In 2010 I leaped into my first Vipassana training, at the time I was teaching yoga and running Nutritionize, a nutrition consulting practice… to be honest, life was good… I was on a path of work/life balance and there was little to complain about.
After 10 days of silence… I knew it was time to take a detour.
My big a-ha after that training was the realization that “meditation was the missing link” I had been searching for not just myself but to truly support my coaching clients who desperately wanted to adopt a more healthy lifestyle. I believed in the transformative power of meditation with every cell in my body, and still do.
At the time no one was talking about meditation except for the crazy people (the only people for me), but in my gut I knew it was a matter of time before people would jump on board… fast forward to 2017, meditation is one of the most popular habits around the globe. Along with this growth came the apps, wearable tech, programs (like mine), books, conferences, and more… it’s exciting to have so many tools and resources to support this powerful skill.
At the same time it’s challenging to have so many tools and resources, we can get stuck in choice overload trying to figure out whats good and what’s not and in the process barely “doing” the thing that’s meant to help us not get stuck in choice overload… meditate.
If you’re new to meditation, I have a lot of compassion for you… most likely you’re interested in meditation to fight overwhelm and that may be one of the first feelings you encounter when seeking meditation given the vast amount of information out there.
I’m not here to say what’s good and bad because quite honestly there’s something for everyone… it’s about finding what works for YOU, and that my friend might take a little experimentation.
If you’re anything like me, which i’m guessing you may be since you’re here following along on my journey, then perhaps I can cut your experimentation in half, because I’ve done some of the leg work for you.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is….
Which app do you recommend for meditation?
So I want to share the one that I use for my personal meditation practice as well as for the classes I teach. This by no means makes this app the best nor does it make it the one and only, it’s just the one that works for me.
I constantly test and try out other tools and if I find something that works better I would adopt that but for now this one is my tried and tested go to app.
And the app is…. drumroll please… Insight Timer.
I started using Insight Timer back in 2012, and 5 years later it’s still front and center on my phone. I absolutely LOVE the Insight Timer app. They have gone through their fair share of feature updates and to be honest some I like and some I don’t but fortunately the main feature I love, remains in tact.
Here’s why I love using the insight timer app:
Timer: Unless you have an extremely free flow schedule where time is non existent, you’ll need to time your meditation. Rather than using the alarm feature on your phone, opt for the timer feature on Insight Timer which allows you to set the length of your meditation.
Interval Bells: The most valuable feature of this app (IMO), I struggled with calculating how much time had passed and where my mind has wandered off too… I still do at times. Interval bells offer that subtle reminder to come back to your breath without interrupting your meditation. And for those of you that mentally calculate time, your mind may be put at ease with these timed bells.
Social connection: With or without facebook, we are social beings. We want to interact with other beings to share, learn, and grow together. The rise of the interwebs has made “connection” easier than ever. Insight Timer let’s you see how many other people are virtually meditating with you and where in the world they are. It’s always nice to know that I’m tapping into an energy force field created by thousands of people around the world.
Guided Meditation: This is a relatively new feature, meaning it wasn’t there when I first started using the app, and although I don’t use it much. It’s a great feature to have. The app offers guided meditations with various teachers around the world and for just about anything. My meditations are not on the app… yet!
Meditation Log: After each meditation you do, you have the option to write a few notes about your experience to keep a journal of your meditation. You also see how many days you have meditated and receive encouragements to keep up the great work.
Lastly, it’s an app folks! It goes where you go. It’s simple to use (bonus points), and it’s free!
My answer may disappoint some of you because you’ve heard of the hundreds of other apps out there. I’ve tried a few, not all, but ultimately I like simple and effective… and that’s insight timer!
I do also like the Headspace App and often recommend it to clients and organizations however it’s not one I use often. I will write up a review on it at some point.
As always don’t just take my word for it… try it out for yourself and report back.
What’s your favorite meditation app? Post to comments ….
Until next time… stay mindful my friends.