Meditation has long been a favoured way to connect with one's inner self. In a country like ours where yoga, chants, hymns and prayers are considered the best form of relaxation, the high tech world of cyberspace might seem like the last place to find tranquility. However, in its new avatar, the Web is teeming with sites offering this age-old form of relaxation. All you need to do is to close your eyes, sit back and relax.
"Meditation always helps at the end of a stressed-out work day," says Suvarna Purushottam, a receptionist at a software company. "Taking all those calls, making notes, remembering so many things can be mind-numbing." She often visits 'The Meditation Room' at learningmeditation.com, a site that offers "guided audio meditations to reduce stress" and also helps you learn to relax.
Relax-online.com invites you to take a break, relax and de-stress and has several articles to show you the way.
For marketing agent, Sathish Chauhan, a daily ritual of meditation after a hectic day has become a part of life. "When I was a kid, my father used to ensure I said my prayers and did some basic yoga. Now, there is no time for all that." All Sathish needs is 15 minutes to relax completely. He plays soothing mantras, downloaded from various sites and relaxes for a while before banging his head to the beats of Metallica.
There are also sites that offer more than just rest and relaxation. Spiritonline.com provides an introduction to several meditation techniques like active meditation, passive meditation and mantras. There are also a selection of articles on meditation, charkas and Buddhism.
Vipassana.com, established by Andrew Quenmore in 1997, offers a course in online meditation. It also provides resources and support to meditators based on the authentic teachings of Buddha. The course lasts for three months and includes written text and several hours of audio guided meditation material on a CD-ROM. Visit their FAQ section for more information.
Mindfulness in plain English, a meditation manual by Henepola Gunaratana, the president of the Bhavana Society and abbot of a monastery in West Virginia, is now available online. The book provides a step-by-step guide to the Vipassana meditation technique.
For those who are interested in practicing this form, there is the keyboard yoga. This site teaches you techniques to help unwind in the comfort of your home or office. The site's resident yogi guides you through basic postures and self massage techniques without leaving your desk.
"Changing your breathing is one of the quickest and most effective ways of changing how you feel" is the advice given here. This site provides tips on breathing for calmness and the right breathing techniques. You can also check out breath.org and authenticbreathing.com for effective breathing techniques for relaxation. Iyengar Yoga resources has a complete FAQ on yoga and its health benefits.
Holisticonline.com offers simple self-massage techniques for different parts of the body. It points out two very significant acupressure points at the base of the skull, which can give you total relaxation when consistent pressure is applied on these points. Coolnurse.com gives quick tips for anyone who wants to leave tensions behind for a while.
Reading inspirational stories or essays for mind relaxation works for Jiten Pawar, a medical transcriptionist. "I love to read inspirational stories. I used to enjoy reading success medical stories in Readers Digest. Now, I find them on the Internet. I usually read them on cyberquotations.com," says Pawar. Inspirationalstories.com is another site that offers similar features.
So, next time you are stressed from deadlines, trying to keep pace with work pressures and waiting for that page to download, take a small break. Log on to these sites to relax, meditate and rejuvenate yourself.