Whether you practice yoga or not, chances are that you’ve at least heard of meditation.
There is innumerable research supporting that meditation techniques, like visualization meditation, are beneficial for those choosing to practice them with any degree of regularity.
Meditation is comprised of a variety of methods and techniques shared across many cultures, religions, and philosophies, and it is intended as a tool for self-awareness and learning to live in the present moment.
In the yogic tradition, the meditative state, Dhyana, is the seventh limb of the 8-limb path of yoga, and it is the last step before Samadhi, bliss or enlightenment.
Visualization is one of these many techniques of meditation and it is also known as imagery meditation.
This style of meditation is often guided and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as reducing stress, improving focus, and increasing creativity.
In this article we will share:
- What is a visualization meditation
- Benefits of visualization meditation
- How to get started with a visualization meditation
- 3 visualization meditation techniques
- A sample visualization meditation script for grounding
- A guided visualization meditation practice
Let’s read on!
What is a visualization meditation
Visualization meditation is a type of meditation that involves focusing on a mental image or image sequence, often designed by a teacher or guiding voice, to help relax your mind and body.
Like every type of meditation, it is deeply personal, and it may take some time to find a teacher that you enjoy that can guide you into this practice in a way that feels safe and beneficial for you.
Visualizations are often guided practices since it allows the practitioner to fully surrender into the experience.
Benefits of visualization meditation
As mentioned above, meditation has a plethora of benefits for the body, mind, and spirit, but we’d like to share with you some of the specific benefits of imagery meditation in particular.
Here are some of the potential benefits of visualization meditation:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved focus and concentration
- Increased creativity
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased feelings of well-being
Remember that meditating is a cumulative practice, meaning that the more often you do it, not only it become easier, but you’ll also reap more benefits.
How to get started with a visualization meditation
There are many different ways to do visualization meditation, and ultimately, it is always up to what is comfortable for you.
Making sure that you are in a comfortable position is very important when starting a new meditation practice.
Some people prefer to sit in a comfortable position with their eyes closed, while others prefer to lie down.
You can also choose to do visualization meditation while walking or standing especially if you find it difficult to be in stillness for any period of time.
4 visualization meditation techniques
There are many techniques to practice this style of imagery meditation, and we encourage you to try a few until you find what works for you, keeping in mind that different techniques may serve you at different times in your life.
Here are 4 visualization techniques for you to try and get inspired:
1# Yoga Nidra Meditation
Developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati in the mid-20th century, Yoga Nidra meditation is one of the most popular styles of imagery meditation being practiced across the world.
Yoga Nidra involves deep relaxation and visualization and it is often used for stress relief, relaxation, and to promote healing.
This type of visualization is very accessible and often begins with the practitioner setting a Sankalpa, a personal intention for the practice, followed by a body scan to fully release and go deep, and then proceeding into a visualization, often invoking a particular theme or energy.
Yoga Nidra visualization meditation is a very effective way to relax and de-stress. It can also help you to heal emotional wounds and to connect with your inner wisdom.
If you’d like to try a Yoga Nidra meditation, check out this short Youtube class with James Reeves:
2# Metta Meditation
Rooted in the Buddhist tradition, metta meditations are a way to practice visualization with a very particular purpose; cultivating feelings of love and compassion for ourselves, and for one another.
This type of visualization meditation can be a powerful tool for self-healing and transformation and it can help you improve your relationship with yourself, and with others, as well as cultivate happiness and release stress.
Give Metta meditation a try with renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh:
3# Color breathing visualization
Color breathing visualization meditation is a type of meditation that involves focusing on a specific color. The goal is to relax the mind and body by visualizing the color in vivid detail.
To do color visualization meditation, you will choose a color that you find calming or relaxing.
To practice it, start by sitting down or laying down somewhere where you can be comfortable and undisturbed just for a little while.
You can then close your eyes if that feels safe for you, and take a few deep breaths to arrive and center yourself.
Once you are grounded, begin to visualize the chosen color filling your entire field of vision. You can imagine the color as a solid mass, or you can imagine it as a liquid or gas, perhaps for you, it looks like something else!
As you continue to visualize the color, you will focus on your breath. You will breathe in the color, and you will breathe out the color. You will continue to focus on your breath and the color until you feel completely relaxed.
Color visualization meditation is a very effective way to relax and de-stress. It can also help you to improve your concentration and focus.
Explore this technique with the class below, focusing on the color yellow, relating to the third chakra, the solar plexus:
4# Scenery Visualization
An accessible way to practice visualization is by using the Scenery technique.
In a scenery visualization meditation, you will utilize a mental picture and meditate within it, in order to self-regulate or relax.
You can imagine a forest, a beach, or even yourself eating your favorite fruit, it’s up to your imagination!
Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. As you breathe in and out, imagine a peaceful scene in your mind.
This scene can be anything that you find relaxing.
As you focus on your breath and your mental image, allow yourself to relax and let go of any tension or stress. If your mind wanders, simply bring it back to your breath and the imagery before you.
A popular, relaxing imagery visualization meditation is a beach scene, try it out with this class:
A sample visualization meditation script for grounding
Here is a sample script for a grounding visualization meditation:
First, find a comfortable seated or laying down position, utilizing as many props as you want or need to make yourself comfortable, allowing your body to relax further.
If it’s okay with you, soften your gaze or close your eyes.
Take a few deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Letting yourself arrive into the practice, and noticing how you feel in your body, what’s going on in your mind, and how the energy flows through you.
You are surrounded by a warm and loving light. This light is healing and protective.
Inhale deeply, and exhale completely.
As you breathe, start to draw your attention inwardly, and imagine yourself sitting in a safe and comfortable place, it can be anywhere in the world, or a place completely made up by your imagination.
Inhale deeply, and exhale completely.
Give yourself some time to look around, noticing the textures, the colors, and the shapes of this environment you’re in.
Inhale deeply, and exhale completely.
Perhaps you let yourself wander around and explore the place, or if you rather, let yourself stroll down the path until you find a place to sit, relax, and simply take it all in.
Allow yourself to relax and feel the warmth of the light surrounding you. Take a few more deep breaths and enjoy this feeling of peace and relaxation.
Once you’re ready, trace your steps back through the path, and eventually bring your awareness back to the present moment, allowing the imagery before you to fade away.
Slowly open your eyes and return to the present, giving yourself a moment of gratitude before returning to your day.
Visualization meditations are a great way to explore meditation practices for those who like the guidance of imagery in order to bring themselves to the present moment.
By focusing on a mental image or sequence of images, this style of meditation can help you shift from states of stress and discomfort, into groundedness, presence, and even sleep.
Just like with all styles of meditation and yoga practices, it is important to give yourself time to explore and find out what type of visualization meditation is best for you.
Discover other meditation practices here.