What’s the Distinction? – Wanderlust


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For some, deciding how to meditate is its personal low-grade stress inducer. Which, let’s face it, that’s the whole antithesis of the apply itself. Meditation, in any case, is a software to assist scale back the fixed overwhelm that infiltrates most of our over-stimulated minds.

To assist decipher what sort of meditation is greatest for whom, I had an insightful chat with world-renowned meditation trainer, Yogarupa Rod Stryker

A longtime member of the Wanderlust household, Stryker has been instructing meditation for over 30 years. He’s the founding father of ParaYoga, the place he teaches yoga, meditation and tantra, and can also be the creator of a highly-lauded meditation and yoga nidra app known as Sanctuary

Since Stryker is thought for his skill to make historical knowledge practices accessible to fashionable audiences, he was the proper individual to simplify what some could really feel is the dizzyingly difficult world of meditation. 

Meditation, guided meditation & visualization: What’s the distinction, anyway? 

First off, let’s admit that questioning the distinction between meditation, guided meditation and visualization could seem a bit redundant. However contemplate for a second that even I—a reasonably well-informed wellness author, day by day meditator, and licensed yoga teacher (although I’ve by no means taught)—need to confess that I’m not fairly positive of the distinction. I’ve seen many buddies get so befuddled by the categorization of meditation that they’ve truly by no means even began. 

So, I began my convo with Stryker by breaking down my understanding of the meditation practices I hear referenced most. 


Stryker at Wanderlust Tahoe 2011

I shared with him that my base understanding was that common meditation consists of repeating a phrase or mantra, or alternatively, focusing in your breath. Guided meditation is, in fact, a guided expertise. And visualization will be guided or not, however appears to be extra about seeing a brand new life expertise together with your thoughts’s eye with the objective of actualizing it. “Does that even qualify as meditation?” I requested.  

Although Stryker had no intention of sending my thoughts into extra confusion, he provided that there are, certainly, many extra types of meditation than these, together with mindfulness meditation and kriya. 

Ahh sure… After all, I’ve heard of these too. 

“Most forms of meditation ask us to bring our attention to a specific object, breath, mantra, part of the body or chakra,” he coolly outlined. “We are trying to get to effortless concentration; to get the mind still.”

Guided meditation, he continued, asks you to maneuver your thoughts, to be able to carry out its most optimistic qualities. 

He stated that though some types of visualization are meditation, others could not essentially be meditation in any respect. Nonetheless, visualization can be life-affirming and evoke optimistic, aspirational feelings—identical to meditation can. 

Kriya meditation is a type of transferring your thoughts, very similar to visualization. “Kriya means to move or to purify,” he identified. 

How about Yoga Nidra? 

Yoga Nidra has at all times felt like a visualization apply to me, so, I requested Stryker to elucidate how (or whether or not) it match throughout the meditation equation. 

“Yoga Nidra is meditation with deep sleep. Its aim is a state of deep, dreamless sleep in the height of meditation. It’s a guided practice that takes you to the heights of meditation,” he revealed. 

Stryker is a distinguished advocate for the apply of Yoga Nidra. He determined to concentrate on instructing Yoga Nidra increasingly over time, as he watched the collective stage of societal stress rise, whereas sleep high quality deteriorated.

“This makes it more difficult for people to focus their attention. The destination of Yoga Nidra is similar to meditation, but you do it lying down and relaxing, and it’s guided. This helps people feel their bodies and focus their minds, without having to sit and concentrate.”

How do we all know which apply is greatest for us? 

Stryker finally instructed me that all or any meditation practices could also be the simplest for anybody, at any time, relying on the place you’re at and what's going on with you. 

WLCA11_Carl_Kerridge__CK09444_rod_StrykerWLCA11_Carl_Kerridge__CK09444_rod_Stryker“Sometimes the simplest form is best,” he reasoned. He means that freshmen pattern completely different methods, beginning with watching the breath and guided meditation. When you’ve dabbled in a couple of completely different strategies, Stryker stated it's best to decide the one that gives you with a optimistic expertise.

“For anyone starting, do the one that brings you some joy. That is the one that will provide the most benefit,” he affirmed.

Why ought to we meditate, anyway?

Positive, we must always all meditate… The world is fairly darn loopy these days, and we may all use some good ol’ historical methods to control our minds and our bodies. Properly, that’s my super-basic rationale, however in his many years of expertise, Stryker has truly seen meditation assist numerous folks. 

In his personal life, Stryker defined that meditation permits him to start out every day anew. “It makes it possible to step out of the difficulties of the strain and stress of the past, and show up as fully as possible.”

“A regular meditation practice allows people to live with more joy and less fear,” he concluded. 

Labels and terminology apart, with Stryker’s steering, finally I understood that meditation actually is fairly easy in any case. 



Kinisha Correia is an award-winning journalist, content material author, editorial director and founding father of About Her Culture, who has labored with quite a lot of publications all through the US and the Caribbean. Her physique of labor largely explores the cultural intersections of wellness and its correlation to social fairness; a folks and planet-focused strategy to enterprise; and ladies of Caribbean and African descent effecting optimistic change throughout the globe. Kinisha is Jamaican and presently lives within the US.

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