Updated: Jul 31, 2018
It seems like everyone is talking about meditation these days. There’s silent meditation, guided meditation, transcendental meditation and Osho meditation to name a few. There are people telling you that you need to mediate while they reel off a list of benefits. The question that you’re asking yourself is, “How do I meditate?” and “what type of mediation should I do?”
So first, why meditate?
Meditation is a practice where a person uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to gain a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
The benefits of meditation are:
1. Reduces Stress
2. Lowers Anxiety
3. Improves Sleep
4. Increases Positive Emotions
5. Decreases Depression
6. Increases Immune Function
7. Heightens Productivity
8. Boosts Memory
9. Improves Breathing
10. Makes you live longer
As you can see, there are many more benefits to meditation, I’ve just named a few here.
In terms of meditation and the various techniques, I have tried a number of meditation practices and I’ll be honest here, most of them I didn’t enjoy. The reason being is that I find it hard to sit still and quiet the mind. I am an over thinker and my mind is constantly racing at 100 mph. In order for me to gain any benefit from meditation, my mind needs space if I'm going to stay present. This didn’t happen overnight, like I said, I tried many different types of meditation.
Here’s a list of what I tried and what my thoughts were:
1. Guided Meditation
My boyfriend a few years back bought me a subscription to a well known guided meditation app, and I really wish he hadn’t wasted his money. Although I hear good reviews from people who have used this app, I hated it. Hearing someone interrupting me while I’m trying to meditate bothered me. The voice would talk and then stop and when I was finally getting somewhere, the voice would say “try not to let your thoughts distract you”. Well my thoughts didn’t, but YOU did, Mr Meditation App. I found the app restrictive and boring.
2. Silent Meditation
This one is difficult. I would love to do a Vipassana one day, but I don’t think I would be able to handle it. Sitting in silence for 6 days sounds torturous. I can’t sit still for that long and not have access to my personal technology (yes, they take your phones). I’ve tried silent meditation in my room and it just doesn’t work for me.
3. Osho Meditation
I love Osho’s books. I have a few of them from my trip to India and I can’t fault this guy and his writing at all. I tried Osho meditation for the first time in India and this involved a lot of standing and shaking, dancing and all-round lunacy. No offence to anyone who loves it, but I couldn’t really “let go” and dance around people I hardly knew. It was awkward and I don’t think you’ll ever catch me doing it again.
So, what worked for me?
This type of meditation that worked for me may not work for you, but I would highly recommend trying it if you are like me and have an overly active and busy mind.
432 Hz breathing meditation
This is the only way I can start my day. I will play a video from YouTube while I sit in the living room, inhaling and exhaling to the beat.
What is 432 Hz?
Two of the World’s most famous musicians, Mozart and Verdi, based their music on the natural vibration of ‘A’=432. Only 8 vibrations per second different from our standard tuning, this miniscule difference is extraordinary to our consciousness. ‘A’ is an alternate tuning that is mathematically steady with the universe. Music based on 432 Hz spreads beneficial healing energy as it is a pure tone of mathematics fundamental to nature.
According to some, music tuned to 432 Hz is softer and brighter, clearer and is easier on the ears. Most people experience more meditative and calming states of body and mind when listening to 432 Hz. The natural musical pitch of the universe gives a harmonic and pleasant sound more than the sound of 440 Hz.
If you haven’t tried listening to 432 Hz before, give it a go here .
As well as using 432 Hz music, I use a breath counting technique.
What is breath counting?
An ancient practice used by monks, this technique will keep you present and increase Prana (life force). In order to start breath counting you need to breathe from the diaphragm. I like to place my hands on my belly while sitting upright (not slouching) on a pillow. I sit up straight and as I inhale I push my belly out, breathing in for the count of 4. As I exhale, I breathe out slowly sucking my belly to my spine, exhaling for the count of 8.
Counting is really beneficial as you are focusing on the numbers only. People tend to not want to miss a number when counting, and for me this helps me stay present and focused on my breath. The music creates a rhythm that I almost know when I should inhale and exhale without counting (this takes some consistent practise to get used to).
How to meditate with 432 Hz?
The good thing about listening to 432 Hz is that there is no voice to distract you. The music is calming and uplifting. I set my phone timer for 10 minutes and then play the 432 Hz music.
How to sit:
1. Find a space where you won’t be disturbed. I tend to go to the living room and sit on a cushion on the floor where I know I will be able to sit still. Light some incense or a candle to help you relax.
2. If you need to, lean up straight against the wall. Do not slouch.
How to breathe:
1. Take a deep breath in, filling your lung capacity. Exhale out through the mouth. Repeat.
2. Next, breathe in deeply from the pit of the belly. Your abdomen should inflate. As you breathe in, slowly count to 4.
3. Close your mouth and hold your breath for the count of 4.
4. Keeping your mouth closed, exhale slowly for the count of 8. You want to slowly release the air as if you were squeezing air from a balloon.
5. Once fully exhaled, hold your breath for the count of 4.
6. Inhale for the count of 4 and repeat the process.
So, there you have it, a magical combination of healing 432 Hz music and deep belly breathing to help enter a meditative state. After meditation, I usually drink a litre of water and get started with my day.
Now it’s your turn. What types of meditation have you tried and which type suits you?
The contents of this blog post are for informational purposes only. Nothing found on this blog post is intended to be professional life advice.
All views mentioned on Sanne Storm Yoga are the views and opinions of myself, Sanne Storm.