Because we are all yoga teachers doesn’t necessarily mean we have the meditation practice all figured out. Yoga teachers like nudges to keep the practice up every now and then, too.In this list of 10 meditation apps that every yoga teacher should be using, you’ll find one to use regularly either in your practice or in your daily life. Whether you’re looking for something to help you focus and embrace everyday challenges a little better, or inspire your own classes, and recommend your students, your match is in this list.
There are many apps and websites tailoring to this avenue of using your phone or computer to help with meditation. You can search in your app store for “meditation” and find hundreds of apps claiming to help you meditate.
Here are the top four meditation apps for finding your zen on the go:
1. Insight Timer:
When asking most of my fellow yoga teachers what apps they prefer, this one always comes up. It’s versatile: you can practice guided meditations with specific teachers, but you can also use it as a timer and choose the way it begins and stops.
In the settings, you can create your own timer. I have a few of them: one for five minutes of silence, one called “plane meditation” for 20 minutes with white noise, another one called “cozy meditation” with fire crackling in the background. Each of these choices end with a gong.
They offer a lot of charts, show you how many people are meditating in the world, and allows you to add friends. Their latest updates offer a “sleep” section and meditation courses; it’s a great way to explore your mind to a deeper level and support your favorite teachers.
This app is user-friendly, the design and illustrations are beautiful and cute, and the orange color is energizing. On there, you’ll find sleep sounds, SOS meditations, and meditations to invite you to think about the way you use your devices, such as the “mindful tech” meditation. Their illustrations show up as stickers for you to use in your messages too, which is a fun touch.
You have access to quite a few meditations and can upgrade whenever you want to experiment with new ones — they have discounted options for families and students.
This is a very soothing app — just looking at it and its beautiful images will help you relax. This one offers meditations, sleep tools, mindful movement practices, and music to help your focus.
Calm offers a 7-day free trial with a 7-day program to learn to meditate, so that’s perfect for you if you’d like to give your practice a fresh start. If you decide to subscribe after the seven days, you’ll have access to 100+ meditations, a daily quote called “Daily Calm” and even a masterclass every month, featuring mindfulness experts to take your practice deeper. Perfect to add to your teacher knowledge library!
4. Stop, Breathe and Think:
This app invites you to check in first to see how you’re doing. With the information you give it, it chooses the meditations most appropriate for where you find yourself at that moment. It’s also very user-friendly and the illustrations are quite relatable — perfect for any modern yoga teacher.
If your students are curious to try, this is one to recommend. They also have a kids’ version in case you’re teaching young ones whose parents would like to take the mindfulness practice outside the yoga class.
5. Simple Habit:
As its name indicates, this meditation app isn’t only about meditation, it’s also interested in helping you make long-term changes. It works with the underlying idea that everyone is busy and that five minutes a day can make a difference in the way you sleep and maintain your stress levels to a minimum. You can personalize your experience as soon as you get into the app, choosing to focus on sleep, anxiety, but even fitness or intimacy.
This will be for the busiest of us who see meditation as one of many tools to make our everyday a little lighter and enjoyable — even if it’s filled with stress.
6. 10% happier:
This app was created by Dan Harris, the writer of the book by the same name, and is intended for the meditation skeptic, because no, being a yoga teacher doesn’t mean we’re 100 percent convinced of the benefits of meditation. The app’s goal is to offer tools to train our minds just one step at a time.
In it, you’ll find meditations and practical tips to apply to your daily life. You can also listen to the podcast, featuring experts in their fields, speaking with ABC news anchor Dan Harris.
Although Sam and Dan Harris (app above) aren’t related, they sure share the mission of using our minds as a lab to explore and experiment in. In Waking Up’s words, “The purpose of meditation isn’t merely to reduce stress or to make you feel better in the moment — it’s to make fundamental discoveries in the laboratory of your own mind.”
Their app takes you through a 50-day meditation course and offers lessons too. This is for the ones looking to feed their minds and their teachings in new ways — opening up to new perspectives and ways to experience life.
Oak is beautifully designed and is made for meditation and breathing. Although the choice is still limited, you can pick the duration, voice, background noise and if you’d like to add a warm-up to your practice. You’ll also find resources to sleep and have the possibility to turn reminders on to never miss a practice.
This is for those of us looking for a nutritious visual experience and who tend to get quickly overwhelmed with the number of choices available in meditation apps.
This app was created by the mindfulness experts at MindValley. They created it not only for meditation, but also as a space to find inspiration. That’s where you’ll find resources and tracks to listen to inspire a positive living and add joy to your everyday.
This is for those of us looking to make their meditation practice a source of energy to go teach those early morning classes!
If you’re already subscribed or looking for an online platform to practice asana, they often have a meditation section too. Here are a few to check out:
Which one will you choose? No matter what you’re looking for and how experienced you are with meditation, we hope this list has given you some pointers as to what to first try.