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Meditation today includes various techniques of calming, relaxation, building life energy (chi, ki, prana ..) and developing compassion, love, alertness, generosity and forgiveness. Meditation does not mean becoming a different person, a new person or even a better person. It is the practice of raising awareness and gaining an objective perspective about oneself and the world. In meditation, we learn to observe thoughts or feelings without judgment. We want to better listen to our inner voice and intuition, to better explore and understand ourselves. It brings many health (psychological, neurological, cardiovascular) and other effects. It has a positive effect on reducing stress, anxiety, depression and pain and brings more peace, alertness, improves self-esteem and good feeling.
In the western world, techniques are divided into 2 types, namely:
- focused meditation - directing attention to the selected object, breathing, visualization or words, mantras, with a mala necklace;
- mindfulness (wakefulness, awareness) meditation - observing the 'journey' of thoughts, feelings, emotions, moods... from the perspective of an external observer, without the active participation of the mind.
How and where do we practice meditation?
We could say that we can do meditation anytime and anywhere, regardless of the situation, position, environment. The purpose of meditation is to use the peace and wakefulness we want to achieve by practicing meditation in our daily challenges. Practice should not be used as an “escape” from life, but should be a part of life. Let's start gradually, in small steps. If we are beginners, it makes sense to start in a group, with guided meditation, because the group will support us in nurturing perseverance. The space in which we meditate should be pleasant, comfortable, quiet. You can create a zen corner in your home, it can be a corner in nature, a studio... wherever you feel safe and relaxed.
We can choose between a static or dynamic form of meditation. In static forms of meditation, our body is at rest, and is mostly performed in a sitting position on the ground with the help of meditation accessories (zafu, bolster, pillow), on a chair or in a lying position - for example on a yoga mat. During the static form of meditation we make sure that we are in comfortable and warm clothes and covered with a blanket. The dynamic form of meditation involves gentle, soft body movements - e.g., meditative walking, qigong, integrating asanas, more advanced breathing techniques.