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Look at the image of that girl. What is she doing? Reading? Texting? Despite being on a crowded subway, she looks rather peaceful doesn’t she? She could be meditating you know? And if you’ve been meaning to do some yourself, but don’t have the time or care for being in a lotus pose for hours on end – you might be interested in a bunch of meditation techniques that you can do anytime, anywhere.
No Lotus pose required. Meditation can be done standing, and we stand everywhere. The next time you’re standing on the subway, or waiting in the checkout line, simply become aware of where you are, instead of the non-stop thoughts in your head. Just a couple of minutes are extremely beneficial.
This is just like sitting meditation, except that you’re walking. A great place to do this is on the beach or in the park. Become aware of each step, each bird chirp, the gently breeze against your face. Focus your attention on anything except the non-stop stream of thoughts in your mind.
Thinking of joining a sports or activity group? Why not kill two birds with one stone and join a Tai Chi instead? While meditation is very much an individualistic practice, you’ll get to enjoy the social aspect of being amongst other like-minded meditators before and after.
Just like Tai Chi, Qigong is another form of rhythmic “moving meditation”. It’s different than Tai Chi in that it combines meditation with low-impact exercise, which greatly improves anxiety and stress. Studies have even shown that it’s been proven effective for overcoming substance abuse as well.
Integrated Amrita Meditation
An Indian humanitarian named Mata Amritanandamayi is the creator of this practice. It involves 20 to 30 minutes of special postures and pranayama breathing. One study showed that this from of meditation lowers the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ in our bodies, which greatly improves our well-being.
Do you like to dance? Then it’ll be hard for you to not like this form of meditation. Classes are quickly becoming more popular and more available, and include dance techniques like jumping, yelling, and hooting like an owl. While you can’t use these moves in a club, you’ll definitely love how they release all over tension in your body and mind.
Daily Life Practice
Think you can’t meditate in the shower or while doing the dishes? Think again. Well, actually, don’t think. That’s the point. Simply focus on the beads of water hitting your head in the shower or the motion of your hand cleaning the dishes is meditation enough.
Hand Movement Meditation
Ever notice how an itchy spot on your body is analogous to the distractions of daily life? Well here’s an easy meditation to do. The next time you feel the need to itch or scratch, stop for a moment, then slowly proceed, focusing all your attention on the intention and movement of your hand.
So here we are, back on the subway, streetcar, or bus. See a window? Great, look out it and focus on the scenery – not your thoughts. It doesn’t get any easier, or more convenient.
That girl on the busy subway wasn’t reading or texting at all. She was just focusing on her breath. Your breath is one of the few constants that’s always with you, always there for you to focus on – anytime, anywhere.