These are unusual, or quirky (yes, quirky, that’s a fun word) types of meditation. Regular mantra or focussing-on-the-breath meditation isn’t for everyone so I thought I’d share some more fun and engaging ways you can practise meditation.
It’s precisely what you think: you laugh. You may feel a bit silly at first (or throughout the entire meditation), so try not to take yourself too seriously! There are so many incredible benefits of laughter including stress relief, lower blood pressure, improved mood, and a natural workout for your muscles. Even forced laughter (which this might be at first!) still provides the same mood-boosting benefits. If you practise this with a close friend or partner, it helps you to develop a meaningful connection with them. Laughter is contagious, after all, so you’ll be able to have fun while reaping loads of great benefits.
Slow, controlled, intentional, mindful. 10% Happier by Dan Harris describes the act of walking meditation very nicely: “mindfully deconstructing every stride. With each step … note yourself lifting, moving, and placing”. Be present, focus on your body, your walking, note your feelings and sensations, but try not to analyse them, just accept them. This is a fab option for people who can’t get sitting meditations down. It’s also quite an experience to practise sitting and walking meditations in tandem to gain appreciation from the different sensations they offer. You get a bit of exercise while doing it, and if you walk only slightly slower than usual, you can get away with doing it anywhere, (just don’t walk into people!).
Body Scan Meditation
This is another form of mindfulness meditation. The aim is to be aware of each part of your body, and, while focussing on different parts of your body, experience the sensations.
To get started with the meditation, set aside 5 to even 40 minutes, lie or sit down somewhere comfortable. Focus on your breath; try to keep it natural, but be aware of the cold air entering your lungs, your lungs expanding, then the hot air leaving, and your lungs contracting. Do this for a few minutes to clear your mind. Then move onto the body scan: you can begin with focussing on the crown of your head and then working down your body, or starting from the bottom and moving upwards while being aware of how you feel. Or you can explore sensations randomly.
Some benefits of this meditation include: reconnecting with your body; improving concentration and your ability to focus; reducing stress; and relaxing. Given that this is such a relaxing form of meditation, it can be a great way to end your day before you go to sleep.
You can check our short guided body scan meditation here.
Third Eye Meditation
This one is a type of Chakra Meditation. You can sit cross-legged or somewhere comfortable with your spine straight. (I find it helps to maintain good posture by imagining a piece of thread attached to the top of my head pulling me up.) With your eyes closed, look at the centre of your forehead, the space between the eyebrows, where your third eye is. Concentrate on your third eye. The third eye chakra is commonly represented by the colour indigo and associated with intuition. You can focus on these two things too to enhance the benefits of this meditation. This meditation helps to clear the mind and can improve concentration and intuition.
This meditation is done by fixing your gaze on a candle or other object such as a dot or image. Sit in a dimly lit room with your feet touching the ground or cross-legged. Place a lit candel at eye level so that you’re still sitting with good posture. Now all you have to do is focus on the candel’s flame. Focussing on an object means that you’re not focussing on your thoughts, so your mind will naturally become clear. You’ll find that your breath naturally deepens without having to focus on that either. This is an easy meditation to reach a deep meditative state and can also improve your concentration.
Do any of these types of meditation peak your interest? Are there any unusual types of meditation you recommend?
Sources and further reading:
- 10 Impressive Benefits of Laughter
- 7 Health Benefits of Laughter
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story
- What is Walking Meditation?
- The Body Scan Practice
- Body Scan Meditation
- The Body Scan Meditation
- Trataka : The Meditation Technique of Third Eye
- The Limitless Benefits of Opening Your Third Eye Chakra With Meditation: A User’s Guide
- The Third Eye Chakra
- The Candle Meditation Technique
- Candle Gazing Meditation