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HOW TO (FINALLY) START MEDITATING

girl meditation on sunset

Photo by Ksenia Lambert

BEST MEDITATION APPS

By Evgeniya

It seems that more and more people all over the world are becoming aware of and interested in the subject of meditation and its benefits. Meditation is no longer the province of esoteric gurus and their would-be followers. These days everyone from world-famous scientists to businessmen, from politicians to homemakers, from doctors to students, all know of the purported benefits of meditation and seek to find out how it might be used to improve their own life. Incredibly, people who embark on this journey in an effort to find answers to their own burning questions, tend to find a whole lot more than they expected to find in the practice of meditation.

Here at Twenty Five Hundred we talk about mindfulness a lot: our long-time readers will probably remember The story of Saida’s awakening, her story about the theory and practice of meditation, and the selection of TED talks about getting to know your inner you.

I am no exception: during the hardest year of my life, 2016, I was forced to look for answers to a great many questions that I hadn’t been able to answer until then. I explored various avenues, painstakingy trying to find the light, and meditation was one of them.  But to be quite honest, I had no idea how to begin to approach the practice. Do I find a teacher? Do I join a group? Do I go online?

Meditation might be an ancient spiritual and psychological practice but progress turned out to be on my side! It turns out that there is a number of useful apps and other tools that ease one’s entry into the world of meditation and create a habitual need to practice mindfulness daily. Maybe today is the lucky day that my selection of tools will help you start listening to yourself a bit more effectively?

meditation Headspace

Source: https://www.headspace.com

1. Headspace

Who it’s for: beginner meditators who find it imporant to have a mentor who will lead them, teach and explain.

App Store rating: 5 out of 5

Cost: first 10 days free, then $12.95 per month.

Site: https://www.headspace.com

 

This app is my personal favorite and a guide I’ve been using for over a year. The creator of Headspace, Eddy Paddicomb, is the voice of the app (listen to his TED talk and you’ll understand). He is also a kindly and informative teacher who guides you gently into the practice of meditation. A cool thing about the app is that it not only teaches you the basics, but also offers you several sets for various needs and occasions. It has one on dealing effectively with stress, finding your inner balance, there’s even a kid’s section, a sleep section and more. Headspace also reminds you when it’s time to meditate. It also sends you cute texts if you choose, such as – “we often notice when we get angry or sad, but do we also notice when these feelings depart?”

In short, Headspcae is a must-have for those who are just beginning to get acquainted with meditation!

2. Insight Timer

meditation insight timer

Source: https://insighttimer.com

Who it’s for:  People who want not only the app for support in their meditation practice but also the support of live humans.

App Store rating: 5 out of 5

Cost: Free, with optional in-app purchases (that are not required for enjoying the app)

Site: https://insighttimer.com

 

A real social network for meditation lovers. Both introverts and extraverts will find a practice they like. The former can choose from among thousands of free tracks (mantras, songs, sounds…) inteded for mediation and tailored for various purposes (sound sleep, stress reduction, deep meditation, and much more). The latter can interact with any of 1.4 million users located all over the world and hear their advice as well as the wisdom of renouned meditation gurus.

I really like this app for its comprehensiveness and vast array of options. You’re highly unlikely to get bored here, if you do, there are always more things for you to try on this app and people to consult with.

If you’re already had some meditation practice and want to expand your knowledge, then Insight Timer is for you.

3. Enso

meditation enso

Source: http://www.ensomeditationtimer.com

Who it’s for:  For those who want to develop a better inner sense of time.

App Store rating:  5 out of 5

Cost:   free, with various in-app purchases (minor stuff like timer sounds, at $0.99 each).

Site: http://www.ensomeditationtimer.com

 

Probably the best meditation timer out there. It will take care of worrying about the time while leaving you to focuse on the practice. The sounds indicating the start and end of your meditation will assist you through the process and let you focus on your inner balance.  For stats lovers there’s a convenient dashboard and accomplishments info. Different sounds let you change your meditation soundtrack.

If you want to fine-tune your inner timer but still need some outside help in that department, Enso is your app.

4. Binaural

meditation binaural

Source: https://itunes.apple.com/ru/app/binaural-pure-binaural-beats/

Who it’s for:    Peopleм who want to catch the right vibe during their practice.

App Store rating:   5 out of  5

Cost:     Free with in-app purchases (for $4.99 you get a timer, different color options and other neat stuff).

Site: https://itunes.apple.com/ru/app/binaural-pure-binaural-beats/

 

This app is a sort of tuning fork that will help you fine-tune your practice. Sounds of various wavelengths help you with various goals (relaxation, sleep, get energized, wake up your mind, and so on). The sparse minimalist interface is very appealing. The different soundwaves are designated by greek letters and explanations of their purpose. A nice bonus: you can add the sound of falling rain to any of the sounds.

If creating a certain mindset is important to you — Binaural is your app.

Have you tried any of these apps? Have you tried some other meditation app? Do you have a favorite that I missed?

Leave a comment!

Enjoy and be inspired!

Evgeniya