Meditation Styles to Suit Your Personality

Just like there are different styles of yoga, there are different styles of meditation. If you’re eager to start a meditation practice, explore your options and find one that works for your goals and your personality.

Here are a few meditation styles to help you start on your journey.

meditation styles

Guided Meditation

Personally, I would recommend this for beginners. The mind is so busy and running all over the place that it can be helpful to have a reminder that you should come back to your breath, or whatever your focus point is. You can find recordings online and sometimes your local yoga studio will have guided meditation classes. It can be helpful to do it in person with a guide when you are just beginning.

Breath Meditation

When I started meditating, I used guided meditation to help keep me focused. But once I got used to the process, I moved to breath meditation, as I found it less distracting. It’s just what it sounds like—you focus on your breath. Notice the length and depth of your breath, but do not get involved in a conversation with yourself about it. If your mind wanders, come back to your breath.

Concentration Meditation

During this type of meditation, you focus on a single point. So, in theory, breath meditation could also be considered concentration meditation, since the breath is the “one point.” But this could also mean staring at a candle flame, a picture of a beloved place or person, or even repeating a mantra to yourself. When you notice your mind running off, come back to your point of focus.

Metta Meditation

This is also known as loving-kindness meditation. When you practice metta meditation, you first find kindness and love for yourself, then others, including those you do not like. Then you move to wishing and cultivating love for all living being. A common metta meditation is: May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be free.Then thinking of someone you love, followed by someone you dislike, followed by all beings you say: May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be free.

Walking Meditation

This is “meditation in action”. The focus in walking meditation is on the physical act of walking. Don’t have a destination, walk for the sake of walking, and the purpose of using it as time to meditate.

Guided Visualization

Here you have a guide, generally in the form of a recording. All you need to do is listen to what he or she is saying and let your mind follow. This can help foster deep relaxation and help improve overall well being by the use of positive imagery.

No matter what you choose, give yourself the time to explore what works for you. I’ve been told that when a person starts meditating they should choose one method and stick with it to fully explore everything it has to offer. But I do think it’s okay to try a few on in the beginning. Eventually you’ll find yourself coming back to one form or another. Then the real journey begins.

Why Diets Don’t Work

If you walk into a bookstore on any given day, chances are you’ll see a section designated specifically to diet books. The newest trend diet that promises you that you’ll drop fifteen pounds in two days or that you’ll have rock hard abs in less than 24 hours. Only cabbage soup? Microwaveable meals that are chock-full of processed chemicals and preservatives? If you’ve been in the ring for a while, knocking yourself out with one diet trend after another, you’re probably beginning to realize that a book claiming to zap your pounds away is not the answer.

Unfortunately we are conditioned to believe that we must be a size zero or look a certain way and apparently the media does a marvelous job at marketing these tactics to us via diet trends, social media, celebrity figures, etc. It’s no wonder that we’ve lost touch with our wild, human and might I add, feminine nature. How is it that no other species, but us, relies on a diet book or doctor to tell them what to eat? If you go outside right now, you will be surrounded by wildlife. Wildlife that is functioning in perfect alignment with what is truly innate to it. Frolicking in the sun. Eating what is provided by nature. Moving the body and taking appropriate amounts of time for restoration.

I’m going to share a not-so-secret secret with you: diets don’t work!

Why Diets Don’t Work

1. Diets are created simply to attract us to these ideas. The more extreme, the more likely it is to have a following just for that reason. The truth is they are not sustainable over long periods of time. Our bodies are incredibly resilient, but they can only take so much negligence. Eventually your body will begin attacking itself and a number of horrible things can transpire. Weight gain, lackluster or acne-prone skin, or even worse–autoimmune deficiencies, disease or even cancer can result from not taking care of our precious bodies.

2. The key to unlocking good health relies simply on dropping the idea that you can lose weight, improve your skin, or whatever it may be, through the newest diet. The answer is to listen to your body and make a lifestyle change! This may sound strange to you, but imagine battling your cravings by actually understanding what you are craving, why you are craving, and how you can emotionally, physically or spiritually release that craving. Typically when a person craves sugar, for example, we don’t even think about the fact that we are even craving it other than the mere seconds it takes for us to swallow a candy bar whole. By making a lifestyle change you begin to realize what your trigger cravings are, what nutrients may be lacking or over-abundant and what foods or activities it will take to heal that craving.

3. If you are craving sugar, it is entirely possible that your craving has nothing to do with wanting sugar, but wanting something to give you instant energy. The downside to consuming sugar is the immediate spike in blood sugar, which ultimately leads to a quick crash, thus perpetuating the cycle of needing even more sugar. Perhaps what you really need is extra or better quality sleep at night to lessen your chances of being energetically deprived during the day. Or maybe you simply need foods that will nourish your body with vitamins and minerals that will actually give you sustained energy without the painstaking crash later on.

4. Eating food should be about pleasure, nourishment and of course fueling ourselves with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It should not be about deprivation, starvation, skipping meals, or loading up on processed, chemical-laden “low-fat” or “sugar-free” foods. Taking a more mindful approach to healing your body will help you release your fear of making a lifestyle change–which is not just about what you eat, but how you live your life. A lifestyle change requires an open mind and heart, a positive attitude and a willingness to experiment with new ideas.

5. Keep in mind that each person on this planet is unique in what is needed to heal on a body-mind-soul level. The foods that nourish one may sicken another. Get familiar with eating only fresh, organic whole foods. These are foods that are provided to us in their natural form, straight from Mama Gaia herself! Whether you choose to nutrify yourself with animals products or not is up to you. I encourage you to experiment with all whole foods and find what makes you glow and what doesn’t quite sit right in your body. Keep a food journal each day and write down what you ate, how it was prepared and how you feel minutes and hours after consuming it. This will help you find out which foods trigger allergic reactions or sensitivities.

why diets don't work

Lifestyle Changes

As mentioned before, a lifestyle change is not just about nutrition. It’s about your life as a whole. Take some quiet time each day to check in with yourself. A few moments of deep breathing, meditation, or reflection on a daily basis will help you relax and find inner peace. We often forget how to simply be. We focus too much of our time on being perfect and getting copious amounts of work done. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but it is completely necessary to have time to just be as well as time to devote solely to yourself! Practice some yoga, journal or snuggle up with a good book and a green smoothie.

Moving your body daily is just as important as eating delicious whole foods. Skip the judgment and do something you love! Did you have a blast hula hooping as a kid? Order a dance or fitness hoop online and release your inner goddess! Perhaps you enjoy swimming? Hit the beach and frolic in the waves or dive into a pool at your local gym! The possibilities for movement and play are truly endless. Just focus on having fun, working up a sweat and releasing the glow from within!

Another crucial factor of a lifestyle change is getting ample amounts of high-quality sleep. High-quality sleep is delicious! This kind of sleep can be described as deep, uninterrupted, soul restoring, clutter releasing, nourishing and energizing. Once you have this kind of sleep you’ll never want to go back to late night caffeine binges, midnight snacks or hours of mind-numbing television. In order to have better, more restful sleep you should skip eating late, drinking little to no caffeine or having small amounts early in the day, and turning all technological devices off a few hours before bedtime. Having nighttime rituals like yoga, deep breathing, hot tea or a warm bath might help you sink into deep, enticing sleep.

Want to know another easy tip to long-lasting health? Drink more water! Yes, water is ultra healing if you didn’t already know that! Our bodies are comprised of mostly water, which we lose through bodily functions like sweat and urination, so it only makes sense to hydrate with more water in order to replenish those lost minerals. If you find drinking water to be difficult, try adding some berries, cucumber, lemon or lime slices to a mason jar and top with water and ice. You can start a challenge with your friends or colleagues to see who can drink the most water, or you can carry a water bottle around with you as a reminder.

Changing your lifestyle habits doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take patience, lots of love and kindness towards yourself. This is a journey and we are all in this together. If we continue to listen to our bodies and take action to heal, then we will always be in alignment with nature and the cycle of life.