Water and meditation go hand in hand. So, if you’ve ever taken a guided meditation class, you know that water is involved quite a bit. The image of water is used to help represent the flow of our minds, helping us to push through any mental blocks that we have and rejuvenating our bodies and souls. We can imagine the sand on the beach shore, the waves on the lake, or the constant strength of a river.
Water enhances meditation in many ways. Some people will use water sounds when they meditate by themselves, focusing on the sounds of waves crashing, a babbling brook, or even the simple drip drops of rain. Other people will meditate in water, claiming that it helps them to feel weightless and more in the moment.
Meditation is generally safe for most people and has been shown to impact various health conditions and make people feel better. Water meditation can help people who have struggled to get into meditation and really feel in the moment, and it is a safe way to really connect with those full body benefits.
Have you ever been interested in water meditation but were just not really sure how to get started? Well, we’re here to share with you everything you want to know about how water meditation can truly make you feel more connected with yourself, provide endless health benefits, and bring you to a place of inner peace.
Why is Water Important in Meditation?
Our bodies are made up of over 60 % water, so it makes sense that water is important to our well-being. This is why we drink water and cleanse ourselves with it. It is, quite literally, over half of our physical form.
Because of this, meditating with water can be a powerful tool to align yourself with your body and feel supported in ways that you may not feel on a regular basis.
Meditation itself has countless benefits. For people who struggle to really make meditation work for them, water can help in so many ways. The general experience of water can already get you halfway where you need to be.
When you meditate in water, it is much easier for you to clear away the bulk of the information overload that we all encounter from lives that are more connected than ever. We are able to reap the emotional benefits of meditation, which include:
- Managing stress levels and preventing stress build-up
- Gaining a new perspective on our lives and certain situations
- Increasing our awareness of our own bodies and how we feel
- Increasing our awareness of our minds and mental health
- Reducing any negative emotions that we may be feeling
- Increasing creativity and imagination
- Focusing on the present moment and what we can control
- Increasing our tolerance and patience for everyday struggles
Types of Water Meditation
The best part is that you have options! As you may (or may not) know, there are different types of meditation, and water meditation is really the location, not the type of meditation that you will do.
There are many techniques for meditation, and you will have to find the one that works for you -- they all share the same goal of mindfulness.
Guided Water Meditation: Guided water meditation uses someone else’s voice to help you visualize and go through the meditation session. There may be long stretches of silence, or you may be guided throughout the entire session as you go. There are many different applications and resources for guided meditation sessions that you can take even into the shower or bath with you. Taking your time in the shower to really self-reflect and feel your own body is valuable time to take.
Mantra Meditation: This is a type of meditation where you think of a word or phrase and repeat it over and over again to prevent distracting thoughts. You can choose a focus word of the day or use words of affirmation. But the key is to stay mindful of that phrase and block everything else out.
Qi Gong: This is a more physical type of meditation very similar to Tai Chi, and is a part of traditional Chinese medicine. It is a more advanced form of meditation, but it could pair quite nicely with water meditation.
Meditating in Water
One easy way to practice water meditation is to simply take any meditation routine you have now -- or start a meditation routine -- into a body of water. You can either sit in a body of water or stand in one. Whatever you choose, it’s best to try and be fully relaxed.
Scientifically, when your body encounters water, your heart rate goes down, and you instantly become calmer. This place of calmness is exactly what you need to fully engage in your meditation session.
How Can You Practice Water Meditation?
In a pinch, meditating in a pool or a bathtub will work. However, meditating in a natural body of water, or at least one that has some salt in it, will provide even more benefits.
Most of us are left to practice water meditation in a shower or a bathtub. The first thing you need to know is that you absolutely should not do this if you are tired or if you’ve taken any kind of new medication. You don’t want to fall asleep while doing this, as that can become extremely dangerous.
How To Meditate in The Bathtub
If you’re hopping in the bathtub, it’s best to start with a shorter meditation session, just to see how you like it and whether or not you feel relaxed. There are a few ways to do this, but this one seems to be the most successful for people at all levels of mindfulness. You will need about 15 minutes, but you can adjust for your needs.
First, you need to control your environment. This means you should try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Tell your significant other you don’t want to be interrupted, turn off your phone, and dim those overhead lights. You can even turn them completely off, and use candles if you wish. Use a body wash or a bubble bath that smells fresh and relaxes you but that isn’t too overwhelming.
Settle yourself into the bathtub and relax. Close your eyes and clear your head as much as possible. If a thought comes to you, let it slip right through your mind. Pay attention to the warmth of your body and to your breathing. Fill your lungs with breath and release it.
Once you have found your breath, start to control it. Breathe in slowly for a few seconds, hold it for the same number of seconds, then breathe out again. Repeat this until it becomes second nature to you.
After a few minutes, allow yourself to come back to the bathtub and stay present in the moment. You can stay still and just enjoy the warmth until you feel like you are ready to finish.
How To Meditate in The Shower
If you don’t have a bathtub, and many of us don’t, can you still try water meditation? The answer is yes! It will look a bit different, but it is still a form of water meditation.
You are going to simply shower mindfully. You want to incorporate all of your senses into this process and stay focused on each task. You want to really focus on feeling your body, the warmth of the water cascading over you, the water pressure, and taking in all that a shower truly is.
First, think about what you see when you shower. Now, this may take a little bit of prep work -- clear out those old products that you don’t use, and clean your shower, so you aren’t focused on that. Instead, focus on the water running over you, the patterns the soap suds make as they fall down your body, and how the water swirls around the drain.
As you see the water, feel it against your skin. In particular, focus on any areas of your body where you have tension, or you feel pain. Allow it to wash down the drain.
Then, take a deep breath in through your nose and see what you smell. Are you using a sweet-smelling body wash? What about your shampoo? Focus on those scents.
What do you hear when you are in the shower? Try not to play any music and avoid searching for sounds outside of your bathroom. Focus instead on the water running, the light splashing sounds, and your own breathing. This is a moment for you, not for anyone else.
Allow yourself to just be in the shower, enjoying the moment, and relaxing. After your shower, use nourishing skin products (maybe even some that contain CBD) to help continue that pleasant, calming, “in the moment” self-care.
In Conclusion: Use Your Daily Shower or Bath as A Sacred Space
Water meditation can be life-changing, but most of us don’t have the privilege of living near a body of water that we can access on a daily basis. We do, however, have showers and bathtubs readily available to us. So, use your shower or tub as a sacred space to practice some mindfulness and grow mentally and spiritually.
The warm water trickling down your body already relaxes you and leaves you feeling refreshed, so why not use it to help you find inner peace, strength, and rejuvenation for the days ahead, too?