Humans have been practicing meditation for centuries. It is traditionally associated with different religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism and helps in conjuring up feelings of calmness and harmony.
Meditation has regained popularity because of its ability to treat anxiety and stress. Standing meditation is a type of meditation where you stand still in an attempt to redirect the energy in your body to release tension.
What is Standing Meditation?
Standing meditation is based on the concept of natural energy called chi, which originates from the Chinese practice of tai chi meditation. This meditation is easy to learn, especially for beginners who are still looking into how to start meditating. There are different standing meditation postures that you can try which will be talked about in-depth later on.
6 Benefits of Standing Meditation
Meditation has many benefits that will directly impact your way of life. Just like the benefits of other types of meditation, the majority of these can also be experienced when doing standing meditation. Below are some standing meditation benefits.
A busy mind often leads to poor sleep. Meditation is one of the best ways to improve sleep since it is 100% natural (as opposed to medication). Regular meditation calms and empties the mind, and in turn, you will sleep better. It can also improve breathing while sleeping and may even prevent nightmares.
Helps Eliminate Anxiety
Anxiety is a disorder that may be caused by stress, depression, overthinking, mental health conditions, or substance abuse. JAMA Internal Medicine analyzed 47 clinical trials about the effects of mindfulness meditation and deep breathing meditation on anxiety and other mental health problems. The results showed that it positively helps in managing anxiety. Meditation is one of the best natural remedies for anxiety. The reason behind the power of meditation in helping manage anxiety is that it focuses on achieving internal peace and calm.
Reduces the Risk of Age-Related Memory Loss
Losing memory is common among adults and the elderly. Some signs of memory loss are having trouble solving problems, confusion with places, lack of a sense of time, misplacing things often, poor judgment, and mood swings. Stress and cognition always go together. People who experience a lot of stress will have higher chances of developing memory loss. Meditation reduces the risk of developing memory loss and also boosts your cognitive skills.
The inability to “let things go” from your mind is a major factor in the build-up of stress. Regular meditation trains your mind to let go and not think about things too much, so the more you meditate, the easier it is to control your stress level.
Self-awareness is the degree of how connected you are with yourself. It is your “purpose” or “essence and being” and is a key factor for living a fulfilling life. If you are someone who is lacking self-awareness, meditating regularly will help you connect and be aware of yourself.
Improves the well-being of your physical body
Standing mediation can help ease the tensions within your spine and effectively remove back pain. Practitioners of standing meditation have also stated that it helps slow down the progression of joint swelling such as arthritis. This meditation can also help you to have a stronger lower body over time.
5 Standing Meditation Postures
This type of standing meditation is known as Zhang Zhuang or tree posture. Hold each position for two minutes. Try to be as relaxed as possible while doing the following standing meditation postures. Each posture follows on from the previous one.
Wu Chi Posture
The Wu Chi Posture starts by bending your knees. Hang your hands down the side of your body with your palms facing towards your thighs. Your elbows stick out, much like mimicking a chicken. This is the initial position throughout this standing meditation session.
Holding the Balloon
This position can help ease back pain and slow down the progression of arthritis. It can also be used in treating constipation.
Resuming from the Wu Chi position, raise your arms to make an open circle as you breathe in. Your palms face towards your chest so it looks as if you are holding a large balloon.
Holding the Balloon in Front of Your Face
Lower your arms to your sides and bend your knees a little. Lift your arms as you breathe in. Have your arms wide open and raise them to face level. It looks as if you are holding balloons in your palms and pushing them away from your face. Again, breathe naturally while in this position.
Standing in the Stream
Leave your knees bent then raise your arms slowly to waist level while breathing in. Your palms face up.
Gently extend your arms to the side while rotating the palms to face the ground. Your elbows are raised as if there are balloons under your armpits. Your palms look as if they are resting on a balloon.
Holding the Belly
Lower your arms then move your forearms towards your front while breathing in. Your palms face towards it so it looks as if you are embracing a small balloon. The angle to the body is between 60 and 80 degrees. This position helps in treating depression and anxiety.
Signs You’re Doing it Right
Meditation for first-timers can be quite challenging. These signs will help you determine if you are doing the right steps.
Connectedness throughout the body
As you proceed with the postures, you will feel a sort of invisible link from one part of your body to another. A feeling of relaxation will flow from your head to toe. You will start to notice the tension on every part of your body. Your body will also feel like it is being inflated from the inside.
Feeling of warmth
Manipulation and movement of chi within the body are often associated with heat. During the meditation, you will feel a warm sensation throughout your body. It will usually start from a single point, such as your hand, shoulder, or toes. From there the sensation will spread to other parts of the body.
The feeling is similar to a warm liquid being poured to a particular area. Another sign that you are progressing even further is if the heat feels strong in the center of your body and spreads to the chest and back.
Lightness and Heaviness
The feeling of lightness and heaviness is best described as the release of tension within the body. During the initial phase of the meditation, lightness is felt which is caused by tense muscles. Chi cannot flow through tense muscles which are often taught in Eastern Martial Arts like Wing Chun. The muscles must be free and should feel as if the water can flow through it.
If you are doing it right, the lightness will transition towards a feeling of heaviness. This is the sign that your muscles are starting to relax and that energy is flowing freely within the body.
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Meditation can bring a lot of benefits that will improve your health and lifestyle. Guided morning meditation, standing meditation, Zhan Zhuang, or sometimes known as Tai Chi standing meditation are just some effective ones to try. It will not only help you have peace of mind, but you will also understand your essence and purpose the more you tune into yourself through meditation.
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