Japa and meditation of the sacred names of Lord Shiva will free you from all sins and lead you to the attainment of Shiva Jnana or eternal bliss and immortality. Shiva-nama is the very soul of all Mantras. Lord Shiva has manifested in the world in sixty different aspects. Vrishabharudha, Hari-hara, Nataraja, Bhairava, Dakshinamurti, Ardhanarisvara, Bhikshatana, Somasekharamurti, Urdhvanatana, Kalasamhara, Jalandhara, Surasamhara, Lingodbhava are His forms.
The silent repetition of a mantra is another popular technique. The Transcendental Meditation technique involves the repetition of a "personalized" mantra; in Buddhist meditation, there are a number of mantras to choose from. Simply repeat the mantra over and over silently to yourself; when a thought arrives to interrupt the recitation, simply notice the thought, let it pass away, and resume the recitation.
Pranayama is derived from two Sanskrit words - Prana (life force) and Ayama (control). Therefore, in its broadest description, Pranayama (Lifeforce) would mean the control of the flow of life force. One of the initiation techniques into Pranayama is through the practice of Yogic Breathing or Yoga Breathing. Yogic Breathing helps us break down and understand our breathing better as being composed of diaphragmatic and thoracic breathing. Although this breathing technique forms a basis to advanced Pranayama techniques, it leads to important benefits of its own and provides us a glimpse of what we are capable of reaching through Pranayama.