There are many and finding the right one, that meditation style that resonates with you, will be the glue to you forming a regular meditation practice, from the beginning. So, what are the different types of meditation? Here are 18 and their challenges. What may surprise you is that not all are about sitting on a meditation cushion. Scroll down to see thpse done while moving.
18 Different Types of Meditation
This list, though not exhaustive, contains styles where you can sit, stand, walk, write, or even run in meditation.
1. Breathwork Meditation
This style has a particular breathing pattern to a curated music playlist where you use your breath to center awareness.
Counting is optional in breathing meditations.
This is a healing meditation. The benefits of breathwork meditation include relief from stress and anxiety.
Required/Challenge: Centering your mind
2. Candle Meditation
+ known for improved concentration skills.
Some people find staring at a candle a way to focus.
Required: Open Eye. Darkened room.
Challenge: stillness, especially with eyes.
3. Chakra Meditation
+ known for recharging energy. Chakras are used to center awareness.
Required/Challenge: Best guided by an expert.
4. Cosmic Meditation
+ known for enhancing awareness of your connection to the universe — or, spiritual awakening. It inspires a bigger picture outlook. The breath is used to center awareness. Visualization involves imagining a light around the body.
Required/Challenge: Visualizing techniques
5. Healing Guided Meditation
+ known for healing suffering of body, mind, and heart. You might seek this for pain relief.
6. Loving-Kindness Meditation
+ can help with forgiveness of people or situations that have troubled you. You use a mantra relating to freedom from fear and suffering in relation to people in your life.
Known also as Metta meditation, it is a Buddhist tradition. It is a method of developing compassion.
The focus is on the solar plexus (your chest area, your ‘heart center’). The breath inhaled and exhaled is combined with traditional phrases.
Required/Challenge: Coordinating the phrases with the breathing.
7. Mahamantra Meditation
+ a Krishna meditation with mantras. It is known for making your mind firm or rooted so that you stop seeking attention from others and you are filled with energy.
Required/Challenge: Chanting the primordial sound
8. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious and aware of each moment ~ Rod Galbraith, InYoga co-owner
+ a simple but very powerful practice. It is used with children.
+ known as a natural treatment for emotional issues.
It helps you to stop reacting to disturbing thoughts.
The breath is used to center awareness. Mindfulness can be practiced anytime, anywhere.
Required/Challenge: Finding a quiet, uninterrupted time/space
9. Standing Nature Meditation
You might already know the magic of connecting with nature.
And how nature has added health benefits.
These are reasons why you might like to try meditation in nature.
Try these steps:
- Find somewhere to stand with ease and in comfort and safety
- Take off shoes
- Stand barefoot
- Touch the Earth (grass, sand, soil).
- Wiggle your toes
- Imagine the energy of the earth beneath
- Breathe deeply and imagine drawing that energy up into your body
- Close eyes
- Relax taking rhythmic breaths
- Listen to the sounds of the birds or nature
- Note your thoughts and feelings
- Be revived by the spirit of nature
Required: Open space
Challenge: Passerby distractions
10. Transcendental Meditation
+ involves out of body experiences. Refer also to the Maharishi Effect.
It’s a form of Hindu meditation with a goal of transcending or rising above all that is impermanent.
The pose is seated, and focus is through a mantra while actively changing the breath to alter your mental state.
It typically involves 15-20 min a day with a mantra.
Required/Challenge: Only taught by certified teachers through a standard course of instruction.
11. Visualization Meditation
This practice is used most often for attracting success and change.
In this, you use mental images while meditating (a meditation screen).
I start with progressing through each color of the seven chakras. With meditation starting this way, I find I can enter into a state of relaxation.
Required/Challenge: Seeing images on the screen of the mind
12. Vipassana Meditation
+ known as Goenka meditation because of a known teacher
+ is known for enlightenment or insight.
Vipassana means to see things as they truly exist and is a Buddhist form of meditation. The focus is on the breath. It includes contemplation and introspection and awareness of bodily sensations.
Required/Challenge: Code of discipline
13. Moving Meditations
Deliberating on movement can help with the monkey mind.
Examples of meditation while moving include Qigong, Yoga, and Tai Chi.
Also an exercise for intuition, yoga is a traditional form of meditation with movement.
Moving meditations can also help to increase intuition.
This is a Taoist approach based on the breath circulating energy through the body to an altered consciousness.
+ Rather than just a set of poses or an exercise regime, as is mostly portrayed with its use in western society Yoga is meditative.
+ Hatha Yoga combines asana, mudra, pranayama, and meditative awareness. Another is Iyengar. I have practiced and gained great benefit from both.
+ Iyengar, in particular, I found gratifying after learning through a certified trainer.
+ The Yoga style of meditation has three progressive stages: Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi. More details are listed in the meditation stages section below.
In the theory of Yoga, we are all innately connected to the one life force, the universe, and this universal power guides us.
This belief corresponds to that of quantum physics in that everything is interconnected. We are all part of the wholeness underlying the grand cosmos.
16. Walking Meditation
This meditation style is known for relaxation, incorporating exercise. Awareness is centered on the movement of legs and feet or arms and lungs.
It is open-eyed but can be done with eyes closed (see below).
Walking Meditation with eyes closed.
- Walk slowly with your eyes closed
- Focus inward
- Move at a rhythmic pace
- Notice any meanderings of your mind
- Pay attention to where it goes
- Deflect any ego-based thoughts by chanting
Required: open space without obstructions
Challenge: outside distractions
17. Running as a Meditation
+ Meditation while running works on the same basis as meditating while walking.
18. Writing as Meditation
+ This activity is known for providing insight.
Try these five steps:
- Relax first for 5-15 min. Maybe do some inhales and slow exhales.
- Set a timer and write freely for 10 mins without judgment, editing, or thinking about what you are writing even
- After 10 min, take a couple of deep breaths then read aloud what you just wrote
- Go through and underline any phrases or bits that stand out for whatever reason
- Use these bits as prompts for future writings
Just like art and meditation, writing allows us the space to connect with our true selves. It’s also an important tool in developing our intuition.
This is the reason why journaling is so popular.
Other Meditation Types
Other forms include Jyoti meditation, Reflective, Vajrayana (which is a tantra style used to attain Buddhahood), and Satanama meditation, plus numerous others.
+ As Chandresh Bhardwaj, founder of the Break The Norms meditation program explains, “When you are deeply involved in any activity, you become meditative.”
+ This holds true for other activities, for example, gardening, knitting, crocheting, sewing, drawing, or something as mindless as ironing.
They will help calm the chaos in our minds. They are known for providing stress relief and open a channel to your intuition.
Which Meditation is Best for You?
The reason the practice of meditation causes so much debate is because meditation accesses a field of limitless wisdom that everyone has their unique connection to…There’s not one practice or experience that’s best for everyone. ~ Rod Galbraith, co-founder of InYoga