This year is when I finally started to understand what am I even doing when in meditation. Really, it is hard especially if you are the type of person who is constantly hoping to approach another milestone and just achieve and achieve. Sitting quitely and cross-legged for the first time having decided that “Now i am going to meditate” might feel very underwhelming when the first 5-minute mark is done. One might wonder did anything even happen and where is the reward as we are so used to instant gratification in today’s world. That’s why I think it is amazing that we now have apps that provide hours of guided meditations. I started with guided meditations and eventually was able to just sit down and do it on my own. I do use a timer almost always though.
When we are under a constant mental stimulation from every direction it might be challenging to just turn inwards and find the stimulation within your own brain. I don’t like to use the word challenging because really we are just trying to simplify our life. I always begin my the yoga classes that I teach with a 5-minute meditation. I never say “Hey guys, now we are going to meditate for 5-minutes!” instead I just begin to guide them. Asking them to notice their breath, letting the breath just flow in and out. Asking them to just be present in this moment and preparing for the practice. Just a little work with the breath before we begin to move the body. Just like that when you are at home, forget that you are meditating. It is just a word. Instead, just begin to notice your breath’s flow. Being present in your body.
1. Insight Timer
I found this app confusing at first but now it is the number one that I use. I love that the first thing you see is the thousands of other people using the app aka meditating right now. It gives you this feeling of union and family kind of. This app offers guided meditations as well, which I fortunately haven’t even explored myself! The app offers background music, guided meditations for sleep, anxiety, stress almost everything! Also if you just wish to listen to talks and interviews about many different topics you have that as well.
In the end what I mostly use this app for is the timer. You can choose a gentle sound at let’s say 10-minute mark to let you know how long you have now meditated. You can choose an interval bell and ending bell. The timer keeps going even after the ending bell so if you are still feeling like you wish to stay in meditation you can trust the app to count that in too because the app also works as an tracker for how many hours you have meditated etc. If you just wanted one app, this would be it.
If you are very new to meditation then Headspace is your choice. If you just want to calm down and be without any oriental bells or scented candles lit up in your room then this is the app. I used this one at first more when I wasn’t comfortable meditating by myself yet. Nowdays I use it if I wish to meditate for a short period while I’m commuting to work and I’m in a loud bus for example. However if you continue to use this app you will need to pay for the monthly subscription to use all the qualities of this app. I never did the subscription and keep on relying for the short beginner guided meditations that they offer for free.
3. Still Mind
This app is the minimalist’s best friend. I used this app before I found the Insight Timer. This screenshot here is the opening screen you see. Set your ending chime and the interval if you wish and then the timer just begins. No guided meditations, simply just a timer. Unfortunately if you continue to meditate after the ending bell this app doesn’t track it in anyway or let you know how much more you sat in silence. Instead every session ends with a nice quote. This app also works without being online or in the wifi so let’s say you have bad connection or you are in airplane mode this app doesn’t give you any extra notifications about that. It just let’s you begin to time yourself. I also find the chimes very sweet and I usually use them when I’m waking people up from Savasana in a yoga class too.
I hope you found this entry helpful! And if you have any questions about meditation I would love to chat about that so send me a DM on instagram or comment here.