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8 Meditation Practices to Cultivate More Joy, Peace, & Connection

There are way too many studies to mention that highlight the benefits of a regular meditation practice.  By now you may know that meditation can positively impact your physical body, emotional body and spiritual body.  However, with the type of fast-paced lifestyles we lead and how many different types of meditations there are, we don’t know where to start or how to keep up. 

In this brief article, we keep it simple and allow you to find and explore a practice that works for your schedule to find more peace and joy that you deserve in your life. 

In stillness, you will find your voice.

Why Should I Meditate?

Your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual bodies are all connected and when one is out of whack, it influences the other.  For example, when you are anxious you feel it in the body in the form of an upset stomach, headaches or tense muscles; you feel it mentally by noticing racing thoughts; and therefore you feel worried or fearful.  So essentially, meditating will improve every aspect of your life.  

Physically you will notice your body is more calm by lowering your heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and relaxing your muscles.  Mentally and emotionally, you will notice a reduction in stress, an improvement in resiliency, better memory, increasing feelings of happiness and even better sleep!  For me personally, my spiritual meditation practices have increased a loving connection with my inner Self.  When you realize your own divinity and the divinity in all things, you begin to become more aware of a source of energy that inhabits your physical body. In this space, you can rely on yourself to find answers that you seek such as, what is my purpose here?  The power is truly within you. 

How Do I Meditate?

There are so many practices across cultures, religions and traditions so really the answer is however you want!  Most traditions have a stabilizing practice to focus the mind which we can think of as concentration on the breath, mantra chanting, visualizations, and the like. 

Here are some examples for you to try. This is by no means a comprehension list but I find more often than not, we tend to over-complicate things which leads to avoidance.  You may stick with one for a while to practice or try a variety to see what suits you best.  In my personal practice, I use them all and choose what I want or need on any given day.  

Guided Meditations: there are apps such as insight timer, relax melodies (I use this one for sleep sounds and meditations!) and options on youtube where someone else (yoga teacher, meditation teacher, spiritual teacher) is guiding you on a journey. 

Chakra Meditations (visualization technique): if you know your chakras you can focus your attention on each centre drawing the energy up your spine from your root to your crown.  I typically visualize a white light at each centre glowing and growing and connecting to each other.  

Body Scan (visualization technique): this involves bringing attention to one body part at a time as you soften and relax.  I typically like to start at my toes and work up to the crown, but you can start at your crown first or even begin by noticing any sensations in the body and practice bringing your breath there to feel more comfort and ease. 

Mantra Meditations (Transcendental Meditation): focusing on a word, phrase, or sound over and over perhaps working up to 30 minutes. 

Focused Meditation: similar to mantra meditation but this time it is an object in your physical space such as Trataka (Candle Flame) Meditation.  Focus your gaze on the heart of the flame in a dimly lit room until you feel the urge to blink. Close your eyes and breathe, visualizing the flame or opening them again to gaze at the flame if you so desire. Take a couple rounds here remembering to meditate in a chair or sitting position (safety first!) with the flame at eye level. 

Mindful Meditations: being grounded in the present moment with non-judgement, simply sitting and being open to what thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations (e.g. in the body or environment) come up.  Notice them, accept them, release them.  Bringing your attention to your natural breath is also a great way to be present. 

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."


Moving Meditations (e.g. Forest Bathing): similar to mindful meditations of being in the present moment but is a fantastic way to bring meditation from the cushion into your daily life as you go about your day.  A walk, a hike, or any physical activity (yoga, tai chi, swimming, skiing etc.) in nature (or not) is a great way to practice too. 

"Yogaś citta vṛtti nirodhah." Yoga is the stopping of the turning of thought.

~The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Spiritual Meditations: for this meditation I find a comfortable seat or lay down on my yoga mat (Yoga Nidra style: state between wakefulness and asleep) and focus on relaxing my body and breathing deeply.  Once I feel a sense of calm and peace I invite in a connection to universal energy by stating an intention to communicate with my inner Self, Source, guardian angels, spirit guides and loved ones.  I make sure to surround myself with loving energy and stating that “I intend to communicate with souls in thy most holy name, acting in my highest interest.”  Be open to whatever comes up for you in whatever form.  If nothing happens that is ok too!  It takes practice and as with anything, time and patience apply here too.  Just know that you are a divine being just like everyone else and you are able to communicate with that source. 

Keep it simple and begin with 5 minutes a day and remember that the goal is not to stop thinking and your mind WILL WANDER.  The key is just to notice it, accept it, forgive it and lovingly guide yourself back to the practice of choice. 

A routine is helpful and beginning your day with a meditation will help set the tone. I find that taking a moment in the middle of the day to meditate helps me the best. Some find meditating at night helpful to wind down before bed. Throw the rules out the window and simply do what makes you FEEL GOOD.

Enjoy the calm, enjoy the journey,

Jaime Yoga and Reiki Signature


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