Our energy system is made up of our aura (biofield that starts on our skin and extends outward in an egg shape for a few feet), meridians (channels that run through our body) and chakras (energy centers in our body). When our system is clear, we feel balanced with oneself, but throughout life, we collect experiences – our own and of others – that builds density in our energetic system. It is important to practice managing our energy system so that we can rid of any energy we don’t need, and feel happiness. One way to practice this is by meditating.
The Science Behind Meditating
Meditating allows us to explore our energy system, can lessen our stress levels, and can give us greater life satisfaction. Studies at Yale correlated this practice with a reduction of DMN (default mode network) or “monkey mind,” when the mind wanders and causes unhappiness. It also can decrease brain cell volume of the amygdala, responsible for anxiety and stress in the brain, according to a Harvard study. Also, a regular meditation practice can increase self-discipline or self-control, and a study published in the Journal of Personality showed that people with more self-control are happier.
4 Meditations for You to Practice
Below are four meditations – Body Scan, Muscle Tension Removal, Third Chakra, and Self-Love – to help you practice healing your energy system. But first, here are a few tips on how to practice them:
How Long to Practice:
Set aside one to five minutes everyday to practice. I suggest setting a timer (I like the “chimes” setting as the timer sound so it doesn’t shock me when it goes off).
Where to Practice:
You can meditate anywhere either sitting down (in a chair or on the floor – if on the floor you can prop yourself up on some pillows, folded blankets, or a yoga block to find more comfort in the back and the hips), standing up, or lying down (knees bent with feet on the ground, or straight)- however is most comfortable for you.
When to Practice:
Try meditating in the morning before you start your day, at night before bed, or before the most stressful time of your day.
Where to Focus:
If it feels okay in the mind, you may keep your eyes closed while practicing, otherwise, focus on something still or on the light of a candle.
#1: Body Scan Meditation
1. Lie down with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
2. Start to notice your breath.
3. Inhale for three counts into the eyes, the mouth, the jaw, the neck. Exhale for six counts down the spine and out the toes.
4. Then inhale into the shoulders, chest, arms, and fingers. Exhale out the fingers.
5. Next, inhale into the ribs, the belly, and the hips. Exhale down the legs and out the toes.
6. Inhale, fill up your whole body, pause at the top of your breath, and exhale down the spine and out the toes as slow as you can.
7. Ask your body, “How are you? What do you need today?”
#2: Muscle Tension Removal Meditation
1. Notice your breath and notice any spots of tension.
2. Visualize what this tension looks like. Give it a shape, a color, a texture.
3. Imagine your breath is a hand. With every inhale let the hand come into your body, and with every exhale, imagine the hand extracting the tension and releasing it into the universe so it can be transformed into something the universe needs.
4. Repeat until you find ease in the spot of tension.
#3: Third Chakra, Manipura Meditation
1. Imagine a sphere of golden light by your belly, a little below the navel.
2. Let this sphere expand to cover your whole body.
3. Then, allow this light, this warmth to expand to fill the whole room.
4. Expand this light to fill the whole city, state, country, continent, world and universe.
5. Breathe in the warmth, safety and control. You are one with the universe.
6. Slowly draw the light back to your belly until it’s a faint fairy light.
7. Exhale, release. Affirm, “I am a part of the universe. I am one with the universe.”
#4: Self Love Meditation
1. Lie down. Close your eyes and visualize your physical body that people see everyday. Your skin, your hair, your nails.
2. Notice how you talk to your body. How do you talk to your chest, waist, thighs? How do you talk to your face?
3. Ask your body how it’s been, and how it is feeling today.
4. Thank your skin for being the first part of you that is forced to be vulnerable everyday to others.
5. Tell your body, I love you.
6. Now, visualize your muscles, bones, tissues and organs.
7. Then visualize the things in your body that have no solid shape; your emotional body, your mental body.
8. Next, visualize that feeling that defines you. Not what makes you a boy, or a girl, but defines you as a human being.
9. Feel what people love and respect you for, what makes you uniquely you. Your soul, your spirit, your energy. What do people feel when they walk into a room that you are in? What energy do they sense?
10. Try and visualize the energy of the person closest to you. What makes them special and why do they deserve your respect and love?
11. Visualize the energy of the room, of the energy all beings have created together.
12. Keeping your eyes closed, bend your knees, roll on to your right side, and sit up.
13. Thank everyone in the universe for sharing their energy with you, and silently affirm: “I am a human being that respects and loves all beings, and deserves respect and love from all beings and from Self. I will help others when asked, and ask for help when I need it.”
More resources on the benefits of meditation:
Every Monday, we post a meditation for #MeditationMondays on our Instagram (@thestrangeisbeautiful) to support your meditation practice.
This article was originally published on February 13, 2016 in our print “The Strange is Beautiful Alternative Self-Help Guide.”
Featured image by Kassandra Salazar.
Artwork by Diana Flores.
Words by Shannen Roberts.
Diana Flores (she/her) is a very indecisive girl who likes to paint her feelings.
She creates art for The Strange is Beautiful, and also sells her visual art and embroidered work here.
See her latest TSIB posts here.
Sending you positive vibes,
The Strange is Beautiful
Shannen Roberts is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
Learn more about her here.