Rapper Lil Jon has revealed he's moving into the wellness sphere by releasing a 10-track guided meditation album.
On Instagram, the singer, 52, revealed that the album, Total Meditation, would be released next Friday and feature “ten guided meditations to relieve anxiety, boost focus and find peace”.
The move is the latest in a long line of celebrity forays into fitness and wellness, with Lil Jon's album part of the rapper's health journey, which he regularly shares on social media.
So, what is guided meditation, and how does it differ from other forms of meditation?
What is guided meditation?
The practice is a type of meditation in which a teacher guides the session either in person or via video or audio.
Practitioners can choose from an array of themes based on how they feel that day or what they would like to achieve and be guided through a series of thought processes and breathwork to achieve their aims.
Breathwork is currently one of the most popular health hashtags on social media, and breathing exercises – which are known to help manage stress and anxiety, as well as lessen panic attacks and anger – are an important part of meditation.
“Guided meditation can be beneficial to both newcomers and seasoned meditators, depending on their preferences and needs,” says Kamelia Salimi, founder of Zoga yoga studio in Dubai. “This form of meditation can serve as a guidance for newbies, making it more accessible.”
“These sessions often provide a focal point, either the breath, body sensations or a visualisation, and these can help beginners to stay focused and have an anchor should their minds wander,” she says. “For those experienced meditators, a guided session can bring about a fresh perspective or insight they may not have encountered previously.”
Common subjects for guided meditation include focus, resilience, creativity, purpose and calm and teachers will often suggest prompts and intentions which can benefit those new to the practice.
“The teacher conducts the mediation in a way that gently leads the practitioner into that inner space, holding the field of energy and then gently bringing the practitioner out of the meditative state,” says Vandana Mendonca, meditation facilitator at Bodytree Wellness Studio.
“Coming out of meditation, being grounded and present after, is just as important as going into a meditative state. The teacher’s approach and intention will vary according to the context in which the mediation is being held.”
Who is guided meditation best for?
The practice is suitable for those at all levels of meditation but can be especially helpful for newcomers and younger practitioners.
“The key difference with guided meditation is that the sense of listening is active as opposed to when one meditates on one’s own,” says Mendonca. “Listening to the guidance may be helpful for those who find it difficult to overcome the continuous stream of thoughts that may interfere with arriving at that inner space.”
This version of meditation can also benefit those who aren’t sure what they want to focus on, as the teacher can offers different themes. Or, if using an app, practitioners can choose from an array of suggestions.
Adds Mendonca: “In a studio setting, guided meditation sessions may offer more opportunities for personalisation and interaction with the instructor. Participants can ask questions, receive individualised guidance and engage in discussions about their meditation practice. In-studio sessions create a sense of community, and an opportunity to connect with like-minded people.”
What are the benefits of guided meditation?
“The benefits of guided meditation include emotional well-being as it helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression by promoting relaxation and inner peace and physical well-being as it promotes relaxation, reduces muscle tension, lowers blood pressure, and boosts the immune system,” says Dr Suresh Vassen, functional medicine doctor at Bodytree Wellness Studio.
He adds: “There are also benefits to behavioural well-being in the encouragement of positive behaviour change, such as better sleep habits, healthier lifestyle choices, and increased resilience to challenges and improved career satisfaction.”
How to make guided meditation a part of your day
“There are a variety of guided meditations online and via apps,” says Mendonca. “These seem the easiest ways to incorporate daily guided meditations. Whatever guided meditation is chosen, dedicating a specific time and space in their own home each day helps build the habit and see results.”
With a wide array of guided meditations available at yoga and wellness studios across the UAE and online, meditation doesn’t have to be performed alone in a quiet room.
Guided meditation walks and even runs are available, including on platforms such as Nike and Apple, allowing you to fit the practice into your existing fitness regime or everyday routine.
“Commit to sit every day, even if it means that you only have five minutes,” says Salimi. “Start small, so your goals are achievable You could start with five minutes, and add on one minute every week.
“Allocate one area in your home to this practice and make it welcoming and comfortable. It is about creating a routine and a safe space that makes you want to come back to on a daily basis.”