a form of guided imagery exercises. Power of visualization is immense. It is used from thought manifestation to problem solving and from enhancing education to improving health. Hypnotism also uses this practice to put the subject into trance state. Gentle awareness of breathing is done but controlling its rate and rhythm is not. Guided visualization in combination with other techniques like positive affirmations to program the subconscious with proper relaxation musical session is highly effective. It is also used for removing negative behaviors like addiction, stress relief, anger management etc. For music selection, generally relaxing music having 60 beats per minute (baroque) and classical compositions from Mozart, Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach are used.
Qi Gong Meditation (Chi Gong):- Qi gong meditation is another form of Chinese meditation which generally focus on breathing to circulate the energy (Chi energy/ Life force) throughout the body through energy centres or chakras. It is similar like kundalini meditation but, it only focuses on three major energy centres viz a point two inches below the navel (Solar plexus region), center of chest and forehead. As like other meditations, it is also used to relax but also to enhance the physical energy. So, it is also used in various Chinese martial arts.
Mantra Meditation:- As the name suggests, this meditation technique uses mantras (words that are chanted while meditating like "OM"). It is also based on religion and differs according to communities and beliefs but the ultimate goal is to concentrate your mind in one word. It is proved that, every matter in this universe vibrates with a frequency and are inter-related with one another. Mantras are used in prayers too. It is the link for us to get connected with the Supreme Being whatever we call it GOD/ Universal power etc. Mantra meditation focuses your attention in one thing and helps to create the ultimate relaxation state.
So, these are some of the major meditations normally used for relaxation techniques. To have more knowledge about this field, kindly visit my post about how to meditate for beginners. This field is so huge that many scientists and individuals are still researching. So, we will update this post whenever we will get new info. What are your best meditation techniques you are using for relaxation?? We would like to know in comments!!