In recent years we hear a lot about different techniques such as meditation, mindfulness and relaxation. This is great news, because these practices can help us reduce stress, be healthier and happier. In a hyperactive and demanding society like ours, finding those moments of just being is essential.
Now, it is important to differentiate the types of practices, to know what are the benefits that each one brings us, and which one is more appropriate for us at that time. Confusing the terms and performing an inappropriate practice will not only waste our time, generating a feeling of frustration because we are not making progress. It can also be contraindicated for the objective we intend to achieve.
So, we are going to see each one of them.
Meditation is an ancient practice, which uses different spiritual traditions and paths of personal growth. There are different types of meditation, but all of them have some factors in common: it is done in immobility, in silence, and with the intention of contemplating what is happening inside us. To reach that state of contemplation, different tools are used, the observation of the breath is the most common. There are also different postures, and these variables are what make up the different types of meditation. So this meditative technique will help us to know ourselves better, to do an act of honesty towards ourselves and see what really happens in our mind, without judgment, just as a mere observer. No intention is put in reaching any concrete state, only in being able to appreciate our internal reality.
Mindfulness, or mindfulness, is a modern term, coined in the United States after the benefits of meditation were scientifically demonstrated. It is a somewhat broader term, which includes static practice, as well as active meditation. It has become popular as a method of managing stress. In Mindfulness it is proposed to be fully present in the action that is being carried out. If I am cooking, observing my movements, the touch and smell of food. The opposite would be to be thinking about the meeting that I have tomorrow while I cook. To be able to practice mindfulness in our daily activities, meditation practice is proposed as training. Mindfulness itself does not require specific conditions, since any activity that we carry out with full consciousness, being here and now, is being carried out from “Mindfulness”. Nor here do we put an intention to reach a specific mental or psychological state, simply to keep our mind in the present moment, attentive to the action we take.
Finally, relaxation is a technique in which the person is in a comfortable, tension-free posture, normally stretched out. you can use soft music, or a spoken guide. Here the goal is to bring the body and mind to a state of relaxation. That is, we do not observe our state, but we induce a specific state that we want to achieve.
Given the differences, it is very clear how its use will also be different. Performing meditation, for example, before going to bed, can be counterproductive if our mind is very agitated. Relaxation will be much more useful to help us sleep.
In our yoga and meditation classes we help you to carry out all these practices in a correct, useful and independent way.