There are many different types of meditation. Below are the ones that I personally practiced for decades.
Different types of meditation: #1 Mantra Meditation
In mantra meditations you repeat a word or a phrase (mantra), silently, in your mind. It helps to clear your mind of any thoughts and reach a silent and peaceful state.
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. -Lao Tzu
An example of a mantra meditation is Maharishi Transcendental Meditation (TM). In TM the teacher gives the mantra to the student.
However, you can choose your own mantra, such as “OM” to use in your meditation.
Different types of meditation: #2 Chanting
Chanting is also a repetition of mantra but unlike mantra meditation, chanting as the name suggests is out loud. You can use one tone or change it as you feel like it.
You can also follow a guidance, or a song. For example, Deva Premal’s beautiful songs in her album “Love is Space” are in fact mantra chanting. Chanting helps to clear the mind, let go of negative emotions, increase the energy levels.
Some mantras such as Bija mantras can help balance the chakras. You can chant them with a tone associated with the specific chakra you are working on for maximum benefits.
You can chant based on time or on a number of repetitions. For example, you can allocate 5 to 20 min to chant a particular mantra. Or, you can chant it 108 times.
Why 108? 108 is a considered a sacred number: “1” symbolizes the Universal consciousness, “0” stands for void where everything is originating and number “8” signifies eternity. To keep track of mantra repetitions 108 mala beads are used.
Different types of meditation: #3 Movement Meditations
Movement helps to let go of stress and negative emotions; clears the mind and increases the energy levels.
Dance can be used as a movement meditation. One example is African drum dances. There are also special, meditation dances such as dervish whirling dance in Sufi tradition that helps transcend the mind.
Practices such as Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi are also meditative. They promote the flow of subtle energy (Chi or Prana), bring you to the present moment. They also help you slow down and get perspective.
Different types of meditation: #4 Pranayama
Pranayama is one of the branches of yoga, separate from the Hatha Yoga (physical exercises). It consists of a set of breathing exercises that clear the mind and energize you. Technically, it is not a meditation but can be used as such since it clears the mind and brings the awareness to the present moment.
In a yoga class certain breathing exercises are introduced along with physical exercises.
Practicing Pranayama can also help improve physical health and emotional well-being.
Different types of meditation: #5 Mindfulness Meditation
In mindfulness meditations you concentrate fully on the present moment through different means such as body scanning or counting your breaths.
You can use different reminders throughout the day to come back to the present moment.
Different types of meditation: #6 Guided Meditation and Visualization
Guided meditations are the ones where you follow a script – your own or somebody else’s. It can be an audio, your own pre-recorded audio and played back while you are in a meditative state or you can just repeat the script in your mind and follow your own instructions.
Some guided meditations are chakra balancing meditations, raising vibrations meditations and Law of Attraction guidance meditation.
Other guided meditations are love and gratitude, peace, loving kindness and numerous others that helped me personally to reduce anxiety and stress on my path to inner peace.
Visualizations are often used in guided meditations as a tool to see certain scenes and images in your mind’s eye. They are used in Law of Attraction to visualize the desired outcome.
Different types of meditation: #7 Reflective Meditation
Reflective meditations are the ones where you reflect on a deep quote that gives you insight into your life and your path.
You can also read this article on Reflective Meditation.
Any activity done with full awareness is a meditation. Some examples are mindful walking and running. They can also be considered as active meditations with their mood-boosting and brain-clearing benefits.
In terms of specific techniques, there are many others and more are being introduced daily thanks to insights of teachers and long-time practitioners.
I hope you can find one from this list that appeals to you and start practicing regularly to reap all the amazing benefits of meditation.