How it works: Also from Vedanta, Kundalini is the name for the rising stream of energy that exists in a human being. The aim is to become aware of this rising stream, which you then ride to infinity through concentration on breath flowing through the body’s energy centres.

Success rate: Can have unpleasant side effects, appropriately called Kundalini syndrome, whereby people become hypersensitive to touch, light and sounds.

Further reading: kmyoga.com

To find your optimal meditation style, first you need to crystallise why you’re meditating.

There are dozens of different purposes for meditating that range from trying to find calm or develop clearer thinking through to increasing your sense of compassion, reducing physical pain or finding a sense of connection to the world at large, says meditation teacher and counsellor Nadine Cameron. You also need to experiment to see which meditations, from those designed to address your meditation goal, you best respond to. Some people respond better to focusing on their breath or physical sensations while others do better focusing on things outside of themselves – think sunset, a beautiful statue or a piece of music. If a particular type of meditation is irritating you, there’s no need to persevere with it as it is likely to be counter-productive to your goals Cameron says. A good meditation group will encourage open curiosity and independent thought or critique rather than expecting

Think you could quit talking for 10 full days? With silent retreats trending, many modern Westerners are putting their dhana where their mouth is.

How many minutes could you spend without blagging about what’s going on in your noggin? If you think that’s hard, consider keeping it zipped for more than a week. That’s the code of practice demanded by Vipassana – the brand of insight meditation having a moment in the chatterbox West. While it sounds near impossible (especially when you consider that you’re not even allowed to write your thoughts down), proponents report perspective that changes life as they know it.

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