Meditation has been around for a long, long time. The first literary records of meditation date back to 1500BCE. Going back to the future, a few decades ago during the seventies and sixties, mediation was in a weird spot. Due to numerous practitioners in western pop culture, meditation retreats were gaining more and more popularity. Yet, this was a two-edged sword. Meditation was mainly embraced as just another hippie-practice with little proven benefits.
In the last decade, though, this notion has changed completely. Mindfulness and meditation have penetrated the mainstream more than ever. These are now seen for what they are – as legitimate practices with numerous scientifically-proven health benefits for both the mind and body. These days, due to us being connected to our work and social lives 24/7, we are more stressed than ever. Meditation is a simple yet effective way of becoming more centered in yourself and releasing accumulated stress.
Who are Meditation Courses Best Suited for?
As with mindfulness, the biggest benefit of meditation is that it is suitable for absolutely everyone. The practice does not ask for your age or level of physical fitness. All you need is your mind and a time set aside for the practice. The time needed is also not set in stone. You can gain major health benefits by sitting in meditation for as little as five minutes per day. Or even a minute, if you choose so. As long as you are willing to put your possible prejudices aside and have an open mind, meditation will teach you about yourself.
However, as a beginner meditator, having a good introduction to the practices is extremely important. Luckily, meditation and mindfulness are ideal practices to pick up online. With an engaging instructor and some additional course-materials, you will be well on your way to living a more fulfilling and spiritual life. We have made choosing easier for you and have rounded up the best meditation online courses currently available.
Before we start off with our list of the top online courses for learning meditation, have a look at this Ted Talk on meditation. In the video, Mrs. Mamata Venkat will shed some light on what makes meditation an essential practice for your mental and physical health. The talk emphasizes the importance of spiritual practices in the busy modern world:
What are the Best Meditation Courses?
Without further ado, these are our choices for the best meditation course.
Best Meditation Courses
Best Overall: The M Word by Emily Fletcher (Mindvalley)
Our pick for the “best overall” online meditation course is a no-brainer – it’s “The M Word by Emily Fletcher.” Emily Fletcher is a world-renowned meditation expert, bestselling author, and creator of The Ziva Meditation Technique. The Ziva Technique is regarded as one of the most innovative modern meditation techniques developed in this decade, and it’s the technique I practice myself on a daily basis.
Emily has taught meditation to a number of high-profile clients, including Apple, Google, Harvard, and Barclays. When you hear her speak, it becomes clear why – she has a knack for explaining complex concepts in digestible ways, and I find her online lectures to be some of the most engaging I’ve ever seen.
“The M Word” includes 9 hours of intense training that is split into small chunks of daily content, typical to Mindvalley. Instead of having students blast through all learning material in a single day, Mindvalley makes sure that students take their learning slowly and surely, by implementing small changes in their day-to-day life. This is especially important when learning Meditation, as this field cannot be studied hurriedly.
To get the most value out of this course, you’ll need to dedicate about half an hour every day for a month to practicing Emily’s teachings. If you can do that – you’ll love it. And, before committing to a purchase – consider taking Emily’s free masterclass – it’ll give you a taste of what “The M Word” is all about.
Best for the Basics: Basics of Meditation: Mindful Meditation with Deepak Chopra (The Chopra Foundation)
“Mindful Meditation with Deepak Chopra” is led by one of the modern “spiritual superstars”, Mr. Deepak Chopra, who has released several best-selling books on meditation and mindfulness. For decades, he has been an advocate for mindful living and continues to be one of the leading minds on the subject. Since Mr. Chopra has lots of experience bringing mindful living into the mainstream, it is a great online course for beginners. Mrs. Mallika Chopra, Deepak’s daughter also joins in the course, bringing a nice feminine touch to the subject.
The course has a key point in developing meditation as a daily practice. Among other topics, this is what you will learn from this course:
- Focusing on the present and letting go of outcome-dependency during your meditation.
- Making your meditation practice as comfortable as possible.
- Various breathing techniques and exercises on staying mindful even in a non-meditative state.
The pieces of advice given are useful for beginners, seeing as the comfort of the practice can make or break the rest of your routine. The long-term benefits of practicing meditation are also discussed, giving students an extra motivational push to keep practicing. We are given information on how staying mindful is instantly beneficial to your creativity and overall health. Also, Mrs. Chopra gives the attendees quite a unique take on the subject. She discusses why children make fantastic meditators and are generally much better at staying mindful. Perhaps this course will also help you better understand your children and learn from them.
Reviewers of this class have highlighted the accessibility of this course. Mr. and Mrs. Chopra have a background in eastern spirituality but they give the practices and learnings a western context. This makes it one of the top meditation courses for beginners and spiritual skeptics out there. Overall, it’s one of my absolute favorite online classes for studying meditation.
Best for Advanced Practitioners: Bringing Daily Meditation to Life (Yoga International)
The “Bringing Daily Meditation to Life” online class is a solid choice for advanced practitioners of meditation. The course material assumes that you have some sort of background in meditation and spirituality. The lecturer, Mr. Rolf Sovik, has practiced meditation and psychology for decades. So, if you wish to enhance the effects of meditation in your life, you are in good hands. The video-course comes in four separate sections and takes around six hours to complete.
There are four main sections in this online meditation class:
- Section one covers the aspects of meditation in the daily life of the attendees. The key element in this section is the theory of the five stages of meditation.
- Section two focuses on your inner life, you will learn to deal with attachment and loss through a series of advanced practices.
- Section three covers various mantras, commonly a rather overlooked part of the average meditation practice. You will learn to support your spiritual practice with meditation mantras common to eastern spirituality.
- Section four of the course rounds up your experience by teaching you how to gain a whole perspective of your self. You will be asked to introduce you to you by embracing all the previously shown exercises and readings.
Online reviewers of this meditation course have spoken highly of the course for further solidifying their knowledge of meditation. The course is also highly useful for attendees who have tried meditation but do not yet “get it”. In my opinion, it would also suit meditation guides to take as an advanced course. Overall, it is a very informative and practical course that I would certainly recommend for people willing to invest in living mindfully and spiritually. It’s most suitable for those with prior knowledge, though.
Best for Meditation Theory The Essential Guide to Meditation (MindBodyGreen)
“The Essential Guide to Meditation” is another one of my favorite online classes for meditation. This video-course covers everything you need to know about meditation theory and practice. It is structured in a manner to suit everyone – from total beginners to people who have meditated for years. The course is led by the charismatic Charlie Knoles, a veteran Vedic meditation teacher. He has taught everyone from nurses to A-list Hollywood stars.
So, what does this class teach? In the first group of lessons, we will get a solid overview of meditation. We will learn why is it important, how to start your practice, and what you could expect to gain from the course. The next group of lessons will focus on improving your concentration through meditation. Attendees are given several examples of areas of life that will benefit from greater concentration through meditation. We are then lectured on our energies and how to guide them to our benefit through breathing exercises. This is a very practical module full of mindfulness exercises to instantly incorporate into your routine. Mindfulness meditation is also the theme of the next module. You will be taught how to bring awareness to your life. By being more aware of your emotions, you will learn to manage your various stressors in a healthy manner. The last two modules mainly focus on self-discovery and implementation of the learned techniques. You will learn to incorporate the learned exercises in real life and thus learning to know yourself better.
Overall, this is one of the most compelling online meditation courses currently available. The experience of Mr. Knoles clearly shows. The material of 6 modules and 44 video courses is extensive and informative, yet it does never stray from the course or overwhelm the attendees.
Best for Aspiring Meditation Guides: Learn Meditation with Certification to Guide Others (Udemy)
Steep discounts for new users – courses from $14.99 (expires 31 Oct)
IT certification prep courses from $12.99 (expires 31 Oct)
“Learn Meditation with Certification to Guide Others ” on Udemy has many benefits for both total beginners and advanced practitioners. After enrolling, you will immediately get a download link to a PDF coursebook. The book serves as a great introduction to the basics of meditation. However, advanced practitioners have said that there are some worthy nuggets of new information for them as well. After progressing through the course, you will get a total of 10 guided meditation audio files. The lecturer has a calming and engaging voice that suits the audio format very well. You will find yourself relaxed and ready to absorb the materials.
The materials also cover the topics of chakras and how to benefit yourself by being in tune with your chakras. There is an illustrated poster included that is very helpful so you have a clear idea on which area of the body is in focus. However, the last part of the course sets it apart from other online courses on the topic. The material also helps attendees learn how to guide others into meditation. If you are a beginner, I would certainly hesitate to teach meditation professionally after enrolling in the course. However, if you are already working in the spiritual field, the practices could be very useful. The practices learned can be easily integrated into massage therapies or Reiki practices.
Overall, reviewers highlight this as a very informative and useful meditation guide. Both for advanced practitioners and beginners alike. Beginners will get a solid background on the practice and will learn how to introduce meditation to their friends as well. Advanced practitioners will learn to further their experience. The fact that the materials integrate with other fields makes it a useful course for practitioners of other fields of healing as well.
Best for Mindfulness-Based Meditation: 30-Day Mindfulness Course (School of Positive Transformation)
While the “30-Day Mindfulness Course” is officially a mindfulness course, the two practices are deeply connected, to say the least. Many aspects of mindfulness are the basis of good meditation. The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are also largely the same. Both can boost the health of your mind and body immensely. To get back to the course at hand, the 30-Day Mindfulness Course is unique in that it lets you set your own pace of completion. You can do the course at a minimum of 30 days and at a maximum of 60 days. There are separate exercises and teachings for each day. For such an extensive online course, it is good to have the option of setting your own pace.
During your attendance, you will also have the chance to directly contact your instructor in an online forum. This ensures that you will always get clarification on the teachings if necessary. The course covers everything from the very basics of mindfulness to more advanced teachings and exercises. This is mainly a video-based course but additional reading materials and even some engaging games are included. The attendees will be getting all the tools needed to live their lives more spiritually. If you really devote to this course, it will certainly be a worthwhile journey. I would highlight the fact that it is possible to contact your instructor. This makes your mindfulness practice more intimate and there will be no unanswered questions. You really will get the chance to create a spiritual life suited to your exact lifestyle.
Best for Beginners: Best for Beginners: Meditation for Relaxation (Sura Flow)
“Meditation for Relaxation” is a course developed with beginners in mind. Even if you have never previously tried a spiritual practice, this course will get you well on your way to establishing a solid routine. The course lasts a total of 21 days and is structured in a lecture-per-day system. The system is very beginner-friendly, attendees will slowly but steadily immerse themselves in meditation practices.
The course is focused on the practical techniques of meditating. If you are looking for a deep analysis of the backgrounds of meditation, choose another course from this list. If you wish for professionally guided meditation exercises to start using instantly, this is one of the best courses available. The exercises cover both the mental and physical aspects of your well-being. There are various meditation exercises to soothe your senses and get a clear perspective on your mind. There are also plenty of exercises to relax and benefit your body. You would be amazed at how much you can benefit your life just by breathing correctly. To get the most of this course, journal. During the beginning of the course, you are asked to keep a daily journal on how your practice and study of the self are going. Journaling is one of the keys to keeping track of your positive experiences and build on your studies.
Reviewers have noted that this is an engaging, straight-to-the-point course that your body and mind will instantly benefit from. The inclusion of journaling as an important aspect has also garnered acclaim from attendees.