Women and Meditation
Meditation, the art of tuning out the world and focusing on the calm within, has many benefits for women. Not only can it cause needed relaxation, but it can remedy such problems as anxiety, headaches, PMS, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.
The process of meditation calms the mind and lowers stress levels, something that can wreak havoc on women’s bodies. In doing so, it can help the above-mentioned physical, stress-induced ailments. And meditation can also help mental stress, such as anxiety and depression. It aids the participant in staying “in-the-moment”, thereby concentrating on the present and not rehashing the past or worrying about the future.
Several types of meditation can help women:
This form of women’s meditation involves visualization. The participant imagines a peaceful, relaxing scene in her mind, including sounds and smells. Relaxation sets in as the meditator concentrates on this peaceful image, such as a beach, a forest, a farm, and so on.
Practicing journey meditation involves sitting in a comfortable spot and resting hands on the knees or thighs. Several slow breaths clear the mind as the meditator imagines a serene image. This practice and all of the other meditation practices can range from 5-15 minutes, and are most helpful if done two times a day.
A form of meditation that brings the participant into the present, calming moment is mindfulness meditation. Women can access this present-mind status by concentrating on their current breathing.
The process of mindfulness meditation is simple. As a woman becomes mindful of her surroundings (sights, sounds, smells), she settles into a comfortable spot and becomes aware of her breathing. The mind relaxes and focuses on this breathing as the outside world disappears. Slower, relaxed breathing is helpful for heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, and anxiety. Distracting thoughts are squelched with the promise of addressing them later.
Vibrational or Sounding Meditation
This type of meditation has been seen in movies and on television. It employs the use of a repetitive sound or word; essentially it is a form of chanting. The word “vibrational” comes from the movements or vibrations of the vocal cords.
To practice vibrational/sounding meditation, pick a comfy spot and sit or stand. Cleanse the mind with several deep breaths. Then select a word that appeals to you. A good choice would be one that is multi-syllabled and calming, such as “peacefulness.” Short sounds like “ah” or “ohm” also work. Chant the word and focus on it, letting the outside world fade into the distance.
The final form of meditation, which involves movement, can include yoga and tai chi stances. It helps to draw in good energy and cast out bad, stale energy.
To practice movement meditation, cleanse the body with a few initial deep breaths. Then take a squatting stance and concentrate on flowing, fluid movements of your choice, such as opening the arms or stretching out the legs. This meditation focuses on the movements that the body makes, and it is great for stiff, painful joints or sore muscles.