Guided Meditation
What does Guided Meditation mean? The term 'Guided Meditation' is used to describe the process of meditating under the guidance of an experienced teacher or practitioner. This guidance is essentially an audible or visual narration of the meditation process, which may be given in person or remotely via audio, video or text. Guided meditation is widely accessible, and there is no need for any level of experience - only the capacity to listen or read. As such, it is an excellent starting point for beginners, as well as for those looking for a deeper intellectual understanding of the practice.   Yogapedia explains Guided Meditation Guided meditations are usually well-structured, and follow a relatively simple step-by-step format. Generally, teachers will explain a little about how the mind works, before leading you through the sequential steps of a specific meditation technique. This is commonly followed by suggestions on how to integrate the practice with daily life. There are countless styles of guided meditation, encompassing a wide variety of practices from various cultures, religions or spiritual traditions. Most are based around a certain theme or focus such as mindfulness, loving-kindness or peace, and they often incorporate techniques such as body scan, breath awareness and progressive relaxation. Most styles of guided meditation use an object of focus on which to train the mind, such as breath, mantras, chakras, visualizations and even physical objects. The objective is to notice when the mind has been distracted and return to the object of focus, as a means of cultivating a quieter, more focussed state of mind. Some styles also incorporate insight meditation, as a way to reflect on or develop certain qualities. Examples of Guided Meditation Mindfulness Focussed Attention Transcendental Meditation Zen Meditation Body Scan Noting Reflection Loving Kindness Visualisation Resting Awareness Vipassana Progressive Relaxation Kundalini During These Times of Stress and Uncertainty Your Doshas May Be Unbalanced. To help you bring attention to your doshas and to identify what your predominant dosha is, we created the following quiz. Try not to stress over every question, but simply answer based off your intuition. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else. Related Terms Meditation Mindfulness Loving-Kindness Meditation Transcendental Meditation (TM) Zen Meditation Vipassana Kundalini Body Scan Meditation Insight Meditation Mindfulness Meditation Related Articles Number One 'Rule' of Meditation 3 Tips on Improving Your Meditation Practice 6 Steps to Starting a Meditation Practice for Beginners  
Binaural Beats
Do Binaural Beats Have Health Benefits? Potential benefits Instructions Research Side effects Bottom line Listening to audio with binaural beats may benefit your mental health and promote creativity and focus. When you hear two tones — one in each ear — that are slightly different in frequency, your brain processes a beat at the difference of the frequencies. This is called a binaural beat. Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re listening to a sound in your left ear that’s at a frequency of 132 Hertz (Hz). And in your right ear, you’re listening to a sound that’s at a frequency of 121 Hz. Your brain, however, gradually falls into synchrony with the difference — or 11 Hz. Instead of hearing two different tones, you instead hear a tone at 11 Hz (in addition to the two tones given to each ear). Binaural beats are considered auditory illusions. For a binaural beat to work, the two tones have to have frequencies less than 1000 HzTrusted Source, and the difference between the two tones can’t be more than 30 Hz. The tones also have to be listened to separately, one through each ear. Binaural beats have been explored in music and are sometimes used to help tune instruments, such as pianos and organs. More recently, they have been connected to potential health benefits. What health benefits are binaural beats claimed to have? Binaural beats are claimed to induce the same mental state associated with a meditation practice, but much more quickly. In effect, binaural beats are said to: reduce anxiety increase focus and concentration lower stress increase relaxation foster positive moods promote creativity help manage pain Meditation is the practice of calming the mind and tuning down the number of random thoughts that pass through it. A regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, slow down the rate of brain aging and memory loss, promote mental health, and lengthen attention span. Practicing meditation regularly can be quite difficult, so people have looked to technology for help. Binaural beats between 1 and 30 Hz are alleged to create the same brain wave pattern that one would experience during meditation. When you listen to a sound with a certain frequency, your brain waves will synchronize with that frequency. The theory is that binaural beats can help create the frequency needed for your brain to create the same waves commonly experienced during a meditation practice. The use of binaural beats in this way is sometimes called brain wave entrainment technology. How do you use binaural beats? All you need to experiment with binaural beats is a binaural beat audio and a pair of headphones or earbuds. You can easily find audio files of binaural beats online, such as on YouTube or via downloaded audio files to your mp3 player or mobile device. As mentioned earlier, for a binaural beat to work, the two tones have to have frequencies of less than 1000 HzTrusted Source, and the difference between the two tones can’t be more than 30 Hz. You can also decide which brain wave fits your desired state. In general: Binaural beats in the delta (1 to 4 Hz) range have been associatedTrusted Source with deep sleep and relaxation. Binaural beats in the theta (4 to 8 Hz) range are linkedTrusted Source to REM sleep, reduced anxiety, relaxation, as well as meditative and creative states. Binaural beats in the alpha frequencies (8 to 13 Hz) are thoughtTrusted Source to encourage relaxation, promote positivity, and decrease anxiety. Binaural beats in the lower beta frequencies (14 to 30 Hz) have been linkedTrusted Source to increased concentration and alertness, problem-solving, and improved memory. Binaural beats of 40 Hz were found to be helpful in enhancing training and learning, according to a 2020 studyTrusted Source. When listening to binaural beats, it’s best to sit in a comfortable place free of distractions. Listening to the binaural beat audio for at least 30 minutes each day in your headphones ensures that the rhythm is entrained (has fallen into synchronization) throughout the brain. You can experiment with the length of time you listen to the binaural beats to find out what works for you. For example, if you’re experiencing high levels of anxiety or stress, you may want to listen to the audio for a full hour or longer. Remember, you must use headphones for binaural beats to work. You may also want to listen with your eyes closed. Is there any research to support the claims? While most studies on the effects of binaural beats have been small, there are several that provide evidence that this auditory illusion does indeed have health benefits, especially related to anxiety, mood, and performance. An older 2005 controlled studyTrusted Source in roughly 100 people about to undergo surgery also found that binaural beats were able to significantly reduce pre-operative anxiety compared to similar audio without the binaural tones and no audio at all. In the study, anxiety levels were cut in half for people who listened to the binaural beat audio. A 2007 uncontrolled study asked eight adults to listen to a binaural beat CD with delta (1 to 4 Hz) beat frequencies for 60 days straight. The results of the study found that listening to binaural beats for 60 days significantly reduced anxiety and increased the overall quality of life of these participants. Since the study was small, uncontrolled, and relied on patient surveys to collect data, larger studies will be needed to confirm these effects. One larger 2011 randomized and controlled trialTrusted Source looked at the use of binaural beats in 291 patients admitted to the emergency department at a hospital. The researchers observed significant decreases in anxiety levels in patients exposed to audio with embedded binaural beats compared to those who listened to audio without binaural beats or no audio at all. A 2019 study combined the effects of binaural beats and autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), a phenomenon of a relaxation response to certain audio or visual triggers. It was suggested that the combination of the two were more beneficial than either separately. However, a 2015 review of studiesTrusted Source found that most studies in this area are limited or contradictory, and that there’s evidence of diminishing impact over time. More research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and how they differ from monaural beats. Are there any side effects to listening to binaural beats? There are no known side effects to listening to binaural beats, but you’ll want to make sure that the sound level coming through your headphones isn’t set too high. Prolonged exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibelsTrusted Source can cause hearing loss over time. This is roughly the level of noise produced by heavy traffic. Binaural beat technology could be a problem if you have epilepsy, so you should speak with your doctor before trying it. More research is needed to see if there are any side effects to listening to binaural beats over a long period of time.   The bottom line With several human studies to back up the health claims, binaural beats appear to be a potential tool in the fight against anxiety, stress, and negative mental states. Research has found that listening daily to audio with binaural beats may have positive effects on: anxiety memory mood creativity attention Learning to meditate isn’t always easy. Binaural beats won’t work for everyone, and they aren’t considered a cure for any particular condition. However, they might offer an auditory escape for those interested in relaxing, sleeping more peacefully, or entering a meditative state.