Modern life is keeping us busy. The world is becoming more hectic and increasingly louder, causing our minds to wander. Meditation is a great way to help you get back into the present moment. Therefore, it is no surprise that meditation is rapidly growing in popularity. Experienced meditators agree that it has significant benefits for mental and physical health. Learning how to meditate is like learning any other skill. It takes practice to get comfortable with it. So, before you start practicing, it is good to know what meditation is and why it is beneficial for your wellbeing.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a very ancient practice where you use techniques, such as mindfulness and focusing the mind on a particular matter, to train your awareness. It is not about becoming a different person or completely emptying your mind, but it is about learning how to observe your thoughts without judging them.
Various religious traditions practice meditation. For example, in the Vedas (the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), the earliest written evidence of practicing meditation is found. However, since the 19th century, meditation techniques have spread to other cultures where they are also practiced in non-spiritual settings. It has become one of the fastest-growing wellness activities ever since.
Why is meditation important?
There are a lot of reasons why people would like to start practicing meditation. Some use it to experience a spiritual awakening, while other people practice it just because they enjoy its calming effect. Another pretty common reason why people start meditating is the fact that it offers various health benefits. For example, meditation is an excellent way to relieve stress, boost your concentration, fight pain, and get a better night's rest. So as you can see, doing meditation is just as essential for our mind as physical exercises are for our body. Still, we understand that a meditation practice can be challenging when you are a beginner. By introducing just a couple of minutes to your daily routine, you will get comfortable with the process and begin experiencing the various benefits.
Various meditation techniques
There are loads of meditation techniques that include practices from different traditions, cultures, and religions. We previously explained the general benefits of meditation, but each form of meditation has its specific advantages and is used for different purposes. Below, we highlight two forms of meditation that are connected to the Wim Hof Method.
This technique is one of the most basic forms of meditation. When you work on mindful breathing, you focus entirely on your breath. You focus on how deep you breathe, how often you do it, and the body parts that are affected by your breath. In the end, it enables you to influence your breathing in your daily life. It is an accessible way to become comfortable with meditation practice in general. And the best part is, you can practice it anywhere at any time, without special equipment or advanced knowledge.
Besides focusing on breathing, Tummo meditation also uses visualization techniques. Together, these two elements let you enter a deep state of meditation, used to increase your inner heat. This inner heat allows you to control your body temperature. As such, you become able to keep your body warm in cold conditions. It is practiced by monks in Tibetan Buddhism. Some of the Wim Hof Method exercises actually resemble Tummo exercises. However, they are two different techniques, as the Wim Hof Method mainly comes from what Wim calls 'cold hard nature', and they have no religious components.
Learning how to meditate with the Wim Hof Method
Meditation exercises have an important role in the Wim Hof Method. The control that you gain of your own body and mind by practicing meditation is necessary when you want to practice the other fundamentals of the Wim Hof Method, which are conscious breathing and cold therapy. By mastering the fundamentals, the iceman himself achieved extraordinary things. For instance, he can withstand freezing temperatures and claimed various Guinness World Records for it. Start practicing yourself by signing up for our Fundamentals course. During this weekly course, Wim teaches you the power of breath and cold while guiding you every step of the way. It is a fun and easy way to start your Wim Hof Adventure!