Tell me if this story sounds familiar to you. You wake up at 7 a.m. to get ready for work. Then you get ready and you sit down to meditate for 15 minutes (or at least that's the goal). At first, breathing slowly feels nice and you start to relax.
Three minutes into it you find yourself sneaking a peek at the time, "Am I done yet? Am I enlightened now?" You realize it's only been three minutes so you keep going, waiting for something magical to happen. (Maybe you'll start levitating? Anything is possible!)
A few minutes later you get that little tingly sensation in your hands for about ten seconds and then it's gone as quickly as it came. That was magical! But what about the other 9 minutes and 50 seconds? Pretty boring if you ask me.
Now, I'm not saying that just because meditation can be boring that we shouldn't bother doing it. It's called a meditation practice for a reason!
We all know that meditation is one of the fastest ways to raise our vibration, feel good, and start manifesting some badass things in life, but sometimes our practice needs a little switching up in order to keep things fresh and exciting. Luckily sitting and breathing is not the only way to meditate, so you've got some choices to choose from!
In this article, I'm sharing with you some of my personal favorite ways you can switch up and spice up your meditation practice, starting today! After all, spring has sprung! It's time to refresh your practice with a little fresh blood.
The "011" Meditation Method
If you're anything like me and you wish you could be telekinetic like Eleven from the Netflix hit show Stranger Things, then you're gonna love this meditation. Most people call this form of meditation "gazing", but "The 011 Meditation Method" makes it sound way more badass.
Here's how it goes. All you gotta do is create a fixed gaze on an object of your choosing and ta-dah you're doing it! Pretend you're like Eleven, about to do some crazy sh*t with your mind. (Trust me, it makes this exercise a lot more exciting than it sounds.) Crushing a soda can with no hands perhaps? Unlocking the door with your mind maybe?
Or if you want to be a little more chill about it you can just peacefully gaze at a beautiful object and space out entirely. You can look at the flame of a candle, the steam from your tea, the waves of the ocean... anything that helps calm your mind will do!
If you really want to take your meditation practice to the next level, boy are you gonna love this technique! Have you ever heard of a sensory deprivation pod? Cause they are real, and they are Awesome (Yes, with a capital "A".) for meditating.
Basically, a sensory deprivation pod is a giant bathtub with a lid that is filled with water and a ton of Epsom salt. There is actually so much salt in the water that you can float 100% stress-free because the density of the salt holds you up. The pod also has a lid that can be closed so you can just float in the peaceful and quite dark.
I recently visited A Quiet Place Flotation Spa in San Diego to experience floating for myself and it was really something! The moment and you lay down in the pod, you can just lay back and totally relax your whole entire body, mind and spirit. Instead of having to sit and focus for like 20 minutes in order to clear your mind, as soon as you start floating, your mind automatically clears itself! I highly recommend.
Yin Yoga Meditation
If you haven't had the pleasure of trying out yin yoga yet, you've gotta get your butt to a class! I used to think it was boring because you hold very passive poses for a few minutes at a time, but that was until I realized its true value. It teaches you to slow down and embrace stillness. Stillness of the body, and the mind.
Some of the notable benefits of yin yoga are that it increases blood and oxygen circulation in your body, helps you release deeply rooted emotions, reduces stress and anxiety (Yay!) and helps you connect to your parasympathetic nervous system (otherwise know as the "rest and digest" part of out nervous system).
Anyway, you can read all about some of the benefits of yin yoga in Yoga Journal, but all you need to know is that it's awesome and you should give it a try. Especially if you like using your body as a vehicle for getting to the soul.
(My new favorite way to attend any kind of yoga class is with an awesome app called ClassPass. For as little as $10 a class you can try out different studios and classes every month. Click this ClassPass referral link so you can try out $40 in classes for free! And if you do sign up with this link I'll be very thankful because I'll get free yoga too! #freeyogaforall)
So... I know a lot of mindfulness teachers prefer that you meditate in silence, but I'm a dancer (we don't do well in silence) so I meditate to music all the time and I gotta tell you, it's THE BOMB. It's so much easier to escape from your thoughts and get lost in a song than it is to try and sit in silence and simply "clear your mind".
How about filling your mind with so many good vibrations that there isn't even any space left for those pesky thoughts? Good tactic right? It's foolproof.
If you're picking up what I'm putting down here I've already created a super badass meditation playlist for you to use. It's mostly instrumental stuff without lyrics and I have to say that it sounds the best in some BOSE Noise Canceling Headphones. (These headphones have changed my life and were worth every penny, no joke. Sometimes I even use them when I'm not even listening to music so I can just tune out and focus.)
If you want to make your own meditation playlist make sure you choose songs that relax, inspire, and soothe you. In other words, heavy metal does not belong on this playlist.
Qigong is a form of moving meditation and is often compared to Tai Chi because it's physical, mental, and spiritual nature. It uses rhythmic physical movements and breath to focus and center the mind. Similarly to yin yoga, it has awesome benefits of reducing stress and anxiety, stimulating blood, and improving energy.
The first time I experienced Qigong was at a Teal Swan event and I have to admit I did feel like I looked a little silly, but once I realized how good it felt... I got over that real quick!
Here's a good introductory Qigong video that I like if you want to try it out! It's a 30-minute flow so you can really get into it and move some chi (aka life force energy)!
You know those shiny rocks you use to decorate our Pinterest worthy room with? Well, they do a heck of a lot more than just look pretty! Next time you go to sit and meditate, enlist the help of a crystal so you can see for yourself.
I find the most powerful way to do this is to hold the crystal in your hands while sitting or place it somewhere on your body while you're laying down. (Most crystals can help certain areas of your body, so it's always good to place it on the area of the correlating chakra.)
My favorite crystal to meditate with is Clear Quartz because quartz is my jam. But crystals are a very personal thing and all crystals have different energetic properties. Some are healing, some are grounding, some are stimulating... just depends on the gem. Here's a list of some of my favorite crystals you might want to try on next time!
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