Are you considering adding some meditation to your life? Read on for 6 types of meditation to find the right one for you!
Meditation has long been shown to have positive effects on both physical health as well as mental health (Psychology Today). Teachers in particular can benefit immensely from meditation. As a high stress profession, teachers can often experience times of high anxiety, high stress, depression and burnout.
Although meditation is not a ‘cure all’ solution, it can help to alleviate various physical and mental health symptoms. The benefits of meditation include:
- Boosting the immune system
- Reducing pain and inflammation
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Increasing the ability to focus
- Improving memory and sleep
There is not just one way ‘to meditate’. In fact there are many different schools of mediation. The key to making meditation work for you is choosing the right type of meditation. If you try one and it doesn’t feel right then don’t be afraid to try another. Eventually you’ll find one that clicks with you and your lifestyle.
Below you will find a description of 6 different types of meditation that I think will particularly appeal to teachers. Find one that intrigues you and give it a go! Remember to let us know how you get on in the comments section below.
1. Transcendental meditation
Transcendental Meditation (TM for short) is probably the most well-known type of meditation and the one most people think of when it comes to meditation.
TM was made famous by the Beatles in the 1960s when they met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in and adopted TM as an alternative to drugs in their quest for spiritual enlightenment!
TM is also one of the most researched forms of meditation, with hundreds of studies investigating it’s benefits.
TM meditation is one of the simplest forms of meditation and is considered one of the easiest to learn. Unlike other forms of meditation, there is no focus on visualisation or ’emptying the mind’. TM meditation is practiced for 20 minutes, twice per day, whilst sitting comfortably on a chair.
Why transcendental meditation is great for teachers
Teachers can be busy creatures! A simple form of meditation that requires no prep work and does not require having an empty or thought-free mind will appeal to teachers who find it hard to ‘switch-off’ from work.
2. Heart rhythm meditation
Heart Rhythm Meditation (HRM) focuses on coordinating your breathing with your heart beat. It was developed by Susanna and Puran Bair. HRM main focus is on conscious breathing and being aware of your heartbeat.
HRM involves controlling your breath and performing specific breathing techniques. The aim is to focus all your attention on your breathing. There is no requirement for visualisation of focusing on your thoughts.
HRM can be practiced anywhere once you have learned the required breathing techniques. There are no complicated poses to learn, making it appealing to people with limited mobility.
Why heart rhythm meditation is great for teachers
Teachers can suffer from anxiety and high levels of stress. Having a form of meditation that allows you to focus on and control your breathing can help in times of high stress. K
3. Kundalini Meditation
This traditional Eastern meditation form is tied to Kundalini yoga. If you already practice yoga, Kundalini meditation may be the most natural step for you: In fact, you already may be practicing it!
Kundalini meditation focuses on the kundalini energy that is believed to be found at the base of the spine.
Kundalini meditation also incorporates different postures and mantras (chants) during the meditation process. The aim of kundalini meditation is to clear the mind from distracting thoughts. Chanting mantras is thought to help focus the mind and clear away other thoughts.
Why kundalini meditation is great for teachers
If you are strapped for time (as many teachers are!) combining yoga and meditation together can help you to achieve maximum benefits in a shorter space of time.
4. QiGong Meditation
Qi (pronounced ‘chi’) means energy. QiGong meditation comes from a traditional Chinese form of exercise and body-healing through meditation, controlled breathing, and movement.
Posture and movement plays an important role in Qi Gong meditation, although many QiGong masters do not like to put too much emphasis on exercise, pointing out that it can distract from the true benefits of the meditative aspect of QiGong.
If you practice Tai Chi you may find QiGong meditation a good fit. The focus on moving through movements whilst clearing the mind incorporates both physical exercise as well as meditation and relaxation.
Why QiGong meditation is great for teachers
Teachers can often develop physical symptoms, such as leg and back pains, from being on their feet all day. QiGong can help to alleviate both physical strains on the body as well as mental fatigue.
5. Guided Visualisation
Guided visualisation is the simplest form of meditation and maybe a good starting point for people completely new to the idea of meditation.
The purpose of guided visulation is to focus on positive scenarios or positive results to upcoming stressful situations. This can be easily done without the need of an instructor or group. Focusing on positive outcomes can help to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, particularly if those thoughts are connected to an upcoming situation.
Guided visualisation meditation does not require any particular postures or movements or mantras, though some people may use positive affirmations during the visualisation.
Why guided visualisation meditation is great for teachers
Teachers can often find themselves facing upcoming stressful situations, whether it’s an Ofsted inspection or upcoming lesson observation! Positive visualisation can help you approach those situations with more confidence and less stress
6. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a way to bring your complete consciousness into the present moment through the use of meditation techniques.
Unlike other forms of meditation, mindfulness meditation is not about clearing the mind or even tuning out the rest of the world. Instead, it’s focus is on being completely present in the space and time you find yourself in.
If you find it difficult to get into a meditative state, or have found other forms of meditation do not work for you, then you may want to give mindfulness meditation a try. The practice of becoming focused on everything around you may be easier to achieve.
Why mindfulness meditation is great for teachers
A great aspect of mindfulness meditation is it’s focus on just slowing down and becoming aware of your present state and surroundings. Whilst you are rushing around doing your teaching job, you may find a quick spot of mindfulness meditation useful!
I hope you found this guide to six types of meditation for teachers to try useful. Do share your experiences with meditation in the comments and remember to share this post to help out fellow teachers!0