Welcome back to the Hairdolini blog! Today, we are switching gears from talking about hair to one of our other favorite topics — meditation. Meditation can transform your mind and your body and, like anything else, must be practiced correctly for the full benefits to be experienced. At Hairdolini, we offer a meditative experience while getting your hair done as well as a meditation class on Wednesday nights. Visit our website to RSVP or book with our hairstylist and keep reading to learn more about meditation.
Seven Types of Meditation
Meditation isn’t just for Buddhist monks who live upon a mountain top or only for those who consider themselves to be “spiritual.” Anyone can benefit from meditation and this practice is becoming more important in our world which is increasingly busy, hectic, and, in some ways, frightening. There are many ways to meditate and we will share some of those methods here today.
Kundalini yoga — like other forms of yoga — is essentially meditation in motion: instead of sitting still, Kundalini yoga requires the participant to move into specific postures while coordinating their breath to the movement of their body — while reciting mantras. Kundalini yoga not only allows you to decrease anxiety and depression, but it also can increase your physical strength and relieve pain. Kundalini yoga is Hairdolini’s chosen means of meditation and we offer a 30 minute class every Wednesday night. Come experience the unifying effects and calming benefits of Kundalini yoga!
As the name indicates, the purpose of this type of meditation is to activate an attitude of loving kindness towards every aspect of a person’s life — even towards enemies and sources of tension and stress. During this kind of meditation, a person will send messages of loving kindness to every aspect of their lives, the people in their lives, and the world. Like any form of meditation, loving-kindness meditation can decrease depression and anxiety and it has been seen to help those suffering from PTSD.
Body Scan/ Progressive Relaxation
How aware of your body are you? Do you notice places of tension or pain? Body scan meditation, also called progressive relaxation, can help you feel the areas of your body that are tense and help you relax. When practicing body scan meditation, a person will start at one end of their body and slowly relax each part. Not only can this help to release tension, but it can also help with chronic pain.
Meditation isn’t something you have to do while sitting on a special cushion. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere because it’s all about being present in the moment. Often, it’s easy to focus on past pain or future anxieties in moments when our brain is unengaged with work or other mental activities. Practitioners when utilizing this practice will focus on their breath and take notice of their surroundings. This practice is particularly helpful for avoiding negative thought patterns and may also improve focus, memory, and feelings of satisfaction about relationships.
Breath Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness meditation can also be practiced anywhere. As the name indicates, a person will focus on breathing slowly and deeply — counting their breaths and letting thoughts that come to mind pass through without attachment. Breath awareness can allow one to reduce feelings of anxiety, improve focus, and calmness in stressful situations for greater emotional flexibility.
Zen meditation, also called Zazen is perfect for those looking to find the benefits of meditation and spiritual benefits as well. This type of meditation is part of the Buddhist practice and requires discipline and a teacher to lead the practitioner through necessary steps and postures. The purpose of zen meditation is to allow the practitioner to observe their thoughts without judgement.
At the heart of transcendental meditation is a mantra that is important to the practitioner. In some cases a teacher will give the practitioner a mantra that may not be understood by anyone other than the teacher and practitioner. In other cases, a mantra may be as simple as, “Fear is not my ruler.” Transcendental meditation can provide all the other benefits experienced by meditators — reduction of anxiety and depression — as well as heighten their sense of wellbeing and spirituality.
Meditation is ultimately about becoming more mindful, releasing tension, observing thoughts without judgement, and often embarking on a spiritual path. Meditation is something that has to be practiced; some sessions will be easier than others. However, as you continue to practice you will see long-term benefits.