Water meditation is a mindfulness practice that uses water as an environment or element for spiritual activity. A pool, a beach and a river are familiar places for aquatic meditation. However, you can also be away from these natural surroundings.
You can visualize yourself in a body of water, use sounds like raindrops or have a glass of water near your to begin the practice. Like breathing, water meditation has varied types and techniques.
Water as an Instrument for Meditation
Breaths, singing bowls and gongs are standard tools for a mindfulness routine. Each has benefits and represents a significant aspect of life, including water. Water is associated with purity, calmness, free flow and clarity. As the body consists of up to 75% liquid, some people find it easier to mesh their body and mind with water.
Benefits of Water Meditation
Water meditation techniques exist to enrich feelings of being grounded, tranquil and stable. It’s formless, but that’s what makes it adaptable to all environments — a vital feature people want to cultivate. There are also other benefits to it, including the following.
Healing and Stress Reduction
Dr. Wallace J. Nichols coined the term “Blue Mind” in his book to explain the meditative state the body experiences when around or submerged in water. He described water as a conduit for healing based on how it can link to the body to provide “soulful” experiences that ignite creativity, instigate healing, reduce stress and expand mindfulness. Being underwater helps manage stress, which triggers over 60% of human diseases.
- Healthy Muscles, Joints and Psycho-Emotional Being
Water’s fluid quality allows it to purify the body and support the circulatory system. The heart, blood, and blood vessels use water to carry and distribute nutrients throughout the body. This nourishment allows you to have healthy muscles, joints, and mental and emotional health.
- Regulating Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Participants in one study were asked to gaze at a pool with a pale blue-green hue, a parking lot and a street with moderate traffic. The results revealed staring at a body of water for 1 minute and 40 seconds reduced the body’s heart rate and blood pressure. The study determined bodies of water — like a small lake and a narrow stream — can provide higher relaxation to the body than the ground.
Steps for Water Meditation in the Bathroom
People meditate with water for various purposes, such as relaxing the physical body, connecting with the higher self or manifesting their dreams. So how do you get started with aquatic meditation? It depends on what instrument is available for you, what technique you use and whether it’s guided.
Regardless, you can begin water meditation by incorporating mindfulness into bathing — a task you do every day. All you need here is a bathtub. Here are the steps to turn your bathing into a relaxing 30-minute spiritual practice:
- Fill the tub with warm water. Make sure you’re comfortable with the temperature.
- Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. It helps soothe dry skin.
- Switch off the lights and replace them with a few lit scented candles.
- Turn off your phone and leave it in a drawer or any place you can’t see it. Tell your kids or other family members you need time for yourself.
- Enter the tub, lie on your back and close your eyes. Rest your head on a folded towel while alternating deep inhales and exhales until you feel centered and release your entire weight on the Earth.
- Notice how the warm water feels on your skin. Pay attention to your thoughts and sensations. Relax your body completely. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through a sigh in the mouth.
- Continue the breathing technique or start a guided meditation.
You can explore water meditation in any way that makes you feel the most relaxed. For instance, you can recite your favorite mantra or use visualization, body scan, and loving-kindness meditation strategies.
Other Water Meditation Techniques to Try
You can assimilate awareness into any water activity and turn it into a spiritual discipline. Here are four exciting techniques you can try.
- Swimming Meditation
Swimming is an excellent exercise for everyone. You can incorporate being present to make it a moving meditation.
In every push and sweep of your arms in the water, take a few seconds to notice the slight and noticeable sensations on your body as you glide through. Stay in the moment in each dive in and out of the water. Enjoy floating and apply breathing techniques if you can.
- Beach Meditation
The sand, salty air, and crashing waves on the beach offer a restorative benefit for the mind and the body. If you live in a coastal area, you can do beach meditation in various ways, such as walking barefoot, sunrise or sunset gazing, chanting water-related mantras, and listening to the sound of the waves. The beach also provides a healthy dose of vitamin D, which has been shown to decrease depression and relieve stress.
When meditating, direct your attention on what you’re doing, whether walking, chanting or watching the sunset. When the mind drifts back to the thoughts of the past or future, realign it to the present.
- Qigong Water Meditation
Qigong is a moving meditation method that complements the water element. It fuses gentle movement, breathing and meditation.
Qigong Dumping Buckets meditation is a guided version of Qigong that uses visualization of the water element. It’s also modifiable in several ways that suit you.
For example, while sitting on a chair, you can think about and feel water running down from your head and sinking more deeply into your skin to wash the impurities. Do this while breathing deeply.
- Flowing Water Meditation
This meditation technique requires you to embody the characteristics of water — flexible, flowing and open. Martial arts movies show this technique often. The goal is to understand and feel how water flows, and project those gushing sensations in the body by moving in any direction.
To do this, you can sit comfortably and pay attention to your breath. After settling, imagine a stream. You can emulate the movement of the water in it while creating your own flow by swaying your arms back and forth and shifting your weight between your two legs. Each unchoreographed motion in this meditation symbolizes one water quality. You can also do this with tai chi.
Awareness Is Key to Water Meditation
Like other meditative disciplines, water meditation can help you reduce stress, improve body circulation, and enjoy a better state of mind and emotional health. It’s creative and integrable with breath-based, mantra, and movement-based approaches. What you incorporate depends on what feels right, calming and comforting for you.
Additionally, it’s about cultivating mindfulness in whatever you do that involves water that transforms a mundane activity into a meditation ritual. Whether you wash dishes or take a bath, it becomes a spiritual practice when you do it with awareness.