78.8 F
Mérida
Saturday, September 18, 2021
###

The 10 best meditation apps to download now

Latest headlines

Guns N’ Roses cancels Mérida concert, vows to return in 2022

Guns N' Roses won't be in Mérida in 2021 after all. Los Angeles rockers Guns N' Roses...

Cholul — The small pueblo named after water wood in Northern Mérida

Although it has largely grown in popularity for newcomers, Cholul still retains its town designation as well as most of its traditions and customs.

Yucatán loosens curfew and eases limits on restaurant hours

Yucatán is easing its pandemic curfew, allowing drivers on the road at night between Sunday and Wednesday.

The best breakfasts in Yucatán

Breakfast time in Yucatán is full of delicious options, from the spicy to the sweet and savory.
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.

“I suck at meditation.”

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., a psychologist and creator of the Mindful Living Collective, has heard multiple covers of that classic tune, and he says it’s natural to feel like it’s difficult at first. Goldstein likens learning to meditate to riding a bike. “When you practice over time, it gets easier,” he says. Just as you owned your neighborhood once you got the hang of pedaling, meditation, Goldstein says, “allows you to gain more confidence around managing your stress and emotions” over time.

Another key point to understand? Meditating is not designed to stop your natural thinking process. “The idea of us being able to magically stop our thoughts from happening isn’t realistic,” says Josephine Atluri, a certified meditation instructor. Instead, acknowledge the thought, let it go, and return to your breath.

By focusing on your breathing, Atluri says it will ground you back to the present moment. “It’s all practice, and that helps us as we leave the meditation and go out into life,” she adds.

What are the benefits of meditation?

For starters, meditation has been shown to mitigate the health effects of stress on your body. While research is ongoing, various styles of meditation can help lessen pain, lower blood pressure, and dial down anxiety and depression, according to the National Institutes for Health. And a Harvard study found that folks who meditated around 20 minutes showed “significant, beneficial results in as little as eight weeks,” says Josh Korda, a meditation guide, podcaster, and author of Unsubscribe. Even as little as five minutes of controlled breathing “can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn reduces the symptoms of stress and our serum cortisol levels, lifting our mood and strengthening our immune system,” he says.

How can beginners learn to meditate?

That’s easy: apps with guided meditations and/or peaceful music. “I’d highly recommend individuals who are starting a practice listen to guided meditations rather than practice in silence,” says Korda. “That invariably results in mind wandering and increasing stress, rather than reducing it.”

Below, Prevention Magazine curated a list of the best meditation apps to try:

1. Insight Timer Meditation App
image
Insight Timer

Korda, Goldstein, and every expert we spoke to gave this one a big thumbs up. “When I am suggesting it to clients, the fact that it’s free is a really good perk for someone who’s just starting out and doesn’t want to sign on any dotted line,” explains Andrea Wachter, a licensed therapist and author of several books. Meditation teacher Lodro Rinzler, author of The Buddha Walks into a Bar and Love Hurts: Buddhist Advice for the Heartbroken, adds that “it cultivates a sense of community.” Indeed, you can send messages to other users and read reviews of 15,000 meditations of all styles. If that sounds overwhelming, it’s not, says Wachter. Insight Timer features “really user-friendly ways to search out recordings based on length and topics of interest,” she says.

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE, or upgrade for $4.99/month

2. Headspace Meditation App
Headspace Meditation App
Headspace

Filled with soothing, guided meditation—from breathing exercises to body scans—Headspace makes living mindfully extremely approachable, especially if you’re trying it for the first time. It even has courses to teach you what meditation is all about with basic exercises that run for 3-5 minutes (you get to choose how long you want to stay)! Atluri says her first experience with meditation was with the Headspace app. “I love how user-friendly it is,” she says. “When you have something laid out so nicely like this, it makes it a lot easier to try it out.” The app also has fun graphics and a clean aesthetic that makes it truly unique from the competition.

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE for up to 2 weeks, or upgrade for $12.99/month or $69.99/year

3. Meditation Studio Meditation App
Meditation Studio

Rinzler also loves this meditation app because “they have really thoughtfully curated their teachers,” he says. There are 50 or so veteran instructors with different backgrounds (you’ll find Zen Buddhist monks alongside child psychologists and addiction recovery specialists) so you can pick the voice that speaks to you best, or mix it up. “In my experience, meditation becomes a daily practice when it feels relevant to our lives,” says Chrissy Carter, a yoga and meditation instructor, who (along with Rinzler and Goldstein) is one of the teachers. With themed groupings (meditations for life transitions, for instance, or compassion) and for specific groups (veterans and children, to name two), “you can practice in a way that meets you where you are,” she says. You can also use the timer feature and listen to instrumental music or nature sounds.

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE for first 10 sessions, or upgrade for $7.99/month or $49.99/year

4. Ten Percent Happier Meditation App

The tagline for this app is “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.” You know who you are! What Rinzler likes about this app is its full courses, so you can “go on a journey with a particular teacher,” if you find one you love. Created by the bestselling positive psychology writer Dan Harris, this app has a real-world, non woo-woo vibe to it. “They also have a ‘coach’ function where you can ask a live human any questions that arise during your meditation path,” says Rinzler.

Download it for:
iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE for first 7 days, or upgrade for $9.99/month or $99.99/year

5. Simple Habit Meditation App

Whether you’re curious about meditation or are looking for a new app to try, Simple Habit is a wonderful choice that we seem to go back to again and again. The app makes meditating extremely customizable, giving you meditation sessions geared to your interests, with plans that focus on stress management, anxiety, sleep, positivity, and even eating. One of our favorite features is the on-the-go meditation sessions, allowing you to get some peace while taking a break at work, during your commute, or right before bed.

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE, or upgrade for $11.99/month or $89.99/year

6 Calm Meditation App
Once you open this app, the calming sounds of nature embrace you, so you’ll almost forget about the stressful day you just had. This top meditation app is accessible to beginners, teaching you how to breathe and stay in the present moment. It also has a wide selection of peaceful music and even bedtime stories, which, speaking from experience, really do lull you to sleep.

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE, or upgrade for $14.99/month or $69.99/year

7. Stop, Breathe, and Think Meditation App
One of the biggest focuses of Stop, Breathe, and Think? The acknowledgment of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. With this app, you’re able to choose a session based on your mood. Complete a short survey of questions based on how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally before receiving several recommended exercises to try. If you’re limited for time, no worries: These sessions are just a few minutes long, but will still give you a sense of peace once you’re ready to go back into your routine.

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE, or upgrade for $9.99/month or $58.99/year

8. Unplug Meditation App

Unplug Meditation started as drop-in studio classes before expanding into an app for anyone to download and enjoy. Atluri, who trained at an Unplug studio to get her meditation certification, says she loves this app because of its curated library and wide selection of teachers. “There’s so many different instructors who are on the app, so you can get a feel for other styles,” Atluri says, “and find what suits you.”

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: FREE, or upgrade for $7.99/month or $59.99/year

9. MNDFL Meditation App

MNDFL aims to bring the meditation community to you! And they offer a wide range of sessions. “We have one-minute quick fix videos up to full, 30-minute sits,” says Ellie Burrows Gluck, a meditation teacher and MNDFL co-founder (Rinzler, also a co-founder, is in many of the videos). Teachers at MNDFL come from varying backgrounds, such as Tibetan Buddhist and Shambhala, so you can try them all and see if you want to take a deeper dive into a style that works for you.

Download it for: iPhone

Cost: FREE for first 2 weeks, or upgrade for $14.99/month

10. Simply Being Meditation App

Some experts believe it’s better to meditate to an anonymous voice rather than a known instructor. If this sounds right to you, then Simply Being is perfect. A soothing female voice will talk you through a relaxing meditation that encourages you to “simply be.” You can customize your session between 5-30 minutes, and add music or ambient sounds as well. It’s particularly good for low-tech types who get stressed by too many bells and whistles, or who don’t want to pay a subscription fee.

Download it for: iPhone and Android

Cost: $1.99

By Deputy director, Health Newsroom, Hearst Lifestyle Group and is the associate editor at Prevention.com focusing on all things commerce within the health and lifestyle space.
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles

Mexico will vaccinate one million children at severe risk of COVID-19

There is an important limitation since the only vaccine authorized for emergency use in children under 18 is Pfizer’s.

Shorebirds in the Yucatán: endangered travelers

18% of the total bird population in Yucatán is in danger of extinction as a result of habitat loss, the introduction of invasive and predatory species, overfishing, and the climate crisis.

Casa Limonero — This classic Mérida home is now a modernized short-term rental in Santiago

“Casa Limonero just has such an authentic Mérida feeling,” says Trevor. “It’s modern enough to feel new and welcoming, but colonial enough to make you feel like you’re in Yucatán.”

Rare ancient Mayan vessel discovered in the path of the Tren Maya

The piece is engraved with a hieroglyphic text, whose type dates from the end of the Early Classic to the Late Classic period (600 and 800 A.D.), attributed to the Oxkintok area.

Here’s how to plant a tree in Mérida

For trees to grow healthy and not pose a danger to properties or citizens, one must consider Mérida’s infrastructure.

The grand ancient city of Becán — a microcosm of Maya history

Because of Becán’s longevity, in its history, we can see evidence of a microcosm of Mayan chronology packed into a single site.

Controversy over new Reforma sculpture: The head of an Olmec woman will be designed by a man

The new sculpture will be named Tlali, which means Earth in Nahuatl, and it will be created by sculptor Pedro Reyes. 

Yucatán COVID infections rise for the 5th consecutive week

Photo: Courtesy Daily coronavirus infections jumped 6.4% since the beginning of August, Yucatán health ministry data shows.

Obscurities: We found 5 of Mérida’s hidden treasures

Luca's patio is great for brunch. Photo: Maggie Cale I love finding new little spots to eat, shop,...

After 9/11, a New York diaspora in Mexico

Nearly 20 years after the attack, I am far away from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, seen here just yesterday. Photo:...