Most of us think of meditation as sitting still and practically falling asleep, right? But there are alternative meditation styles that don’t require you to sit like a statue on your yoga mat — which face it, for some of us, sitting still and clearing our minds to nothing just doesn’t work.
Meditation is simply a way to zero in on your focus and to remove the clutter of your mind. It’s making all of the noise quiet so you can be more present, find more focus, and then have a clear mind that is ready to tackle the next big thing.
So what are some alternative meditation styles besides just sitting down with your legs crossed? Here are 3 alternatives that might work and are truly effective in helping you clear the clutter — without sitting down.
Dynamic breathing techniques for an active mind
It’s a common saying in different meditation schools of thought — and science also agrees — that breath works as the remote control to hack your brain. The pace of your breathing has a crucial impact on how your mind is working. Breathing techniques don’t just help you relax, they also help increase:
- mind alert and listening receptivity
- Internal Locus of Control.
These techniques work by using specific breathing patterns called Pranayamas and you can use most of them no matter where you are: on the bus, or as a walking meditation, or even while you’re busy with your hands — like in the middle of cooking dinner. These breathing patterns are also one of the best ways to start a daily meditation practice.
Dancing Meditation to Release Stress
Dancing as meditation? Why not? Many people have a very strong connection with their body, and by dancing, they release tension much easier. This way of dynamic meditation also improves your self-confidence and motivation, as well as inner peace as you learn to feel comfortable with yourself.
With dance as an alternative meditation technique, the main ‘rule’ is having no rules and just being spontaneous. You don’t have to dance to a certain rhythm, just focus on expressing yourself, feeling joy, and getting your heart rate up.
Visualization and guided meditations
The use of guided meditations is the most well-known and accessible way of learning how to meditate. Visualization is a key aspect, especially when it’s about setting goals, boosting motivation, and increasing focus.
Here’s an example: think now about something you want. Are you thinking a sound, a tactile sensation, or an image? I’m sure the strongest thought was an image, and that’s because vision is the sense of looking forward to getting what you want.
Most of these visualizations can be done on the go in less than 10 minutes and are adaptable for busy minds so you can improve performance without losing inner balance.
In our own meditations at Medita Spanish, we use alternative meditation styles, such as guided meditations and visualizations. These are meant to be mind-active instead of body-passive. That means they are focused on making your mind more clear and motivated, and less focused on making the body slow down and be still.
So do you have to meditates by sitting still for 20 minutes, trying to think of absolutely nothing? No. You can meditate your own way, in whatever feels most comfortable to you. Any of the above alternative meditation styles are a great way for someone to start meditating, especially if they have tried to meditate before and couldn’t.