In our previous article, we discussed basic meditation: what it is, what it does, and some of the well known methods of deepening the mind-body connection.
In this article we will explore some of the more advanced methods of meditation.
Note that advanced doesn’t necessarily mean difficult. It’s just a better method to deepen the meditative state in order to achieve real-time physiological changes in the body.
Real-Time Physiological Changes
It’s true — and has been proven, that meditation causes a positive physiological change at the cellular level in the body — in real time.
In this medical journal titled Change in physiological signals during mindfulness meditation published at the National Institute of Health (nih.gov), the results stated:
“The EEG spectral data supports the already existing evidence that alpha and theta EEG power are increased during the meditative state.”
In another medical journal titled Meditation: Process and effects published at nih.gov, the results showed changes in brain chemistry:
“With aging, the brain cortical thickness (gray matter, which contains neurons) decreases, whereas meditation experience is associated with an increase in gray matter in the brain.”
“During the process of meditation, accumulated stresses are removed, energy is increased, and health is positively affected overall. Research has confirmed a myriad of health benefits associated with the practice of meditation. These include stress reduction, decreased anxiety, decreased depression, reduction in pain (both physical and psychological), improved memory, and increased efficiency. Physiological benefits include reduced blood pressure, heart rate, lactate, cortisol, and epinephrine; decreased metabolism, breathing pattern, oxygen utilization, and carbon dioxide elimination; and increased melatonin, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), skin resistance, and relative blood flow to the brain.”
3 Advanced Meditation Methods
1. Wim Hoff Method
One round of the Wim Hof Method breathing technique includes these steps:
- Take in a strong inhalation through the nose.
- Let out a relaxed exhalation through the mouth.
- Repeat for 30 breaths.
- On the 30th breath, exhale to 90 percent and hold for as long as you can.
- When you feel your body really needs to take a breath, inhale fully and hold for 15 seconds before releasing.
The basic technique involves three consecutive rounds of the above.
Eventually, the breathing may feel like a wave flowing through your lungs, but this will take practice.
2. 4-7-8 Method
To use the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:
- Empty the lungs of air.
- Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
- Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.
- Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
3. Transcendental Meditation
Here’s a very good description of the technique for Transcendental meditation, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:
Transcendental meditation method is based on repeating a word or phrase, or a mantra.
Transcendental meditation was designed to induce calmness, and to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
To receive the benefits of Transcendental meditation, repeat your personal mantra for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day.
We hope you found the information above useful. Leave a comment below, or contact us if you have any questions.