Our top pick for the best meditation course is Basics of Meditation: Mindful Meditation with Deepak Chopra.
Whether you have been practising yourself for years and just need some guidance to get back on track, or if you have never attempted meditation before, this is a great place to start.
Cost: $199 to $499
When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a candle in a windless place.
In recent years, meditation has become more and more popular. As the stresses of modern living catch up with people, it can be difficult to find any kind of peace. Meditation provides just a few moments of peace and quiet, all to yourself.
Whether you’re trying to find a way to relax and quiet your mind for just a few minutes every day. Or if you’re looking to completely change your mindset, we have found the best meditation courses available.
Meditation might look like a simple process but it takes a lot of focus. Meditation isn’t simply sitting still and being quiet. It requires you to have complete control of your mind, your thoughts, and your breath.
So, to reach that perfect inner peace, you need to start small.
This is one of the reasons why following a course is such a good idea. You will be able to follow the guidance of professionals who have been meditating for years.
They will provide you with all the tools you need to begin practising this ancient art.
Experience Level: Beginner through to coach.
Course Length: Self-paced and on-demand
Even if you aren’t sure exactly what he does, you will have heard of Deepak Chopra before. Chopra is an author and alternative medicine advocate. But don’t be put off by the phrase “alternative medicine”.
Chopra also studied and taught medicine. Whether you believe in his methods or not, there is scientific proof that backs up the massive benefits of meditation.
So, you can trust that this course has been well-researched and created with the intention of accurately informing you of meditation techniques.
When it comes to practising such as meditation and yoga, there are many people, especially modern-day influencers, who profess to be experts despite having very limited experience.
Chopra, and those who worked to produce this course, will be providing a much better and more exhaustive understanding of meditation.
Although the aims of specific classes vary, the primary aim of this course is for the student to incorporate meditation into their daily lives. This is the sort, of course, to take when you feel your mindset needs a complete overhaul.
If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, this course will help you to reset your mind to focus on your priorities and help you remain calm and focused. Both within the practise and throughout the rest of your day.
Experience Level: Beginner
Course Length: 21 Days
This course is ideal if you’re looking for a style of meditation to combat stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and want to start taking time out of your day to focus on yourself and your own inner peace, then this is the course to try out.
This course offers video instructions, 3 daily journaling prompts, and 21 daily guided meditations. This will guide you into the practise of meditation and will be super easy and stress-free.
We have chosen this course as the best option for beginners because of its focus on relieving stress. Becoming overwhelmed by stress is one of the most common reasons why people turn to meditation.
This meditation course will allow you to focus on your breathing and becoming more calm and conscious of your thoughts. This is an excellent foundation on which to build further practise.
Experience Level: Intermediate
Course Length: Six lessons to be completed at own pace
Many courses that take you on a meditative journey over the course of several days or a month. This course does not take on this traditional process of regular, daily lessons. While it encourages regular, daily practise, it also allows the student to dip in and out.
The course includes many structured lessons. But these are divided into categories from which the student can pick. This allows the student to control their own meditation journey.
They can choose to learn everything there is to know about meditation. Or they can choose a specific focus that aligns best with their goals.
As this course is for intermediate students, it includes guidance for practise but also theory. Rather than simply teaching the basics of meditation, this course takes the practise further.
It aims to provide the student with a holistic understanding of meditation practise. The goal of these lessons is to introduce meditation not just as an addition to the student’s life but as a way of life.
Other courses do encourage students to incorporate the techniques they have learned in their meditation or mindfulness practise to situations in their everyday lives.
But this course encourages the student to apply meditation and mindfulness to their entire lives. Rather than lean on meditation when they need it, students of this course will learn how meditation can positively impact every moment of their lives.
That said, this course also includes some basics regarding meditation. This course has lessons ranging from what meditation exactly is to using meditation to heal trauma.
Experience Level: Advanced
Course Length: Four sections to be completed at own pace (total length of lessons equals 6 hours)
Meditation has become more popular with those who do not subscribe to any kind of religion or faith. But the origins of meditation, although difficult to pinpoint exactly, generally lie within Hinduism and Buddhism.
The connection of meditation with religion and faith is by no means necessary for practising meditation.
But, if you have been practising meditation for a while and want to become more connected to its origins, want to explore joining the Hindu faith or become Buddhist, or just want to know more about how faith, religion, and meditation intersect, this is a great course for you.
This course includes meditation theory, guided meditations, and readings of excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu sacred text.
This is definitely an advanced course and is not suitable for beginners. This course seeks to transcend the student from the basics of meditation.
Although there is an introduction to the practise, this course is still better suited to those who are already committed to a regular practise.
The course seeks to guide the student through meditation but also through the religions and faiths associated with the practise.
Experience Level: Beginner
Course Length: 30 Days
If meditation seems a bit too advanced for you, mindfulness might just be your way in. Mindfulness has become incredibly popular over the past couple of years.
Mindfulness has been touted as a great way of taking care of your mental health. Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health.
Practising mindfulness, even just a little every day, is just as important as eating your veggies and drinking water.
This course offers a 30-day taster of mindfulness that will be a great way to ease you into a regular meditation practise.
As we have already mentioned, meditation can be a difficult thing to master so starting with some small steps over a month is ideal for beginners.
This mindfulness course includes aspects of meditation but it isn’t the main focus. While mindfulness is a separate practise from meditation, it can act as a stepping stone toward meditation.
This course aims to help you explore the basics of mindfulness and meditation. It includes information on the differences between mindfulness and meditation. But it also includes mindful meditation techniques.
This course aims to guide you through the practises of mindfulness and meditation. But it also aims to educate you. You will gain insights and techniques to begin practising mindfulness.
You will also receive lectures and information on what exactly mindfulness is and how it works.
You will learn how to have quiet moments of mindfulness meditation. You will also be taught how to apply these techniques to your everyday life.
As we have mentioned before, mindfulness and meditation are regular, purposeful practises. But the tools and abilities you learn from meditation can also be applied to other situations.
This course will help you to be mindful throughout your entire day.
While meditation itself is a very specific practise, there are several different ways to approach it.
This can be through mindfulness, yoga, breathwork, or guided meditations.
You will likely have heard the term “mindfulness” recently. It has become incredibly popular as more and more people are taking caring for their mental wellbeing seriously.
Mindfulness is a simple process that involves focussing on your breathing and becoming more aware of your conscious and subconscious mind.
It allows you to control your thoughts and emotions and approach situations in a more calm and measured manner.
Meditation is as much about controlling your breathing as it is about controlling your mind. Working on your breathing can help you in the early stages of meditation practise.
One of the things that most people struggle with is emptying their minds. It can be incredibly difficult to stop your mind from wandering. But focusing on every inhale and exhale allows you to focus on something simple.
Counting your breaths also helps with this.
Pretty much every meditation course will include breathing exercises. Controlled and measured breathing is an essential part of meditation.
So, if you’re looking at a course and they don’t have a focus on breathing, then it’s not going to be able to help you truly master meditation.
Almost every meditation course will include guided meditations. These are a great way to ease yourself into meditation. When you first begin meditating, you might easily wander after a second or two.
This is where guided meditation helps you. A guided meditation will simply be someone’s voice telling you what to do.
These instructions will be very simple and involve how to breathe, how to remain still, and how to focus your mind. These are very much needed when you first begin meditating.
They will help you to focus as the instructions will be timed to bring you back when your mind wanders.
It is perfectly natural for your mind to wander, so don’t feel as though you’re failing if you can’t stay focused. This is where guided meditations come in.
If you have never tried meditation before, then it can be quite overwhelming to look at large courses. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to try out different taster courses. Especially those with free trials.
Meditation is a simple practise but there are, as shown above, many different ways of approaching it.
Some of which may not work for you at all. If you’re committed to beginning a regular practise of meditation, then you need to find one that suits you perfectly.
Once you have found the meditation style that suits you best, try it out for longer. Some courses are incredibly long. But there are many that only last for a short time, such as around 21 to 30 days.
These are great for a beginner and will help you enter into a regular practise.
Try to find a course that only requires a few minutes from you every day. Don’t dive in with full hour-long meditations. To start off with, try it for just 3 to 5 minutes. Even this might be too long for you if you have a restless mind. Even meditating for 30 seconds can get you started.
As a beginner, it’s also a good idea to find a course that is varied. Many courses will simply involve guided meditations. These are ideal for beginners. But you might find you require further mental stimulation.
Meditation doesn’t just impact the minutes you spend focusing on it, but it will provide you with a mindset that you will carry throughout your day.
Try to find a course that also provides journaling prompts, yoga practise, and other guided prompts. These will help you to ease into meditation.
Even if you have some experience of meditation practise, you might still need some guidance. This guidance will help you if you feel as though you are struggling with your meditation practise but don’t need to be reminded of the basics.
Intermediate courses are also more likely to delve into meditation theory. Some beginners courses might touch on this to provide you with some background knowledge.
But more advanced courses will go further into detail. This theory will help you with your practise as it will provide you with more understanding of what your aims might be.
The courses which we have designated as “advanced” are for those who already have a good understanding of meditation. These are courses for people who already practise meditation regularly but are looking to go further.
These courses are also best suited for people who are looking to become coaches themselves.
Or simply need a way to get themselves to refocus or get out of a rut. These courses will provide advanced techniques and won’t go over any basics that you already know.
So, just how scientific is meditation? Does it actually change your brain? Or is it all in your imagination?
Although we generally understand meditation to be happening within the mind, there are physical responses to meditative practises that occur in the brain.
Scientists at Yale University discovered that mindful meditation can decrease activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN).
This is the part of your brain that is responsible for your mind wandering off and thinking of other things that you aren’t currently focusing on.
As the primary aim of meditation is to focus and control the mind, the knowledge that it actually impacts the part of your brain responsible for it wandering is not all that surprising.
But, it is useful to know the exact science behind meditation. Especially if you or others you know are unconvinced of its legitimacy.
This is a surprisingly common question. But the answer is no, you cannot (and should not) replace sleep with meditation. Sleep is necessary for both your mind and your body.
If you don’t sleep, then your brain won’t have rested enough. Meditation, although it will make you feel peaceful and rested, does not allow your brain to refresh.
Your brain and body remain active while you’re asleep. But you still gain a level of unconsciousness that you don’t when you are meditating.
Meditation can do amazing things for you and you will feel refreshed after meditating. But you still need sleep as well. One good thing cannot replace another. You also need a lot more sleep than mediation.
If you want to, you can try to learn to meditate for 8 hours. But it still won’t give you the same rest and recuperation that sleep will give you.
Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.
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