We are all too familiar with the way technology and our mobile devices are ruining our lives, our posture, and our sleeping patterns. This is all based on the idea that “they” are taking over our lives, and we have no control on how to stop them, besides turning off batteries and putting them in a box.
But these little square rectangles and glowing screens don’t hold the power over us; we can make our own choice!
This being said, I’m not claiming to be against the digital detox routine at yoga retreats and similar events, where you are asked to hand over your phone and go uninterrupted for several days. Heck, I’m not even against turning off your phone for the weekend, as you go for a hiking trip in the Rockies—I recommend it. On the day-to-day experience, however, we can learn to integrate a more mindful approach to technology, allowing it to help us with the challenges we face with meditation.
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: With the sound of a simple bell, you can be brought into a state of calmness. Set a timer for whatever amount of time you would like to meditate. There are also guided meditations from excellent teachers, such as Jon Kabat-Zinn and Jack Kornfield.
2. Headspace: Track your progress as you go through the 10-day trial with this app. The guided meditations are simple and refreshing. Andy Puddicombe has a great way of making meditation approachable and achievable within 10-15 minutes.
3. Calm: This simple app allows you to practice meditation, breathing, and body scans. You can choose a background image, sit back, and listen to the teacher’s voice. You can also create a personal profile to track your progress.
4. Relax Melodies: This app allows you to choose the sounds you would like to hear while meditating or even falling asleep. My favorite part is being able to mix the different sounds to create a custom soundtrack for meditation. With a timer that closes the app when you choose, it’s a great way to relax and be in control of your own atmosphere.
For iPhone users: Download on the App store.
For Android users: Get it on Google Play.
Insider Tip: When practicing with your phone, turn it to “Do Not Disturb.” The worst thing, when reaching a state of bliss, is to be interrupted by a text or call!
Utilizing guided meditation videos is another way that technology can enhance your meditation practice. It is a nice bonus to be able to see your teacher, or at least hear them more closely. There are dozens of guided meditation videos on the web—it can be a bit overwhelming. We are more likely to pause and meditate in the midst of our busy day, when we are provided with the resources to do just that!
If it’s the end of the day and you missed your meditation practice, don’t worry. Honor where you are and try again tomorrow. Remember, you are unlimited—meditation can help you figure that out.