We’ve all heard about the many powerful effects that meditation can offer us:
Better health, increased happiness, mental clarity and a connection to ourselves and the Universe, to name a few.
But, if the thought of sitting silently gives you more anxiety than peace, don’t worry —there are many ways to meditate that look nothing like your image of a zen-ed out Buddha.
Meditation is anything that slows down the chatter in your mind and helps to bring you back to a place of peace and love. This can mean a lot of different things, and it’s highly individual — one person’s meditation is another person’s stress. For example, any kind of sport is my idea of hell, but for athletes, playing their sport takes them into the zone.
Meditation is a mindset, not an action, so it’s something you can infuse into your day at anytime. I was recently listening to a video by Tantra expert, Psalm Isadora, and she said that anything that helps you slow down your mind and the number of thoughts per minute is a form of meditation. I really love this because it makes meditation so accessible and takes away the strictness and austerity that it is often labelled with.
Here are just 5 ways to enjoy meditation without sitting in lotus pose:
Listen to music
Music has a powerful effect on our energy and our emotions, and simply putting on a tune can snap you out of your thinking mind and into your body.
Don’t think that the only meditation-inducing music has to be the kind you’d hear at the spa — depending on my mood, pop, country, techno, rap, and folk can all get me in the zone.
Go for a walk
Walking, particularly in nature, is a wonderful way to slow down and chill out. Take deep breaths, appreciate your surrounding, and let the movement of your body slow down your mind.
Even better? Combine walking with music. While I do practice a daily-seated meditation, I have experienced some of my most powerful moments of clarity while I’m out walking and listening to my favourite music.
Yoga doesn’t hold a monopoly on meditative movement. Any kind of exercise you enjoy will get you out of your head and into your body. For some people, it’s running, yoga, dancing or sports that pull them into the present moment.
For me, it’s Pilates. The focus required to be in correct alignment and use small muscle groups leaves little mental space for stress and worry and helps me to be in the moment.
Sex is an amazing meditative opportunity because it gives you the chance to leave your mind and be fully present in the moment. This is the basis of Tantric sex, but you don’t need to be a Tantrika to gain the meditative benefits. All you need to do is focus on your breath and the sensations during the act and you’ll be transported into the zone.
Tune into sensations
This might be my favourite way to practice meditation because it can be done at any time and can instantly transform any mundane or stressful moment into a peaceful and pleasurable one. By tuning into the sensations around us, we allow ourselves to be grounded in the present moment. When you find your mind racing, pause and experience the physical world around you. Gaze at a flower, feel the breeze on your skin and really taste the food you are eating. Truly, any moment can be pleasurable and meditative when we engage with our senses.
I don’t like to cook, so I love applying this when I’m making a meal. I really listen to the sound of the can opener, feel the veggies under my fingertips, and smell the food I’m preparing. This is mindfulness in action.
These are just five alternatives to seated meditation, but the possibilities are as endless and individual as the people who practice them. If you’re new to meditation, you may find including meditation in your daily life will eventually lead you to a seated practice. If you are already a seasoned meditator, have fun playing with and incorporating new forms of meditation into your day.
Meditation is a mindset — have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously! Find things that slow down your mind and bring you in touch with a state of love, whether that’s sitting in lotus or dancing to T Swift.
What brings you into the zone? Share with us your favourite ways to meditate, in the comments below!
Kate Horodyski is a Wellness Writer & Blogger living in Halifax, Canada.