8 Reasons You'll Love Meditation and The Best Meditation Accessories
March 11, 20227 min read
Ultimate Guide to The Best Meditation Accessories
Accessories used in the many different meditation techniques help create an ambiance best suited to you and your meditation environment. You set your own rules on creating the perfect meditation environment; however, there are some necessary basic principles that you will use to build your sessions upon.
Meditation primarily revolves around breathing techniques that promote calmness, allowing for focused attention. It has excellent calming effects that have been confirmed through decreased EEG activity recorded in clinical research trials.
The concept of meditation is straightforward, and breathing is the nucleus that allows you to practice and train yourself to pay attention. By focusing on your breathing, you eliminate all the "thought clutter" that usually occupies your brain. Your attention is focused within, on something automatic, so the inward observation of your breathing facilitates meditation.
Meditation has both mental and physical health benefits.
"Stop! Take a deep breath and count to ten" is a phrase that many of you might be familiar with. This phrase is usually used when a person is in a fluster and possibly on the verge of a panic attack. It simply instructs the person to calm down to get a clearer perspective of the situation they are facing. It's entirely possible that the phrase was taken from the pages of a beginner's meditation handbook.
Athletes relate to the idea of "healthy body, healthy mind," which holds truth but the reverse, "healthy mind, healthy body," holds more truth as far as meditation is concerned. Meditation provides positive health benefits, which include:
Helping you recharge your energy level to function normally throughout the day.
Meditation increases the blood flow in your brain, providing much-needed oxygen to function optimally. This also helps to rewire the circuitry in your brain and strengthen the insulation called myelin of that circuitry. The myelin insulation of nerve cells that make up the circuitry in the brain allows electrical impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently, thus significantly improving reaction times.
It increases the amount of grey matter in your brain, responsible for muscle control that includes seeing, hearing, memory, emotions, and speech.
Meditation improves quality sleep and contains restlessness and sleep interruptions.
Regular meditation sessions train you to focus with purpose, and many athletes can reach a state of flow where their actions seem effortless, and their attention is greatly improved. Flow state is common among artists and people who need to focus intensely on their tasks or activities.
Increases memory capacity, and one study showed an 11% increase in test scores among students who practice meditation.
Meditation helps to defragment your mind and thoughts, allowing you to understand better how best to respond to them.
Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, which have detrimental health effects if left unchecked.
Many more benefits stem from meditation, but I'm sure you'll agree that the health of your body and mind depends upon a symbiotic and co-dependent relationship.
Like athletes need to practice regularly to improve their skills, so do people who meditate need regular meditation sessions to optimize their coping abilities. Rational and logical thought are almost a prerequisite in response to daily life functions, and meditation helps keep you calm and focused.
Now that we have established some of the benefits of meditation let's look at some more widespread meditation accessories.
Recommended accessories to create the right meditation environment.
Meditation accessories are not essential; however, the psychology around creating the optimum meditation environment contributes significantly to the success of every session. In essence, meditation is about thought control which occurs in your brain yet is influenced by your response to outside activities. For this reason, creating an environment conducive to uninterrupted meditation is made easier through some accessories, which are discussed below.
First, you will need two items to set the stage for your meditation sessions. You should already have; a timer that every cell phone has and something to sit on as sitting meditation is the most common practice instead of standing or walking meditation.
Using a timer to regulate the length of your meditation session is essential. Without a timer, you will be constantly clock watching which is a distraction and defeats the object of the exercise. Working on focused attention, in this case, your breathing, requires time, patience, and a lot of practice. You can purchase a timer or use the timer on your phone. Select a soft ascending tone, so you are not startled when the time is up.
Smartphones have a meditation app that will come in handy. The Insight Timer is a good pick, and there is a free version of the app for iPhone and Android. For a small fee, you can purchase "Meditate for iPhone," which is very easy to use and also displays a page of stats once your session is over.
Meditation sessions should not be too long but just long enough to ease your way into the practice. Begin with 10-minute sessions and build up to half an hour or however long you feel meets your needs.
Three options for sitting meditation.
You must have something to sit on that is comfortable and meets your physical needs.
Chair: A chair is ideal for beginners or people with back problems who need back support. Chairs are great to ease your way into using a meditation cushion.
Meditation cushion: Most meditation cushions are designed to make it easy to sit upright without any undue pressure, but it is advisable to have the cushion placed on a soft carpet or rug for your feet. Sitting on a cushion helps improve alertness and prevents you from slumping, which may cause you to lose focus. Slumping is common when using ordinary chairs or benches with back support. Using a meditation cushion may feel uncomfortable at first, but it won't take long to get used to using a cushion if you are in relatively good shape. Finding the ideal meditation cushion is as simple as doing some online research.
Meditation bench: Benches can be more comfortable than cushions, especially for taller people who find sitting on a cushion so close to the ground uncomfortable. Meditation benches still force you to sit upright, and you will not have the urge to slump as with a standard chair or bench. They absorb a lot of weight that would otherwise be placed on your legs.
Creating the right atmosphere by burning scented essential oil candles in your meditation space can help you prioritize your focus. Certain essential oils aromas like lavender relieve stress and anxiety and promote calmness.
Be mindful of the type of candle you intend to burn during meditation, as some are toxic. It's best to stick to candles made from non-toxic ingredients like soy or beeswax. A few candle types that are great for meditation are:
Jasmine and Ylang Ylang candles: offer stress relief and improve mood.
Vetiver and Olibanum (frankincense) candles: Has a calming effect without feeling drowsy.
Happiness Shakra candle: Made from three essential oils, patchouli which has a grounding scent, labdanum which helps moderate emotions and increases self-understanding, frankincense for promotes a state of calmness. All three scents combined are said to promote happiness.
Spearmint Eucalyptus candles: Relieves stress and uplifts your mood.
These are just a few examples of how essential oil candles can contribute to a better meditation experience. You will notice that stress relief and calming are common themes that enforce the very reason for meditation.
Many meditation books on the market for adults and children will explain the process in detail. These books or guides on meditation techniques will help you in the right direction and give you peace of mind knowing that you are doing it right.
Singing bowls for meditation.
Tibetan singing bowls are a great way to introduce soothing sounds to your meditation sessions. The sounds from singing bowls promote a sense of calmness as you transcend into a meditative state.
MP3 meditation accessory.
You may want to listen to MP3s to enhance your meditative state, and there is a wide variety of MP3s on the market for different areas of your life.
The cornerstone of meditation.
There are several styles of meditation, all designed around being in the moment and focusing inward through observing your breathing.
With mindful meditation, we learn how to pay attention to our breathing as a means to free our minds from cluttered thoughts about everyday concerns. Through breathing, we can learn to reel in runaway thoughts the moment we notice them and return to focusing on our breathing which builds focused attention and mindfulness without judgment.
Meditation is mainly practiced at home in a quiet room or garden, but the ideal place is in nature, where natural sounds like a running stream and the soft chirping of birds create a natural setting for the practice. Breaking away from the noise of everyday life to focus on nothing but your breathing is central to successful meditation.
Should a mediation cushion be portable?
Portability is not a prerequisite, but if you are practiced enough to meditate on the go, then it's better to purchase a portable cushion. Many meditation cushions have built-in handles, and some are inflatable, while others are foldable, so you have a variety of choices if you are looking for portability.
Why do we need to meditate?
Meditation gives you a clearer perspective about your life that helps you make informed decisions for yourself, your family, and your community. The spinoff from meditation sessions has long-lasting benefits to improve your overall quality of life. Meditation offers a rational understanding of yourself and your pain, lowers stress levels, allows you to connect better with others, and improves your ability to focus by reducing cluttered thoughts in your brain.
Why are the sitting position and meditation environment so important?
Sitting in a comfortable upright position with folded legs frees you from external supports requiring you to adjust your seating position while meditating. You can remain in the meditation seating position for long periods, with discomfort distracting you. Your choice of meditation seating, whether a cushion or bench, will help you remain comfortable during your entire meditation session.
Your meditation environment should alienate you from distractions around you like noises and children or pets seeking attention. The use of scented essential oil candles contributes significantly to meditation experiences.
A few more words on meditation.
Some religions practice meditation, but it does not necessarily mean that you are religious if you meditate. You are simply applying a concept of self-awareness to improve the quality of your own life and those around you.
Practicing meditation is not an expensive exercise as far as money is concerned as very few accessories are necessary; however, you can create your ideal meditation den that may cost a fair bit to set up but pennies to maintain.
As a means to keep your mental and physical health in check, meditation is a highly recommended daily routine that demands very little from you besides your time and ongoing commitment.