Afro American girl doing sportIf you think meditation is all about incense and soothing flute music, think again. There are a wide variety of styles of meditation to choose from, each with its own goal. Which one is right for you?

The potential benefits of meditation can be vast: less stress, improved cardiovascular health and increased self-awareness, to name a few. Meditation as a practice has been around since the prehistoric times, and while eastern holistic medicine has incorporated meditation into daily routines, it’s just starting to catch on in the west.

Meditation is a practice that spans cultures and religions. It is practiced by individuals from different economic, ethnic and educational backgrounds.

Quickly gaining in popularity, you might be curious how meditation would work for you. Here are five of the more popular types so you can decide.

Mindfulness meditation
This is the form of meditation you might be most familiar with, as it’s very popular in the west. In this type, you are working to become one with your mind and your breath. Your attention may wander at first, but bringing it back to center is what this form of meditation is all about.

Focused meditation
If you feel the need to be more attentive in your daily life, this form of meditation may be for you. It involves focusing on every aspect of a given item or activity with the intention of shutting off all other thoughts. Choose a target to focus on, get in a comfortable position, and let all other feelings escape.

Spiritual meditation
As the name suggests, this form of meditation is for those who seek spiritual growth and connection, whether that be to a higher power or nature.

Movement meditation
Movement meditation is all about focusing on the motion your body makes during an activity, like yoga. If you get anxious sitting during other types of meditation, this one can be appealing.

Transcendental meditation
The goal with this form is to transcend beyond your current state of being by breathing slowly. You might also have a mantra that you repeat for motivation and encouragement.

Remember that getting into the practice of meditation can take some time, but no matter which works best for you, meditation can help you live a healthier and happier life. When trying it out, enjoy the process and remain in the present.

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