Boost Your At-Home Meditation Space With These 9 Tools
With everything going on around the world, it's likely many of us are looking for ways to de-stress and come back to ourselves as we navigate this unprecedented pandemic. Meditation is an excellent way to do so.
In its many forms, meditation has been found to reduce anxiety, increase overall feelings of well-being, and even positively affect brain structure. And while you don't need anything to meditate, designating a meditation zone in your home and incorporating certain objects and tools can elevate your practice. Here are nine meditation accessories to help you tune in:
1. Try a sound bath with singing bowls.
There's a reason Tibetan singing bowls have gained popularity all over the world. Their enchanting tones and relaxing vibratory quality is nothing short of entrancing. And by incorporating them into your meditation practice, which has also become known as "sound bathing," you're practicing mindful awareness of your senses—both hearing and touch.
2. Incorporate fire with candles.
Incorporating the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) into your meditation can help you harmoniously connect with nature. Candles have long been a part of many religious and spiritual rituals, as their flame is thought to symbolize life force energy and light. And not for nothing, they do a pretty good job of setting the tone, too.
3. Count your mantra with malas.
While seeing a resurgence as an aesthetic accessory, Hindu prayer beads, commonly known as mala beads, are actually meant to keep track of a mantra during meditation. A traditional Japa mala contains 108 beads, as 108 represents spiritual completion. If you like repeating mantras or chants, slowly working your way around the mala beads will allow you to know when your 108 repetitions are complete so you don't need to keep track in your head.
4. Develop self-compassion with a mirror.
While it might sound unnerving, meditating with a mirror, also known as mirror gazing, can be a powerful way to develop self-acceptance, love, and compassion. It may feel uncomfortable to begin with, but it can eventually offer breakthroughs as you begin to see yourself in a new way.
5. Sit tall with a meditation cushion.
Posture is an essential part of meditation and breathwork alike, and using a meditation cushion under your sitz bones can help keep your spine in alignment. When you spot your cushion in your meditation zone, it serves as an invitation to take a seat. (And yes, you absolutely can put your cushion against the wall if your back needs a little support.)
6. Activate your senses with incense.
Another way to incorporate fire and a sense of smell into your practice, incense has been used in rituals for some time. If you're not a fan of the particularly pungent varieties you might smell in more traditional settings, there are tons of different ones available today. And as you begin to associate your signature meditation scent with meditative bliss, it can help you "get in the zone" as you settle in for meditation.
7. Open and close with Tibetan tingsha cymbals.
You may have seen (or heard) these little cymbals in your nearest yoga or meditation studio. Tibetan tingsha are cymbals traditionally used in Tibetan rituals and today have been incorporated into other sound bathing and group meditation practices. Most commonly they're used to signal the beginning and end of a meditation, as they're thought to clear the mind, providing a blank slate of sorts.
8. Amplify vibration with crystals.
Crystals are believed to have specific vibrational frequencies that can amplify energy or qualities, and when used in meditation, they can provide a myriad of sensations. One easy way to incorporate crystals into your practice is to find ones that are associated with your seven chakras. You can hold one while meditating, or even lie down and place different crystals near your chakras (i.e., blue lace agate on your throat chakra or amethyst on your third eye), to promote the flow of energy within you.
9. Set the mood with smart lighting
Last but not least, lighting is another great way to set the mood for a meditation. And speaking of working with color, there are actually smart bulbs available (like these ones from C by GE), which include the full color spectrum, so you can incorporate any color you wish into your meditation.
Perhaps you use a mirror one day and crystals the next; as you develop and deepen your meditation practice, different objects and tools like these may call to you for different purposes, depending on what you need.
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