As a yoga teacher, you know that meditation techniques are a powerful way to de-stress, connect with yourself, gain a clear perspective, and to pause. For most practices, it’s important to remind yourself and your students to sit down in a comfortable position, with a pillow or block, and let the mind escape.
Meditation techniques are endless, so it can be a little challenging to narrow it down to a few meditation techniques that work for your students. Below, are the top 10 meditation techniques that you can teach your students, so they can better harness daily thoughts.
Tell your students to focus on their breathing. Let them explore the world around them. Have your students notice the length of their inhales and exhales, where they feel their breath the most, what parts of the body move as they breathe, the temperature of the air as it goes in and out of the nose. Tell them that every time the mind gets thinking and leave the room they’re in, they can come back to the breath, gently, without judging themselves for it.
Body Scan Meditation
A body scan meditation consists of bringing the focus to each part of the body. You can practice this form of meditation by lying on the back, in bed, without a pillow under the head. Encourage your students to try this one on their own before a nap or at the end of the day before they fall asleep. Inform your students that they can practice body scan meditation before Savasana, and after class, mention that it’s a technique they can use on days when a silent Savasana is too challenging.
Guided Morning Meditation
Even if some of your students have a daily meditation practice, they might share with you that some days, it’s not working, or they don’t feel motivated to sit down in silence. To help with this natural flow, invite them to explore with apps like Insight Timer. This is perfect for students who are willing to create a habit of meditation: recommend them to start with guided meditations in the morning so they don’t feel on their own.
If students share with you that they are tense because of a special event coming up, or nervous about something specific, encourage them to sit down, take deep breaths, and visualize how they want the event or situation to happen. During the visualization, they can ask themselves how they want to feel, what they want to learn, what their intention for the event is, and so on.
To feel more grounded - have your students visualize a place where they feel at home, have them picture themselves walking there, taking in the colors, sounds, smells, and temperature.
There are many ways to explore chakra meditation, but one great way to do so is through different meditation apps such as Insight Timer. When a student begins chakra meditation, try can also pick music that will help heal and balance each chakra through the frequency of the sounds, like this Sacral Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowl recording.
Have your students use a mantra they connect to, maybe a mantra that they heard during a yoga retreat, workshop, or yoga teacher training. You may also suggest to them to use a mantra or an invocation to a god or goddess, such as Shiva (Om Namah Shivaya) or Ganesha (Om Ganapataya Namah). Invite your students to learn the chants and practice singing, either before/after their silent meditation.
Kundalini yoga is all about moving the energy within you, known as Shakti’s energy. Kundalini requires the use of mantras, singing, and chanting. The material used can be anything that will help students to think and stay present during meditation. They can choose poems they love, book paragraphs that speak to them, or even song lyrics.
Kundalini song recommendations:
- ‘ong namo guru dev namo’
- ‘Sa ta na ma’
- ‘Mul mantra’
Kundalini book recommendations:
- Boundaries & Protection by Pixie Lighthorse
- Prayers of Honoring Voice by Pixie Lighthorse
- The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche
- Elena Brower’s Art of Attention card deck
Rather than pushing inner thoughts aside, invite your students to understand them. Have them use their meditation practice to journal, and write down their inner thoughts. Over time, this is a practice that can enhance their mental health and wellbeing.
Mindfulness refers to the idea of taking in what’s happening around us and within us; rather than focusing attention on one specific object, like the breath, it supposes welcoming thoughts, noises and sounds, smells, sensations without judgment.
This is a practice your students can do anywhere, anytime, not even necessarily sitting down in meditation, but while brushing their teeth or driving. It’s fun to practice this with younger ones, so encourage parents to share the practice with their children during road trips or in line at the supermarket.
Invite your students to take note and take pleasure in practicing these top meditation techniques; the way they will find one technique that works for them, will be through experimenting. Instill curiosity in them during class, and encourage them to not let their practice end when they leave the studio.