There are a lot of meditation techniques and philosophies related to them that try to explain the holistic effects of these practices that have transcended time and cultures by healing body, mind and soul, and being also valuable keys to achieve higher levels of consciousness. A meditation technique can be either spontaneous or structured (which could be also called Kriya). At first in this article, we’ll mention the main tools for meditation and how they work and thereafter, their benefits (confirmed by science) for our integral health when we combine them wisely.
Meditation Tools for Healing
The word pranayama is composed of 2 words, prana (vital energy and source of inner power) and ayama (control or domain). Thus, pranayama is the technique used to control the flow of prana through control of breathing, using different rhythms and durations for the inhalation and exhalation, either through the nose or the mouth. The possible effects of a pranayam could be from bringing you calm and take you to sleep to wake you up from laziness and recover energy, even if you’re extremely tired. Specific pranayama like breathing through one nostril only have proved effects on healing several illnesses.
The mind is very powerful and as it can trick on us, we also have the power to guide that potential to get what we need and deserve. Mind projects what we attract and therefore, healing procedures that include visualizations as one of its resources can be really effective. For these visualizations, we can use:
Landscapes and natural environments
Chakras and its colors
Natural sounds and sensations
Parts of our body being healed and visualizations related to breathing
Background relaxing music can also be added
For all of these techniques, we should apply also the drishties. These are ways to focus our eyes in one single point. The three most common dristhies are:
Eyes closed (or almost closed) and focused on the eyebrows: to evaluate your own mind and be aware of your thoughts
Focused on the tip of the nose (eyes almost completely closed): if you need to contact with your emotions
Eyes wide opened focused to one single point at the front without blinking: therapeutic for the eyes, to release fears and get focused.
The word ‘mudra’ is commonly translated as ‘gesture’ or even ‘lock’, and it’s referred to positions of the hands and fingers, applied at most to achieve effects on the mind. These are underestimated resources, even though not only indian yoga but also the chinese and mesoamerican meditation styles apply them. Even in Christian and Western tradition, it’s used to put the palms of the hands together to pray, which is a mudra to connect with the heart, known in yoga as anjali or pranam mudra.
During pregnancy, the hands get formed directly from the brain, therefore these mudras work as energetic circuits that emule connections in this organ, promoting a more integrative performance of the nervous system. For an experimented yogi or yoga teacher, the alignment of the fingers and the hands are a sign that allow him/her to know if the student is concentrated, distracted, stressed out or bored.
This is a very popular tool for meditations that can be really helpful to clear your mind, get focused and discover new ways to perceive the world, as the resonance of the mantra, when constantly repeated, modifies your brain’s as well as the endocrine activity printing an immediate effect in your state of mind and emotions.
There are specific mantras and frequencies for every Chakra, as well as we could find thousands of them for different benefits. And they aren’t used only in yoga and Indian culture, but worldwide. The word ‘Amen’ is a very powerful mantra, but its original power has been relegated by the most of the practitioners, as the main difference with common words is that the power of Mantras is manifested through its resonance when it is consciously articulated and not through its meaning.
The application of this kind of technique is always close to holistic paradigms of health and healing, therefore its effects in those three aspects are produced at the same time or analogically, and not isolated. Dr. David-Shannahoff Khalsa is pretty famous for proving the healing effects of meditations which usually include all of the tools we have just mentioned.
One of these meditations applied is called Kirtan Kriya, a very complete meditation that combines all the elements we mentioned before:
Mudras: Touching the tip of the thumb with the tips of the index, middle, ring and little finger in one constant cycle, with hands resting on the knees.
Mantra: SA-TA-NA-MA (it comes from SAT NAM, a Mantra that means the same as NAMASTE) synchronized with the cycle made with the fingers. This mantra is chanted loud, but also whispered and mentally repeated in silence to provoke effects at different depths of consciousness.
Visualization: Drishti (eyes focused) on the third eye, as the practitioner visualizes that for each repetition of the mantra, a beam of pure light is received through the Crown Chakra and projected like a beam through the Third Eye.
Breath: flows automatically with the meditation.
Time: 11, 22 or 31 minutes.
This meditation is usually suggested to balance emotions, improve sleep and clean the subconscious, but combined with other similar meditation techniques or as therapeutic complement, it has been effective to combat clinical depression, Alzheimer’s, obsessive-compulsive disorders and more psychiatric problems.
When it’s about healing your soul, what it really means is that meditation, by cleaning your mind, it lets you to hear with more clarity what your soul really wants and you know yourself better. The soul is not healed, but you are connected with it and its wisdom.
Here is a beautiful compilation of 30 Powerful Mantras which you may use to heal mind, body and soul.