2020-05-21

by Andrea Ferretti

Regular meditation practice will reduce stress and give you more peace of mind; it can also lead to greater self-understanding, creativity, and joy. But not every meditation technique is right for every personality. Do you need a body-based approach? A way to engage your intellect while sitting? Or a mantra to stay focused? Take the quiz to find out what's best for you.

Andrea Ferretti is deputy editor of Yoga Journal. She lives and meditates (with mantra) in San Francisco.

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After a long day of working hard you like to...

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As a child, you were...

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When you take a movement class like yoga, you prefer to...

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When you're practicing your spirituality or religion you...

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When you socialize with friends you like to...

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When you're feeling down what kind of movie do you like to watch?

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On your best days you're...

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When I'm feeling out of balance I am most often...

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The negative quality I find most aggravating in others is...

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If I suddenly had three hours of downtime I would most like to...

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In school I excelled at...

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Which famous person would you most like to emulate?

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As a child, what did you think you would be when you grew up?

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What throws you off balance the most?

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When I think about sitting down to meditate, my biggest concern is...

Your result is:

a Walking Meditator

You’re an active, physically oriented person, which can make it extremely challenging to be still. You might enjoy walking meditation. There are different kinds, but a simple one is to walk at a steady pace (preferably outdoors) and coordinate your in-breath and out-breath with each step. Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has some especially lovely instructions on walking meditation.
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Your result is:

a Visual Meditator

You respond strongly to what you see and hear—you often see things in pictures. Guided meditations or positive visualizations might be helpful tools for helping you drop into meditation. Try exploring Tantric blue light meditation, which involves imagining a blue light at the center of your forehead and focusing on that while taking deep breaths, for about ten minutes a day.
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Your result is:

a Mantra-based Meditator

You embrace your spirituality and consider yourself devotional. You’re also soothed by repetition. To help you concentrate during meditation, try repeating a mantra,  a word thought be infused with spiritual power that can bring the meditator closer to the divine. Traditionally, you receive a mantra from a teacher, but you may also choose any prayer or word that has special meaning for you.
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Your result is:

a Sensory Meditator

You learn things by having your senses stimulated. You might enjoy an eating meditation, which involves bringing your attention to the details of your food—the way it looks, feels, smells, where it came from—and being aware of how you feel as you eat it. You might also enjoy meditating in nature, looking at the stars, or meditating to calming music.
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Your result is:

a Mindfulness Meditator

You are either naturally inclined toward self-observation or are a multi-tasker who finds it hard to stop thinking and doing. Either way, meditations that focus on cultivating mindfulness--bringing your attention to what is happening here and now--may help you calm your mind. To begin, try counting your breaths for 10-15 minutes. Count each inhale and exhale until you reach 10, and start over. Or try a body scan, first noticing sensations at the crown of your head and then slowly moving your awareness down your body. Teachers like Sharon Salzberg or Vipassana meditation may also be helpful.
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