Meditate Differently: 10 Meditation Alternatives

For many of us, the idea of taking time out of our daily life to meditate may seem unattainable. If you feel that sitting on a cushion for an hour or less is not for you, try these meditation alternatives to find the best one that fits you and incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.

Regular meditation has many health advantages. Studies show that meditation can:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety,
  • control sensitivity to pain,
  • lower blood pressure,
  • make us more kind and loving.

Get the benefits of meditation by trying out an alternative style from the list below.


Tai Chi

Tai Chi means Grand Ultimate in Chinese and is sometimes called “meditation in motion“. This ancient Chinese wellness practice focuses on aligning energy in the body as well as the mind. It is believed that illness, pain happen when the life force is disrupted. Tai Chi slow-motion dancing practice is supposed to increase memory and brain size, as well as alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia.  It can be used to quiet the monkey-mind and to feel a deep sense of relaxation.


Qigong

If you have 10 minutes a day, you have enough time to do qigong. Qigong, which is sometimes called Chi-Kung, is a practice of cultivating vital life-force through various techniques, including: breathing techniques, postures, meditation, guided imagery.

Like Tai Chi, it’s a moving meditation that uses rhythmic physical movements to focus the mind. This meditation is also used to reduce depression and relieve stress, boost the immune response, improve general well-being.


Dancing

You don’t need to be a dancer to practice dancing as a meditation. Dance or kundalini meditation can be a great type of meditation practice for those who want to release tension and get in touch with their instincts. Move your body as you feel like it, without judgment, just letting everything go, especially your ego, just being present, just being yourself. You can add yelling, jumping, and even hooting like an owl to this meditation. This meditation alternative will give you so much joy, passion, smiles, and so many positive emotions.

Main guidelines for dance meditation:

  • Focus on the dance, not the ego,
  • find the dance energy within yourself,
  • express those energies,
  • allow your body’s natural state.

Slow Hands Moving Meditation

If the toughest part of meditation for you is sitting without moving, try slow hands moving meditation. Slow hands moving meditation is one type of meditation that involves movement. Main benefits:

  • clears and calms the mind,
  • improves focus,
  • helps concentrate on the present moment.

How to practice it? Begin slow hands moving meditation in a comfortable seated pose with the hands resting on the thighs. Then focus on moving the hands slowly and mindfully. Focus on the breath.


Gazing Meditation

Trataka is an alternative way of meditation that involves focusing the eyes through relaxed gazing. This technique involves you to focus inward by staring at a fixed object while sitting or standing.

 Trataka has the following benefits:

  • Improves concentration,
  • improves visualization skills,
  • makes the eyes stronger, clearer, and brighter
  • helps with insomnia
  • increases nervous stability
  • calms the anxious mind
  • enhances self-confidence and patience

There are many ways of doing trataka, for example, candle gazing. If outdoors, fix the gaze on a natural object like a stone, or tree. Start this practice by staring for just 15 to 20 seconds. Eventually, work up to 10 or 15 minutes.


Breathwork

Breathwork has its roots in ancient eastern practices. Breathwork includes different breathing techniques used to relax the body, mind, and spirit. Some focus more on consciousness than others, but they all can help with self-awareness.

Breathwork benefits:

  • provides quick relief from stress,
  • lowers blood pressure,
  • reduces symptoms of depression,
  • helps with pain management.

The three most popular breathworks are:

  • Pranayama
  • Rebirthing
  • Holotropic

We suggest you to try them all and establish your own breathing routine, but don’t force yourself to follow any if they don’t feel right. Simple deep breaths in the middle of your workday are also good enough.


Coloring

Nowadays mandalas are popular in adult coloring books. Actually, mandalas have been part of spiritual practices around the world for thousands of years.

There are various types of mandalas found in different cultures and used for a multitude of purposes. There are three main types of mandalas: teaching mandalas, healing mandalas, sand mandalas. Do you want a meditational effect of coloring? Color healing mandalas! They are made for the purpose of meditation. Healing mandalas are supposed to deliver wisdom, evoke feelings of calm, and channel focus and concentration.


Walking

Walking can be perfectly used as a meditation. In Zen tradition, it is called kinhin. In this type of meditation, practitioners rest attention in both the breath and in the feeling of each foot on the floor. Main guidelines for walking meditation:

  • pick a safe place to walk around,
  • use good posture,
  • do one step with each inhale,
  • experience the motions of your body. 

Though kinhin is often practiced inside, we suggest you try this practice outdoors. Leave your phone at home. Be present, enjoy the outdoors and you’ll find yourself relaxing.


Creative Visualisation

Creative visualization is a technique wherein you create the reality you want in your mind and for a few minutes, you live that reality with every sense. This technique gives you direct control over your imagination at the subconscious level.

Creative visualization can be used for:

  • changing your beliefs, habits,
  • changing your circumstances, 
  • healing yourself and others.

These are 6 phase guided meditation steps for the creative visualization that create power in your mind:

  • 1. Relax  
  • 2. Imagine 
  • 3. Feel it Real  
  • 4. Believe  
  • 5. Detach  
  • 6. Inspired Action

This meditation involves the elements of gratitude, forgiveness, visualization, and prayer. You will find all the compassion, love, kindness, forgiveness, and belief within yourself.


Music meditation

Researchers agree that music can also be a form of mindfulness meditation. Like meditation, music brings us back to the present.  In order to realize a musical piece we have to follow each beat as it happens in real-time. Music helps us forget problems and lets us just be.

Several tips for music meditation: Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes as you listen to music. Focus your attention on the present moment. Do your best to feel just the music. Redirect any thoughts that come into your mind to the music.

For best calming experience, try these types of music:

  • Sounds of nature
  • Indian classical music
  • Gregorian chanting
  • Acoustic String instruments
  • Instrumental music

Sources:

Meditation: In Depth – https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-in-depth

How Breathwork Benefits the Mind, Body, and Spirit – https://chopra.com/articles/how-breathwork-benefits-the-mind-body-and-spirit


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