Blog - May 26, 2021
It is possible to find reviews of virtually everything online today, from pots to photos of Mars, but it’s relatively difficult to find those meaningful ones, which do not cover technical aspects of reviewed items and focus on objectivity. Therefore, I’ve decided to write completely subjective reviews, namely accounts, impressions and recommendations for mobile apps, websites and other stuff that can be found online, without any ambition to be objective or a seasoned expert for technical aspects. In a word, my intention is to present things that I find interesting or useful.
Many years ago, when I was thinking about starting practicing meditation in the simplest possible way, it occurred to me that there had to be a mobile app for that, as was for every else. After a short search, I chose Headspace, the most downloaded all for guided meditation. While searching about its relevance, I discovered that the founder of Headspace was Andy Puddicombe, a scientist and an athlete, who decided in his twenties to become a Buddhist monk and ten spent the following decade studying meditation in various Buddhism centres. The app itself offers a free basic meditation course, consisting of ten 10-minute sessions, as an excellent method of acknowledging benefits of meditation and checking whether meditation is right up your street at all. An additional confirmation that I made the right choice stemmed from the fact that the app content did not include any religious or spiritual discourse, even though meditation originated from Eastern religions.
Focused attention meditation
Although I had already been reactively familiar with meditation as a form of simple practice, only after a recommendation that came from a person close to me, exactly nine years ago, did I start studying it more deeply. And it seems that science has started paying much more attention to meditation and its benefits in the last decade, with an increase in the number of various stress-related disorders or diseases.
Benefits of meditation are multiple and scientifically verified in now already thousands of scientific studies, testifying to an almost miraculous impact of meditation on controlling stress, anxiety, depression, sleep and self-confidence, as well as on the overall mental, physical and emotional health and immunity.
Knowledge about all these benefits, a need to regulate stress, which was far above the limit I could control at that point, and natural curiosity about all techniques for improving quality of life made me download the Headspace app nine years ago and meditate for the first time in my life, guided by a teacher, in my case the voice of Andy Puddicombe on the Headspace app.
My initial scepticism about practicing such an ancient skill via a modern mobile app soon disappeared. In fact, now I cannot imagine a simpler, easier way of practicing guided meditation.
Technical aspect of the app
In a word, Headspace is a technically excellent app, updated on a daily basis. It is available for Android and IOS mobile devices, as well as in the form of web app. Naturally, meditations are at the core of the entire app. Once a free basic course is completed, should you decide to subscribe to the app, you have an entire library of series or one-time meditations on various topics (health, relationships, work, stress, anxiety, focus, sleep…) at disposal, lasting from 5 to 40 minutes. In addition to its basic function, the app includes a whole variety of other content – animations, articles and videos, designed in a unique, visually very appealing style. The interface is simple and intuitive on both a computer and a phone, and it is possible to track time of every meditation, choose series, follow one’s own progress. As of recently, the app can be more tailored to one’s preferences through a daily program, and there is also an option of selecting one out of three teachers, whose voice will guide you through meditation.
In my opinion, benefits of meditation are such that the world would be a much better, nicer and happier place if meditation practices were introduced as mandatory as early as in primary school, if not earlier. Therefore, I strongly recommend this app, even if you are considering the idea of meditation at the moment, especially on a phone or a computer. In addition to the experience being perfectly adapted for this medium, it‘s difficult to imagine any other equally effective way, both widely popular and intimate at the same time. Although I very rarely pay for mobile apps, I fortunately, found the fee of 13 dollars a month, or 96 dollar a year for this app acceptable, because I think that it’s hard to find anything more useful for oneself for that amount of money. Plus, this fee is an additional motivation for daily meditation, as the basis for its full effect.
Autor: Vlada Ćosić, Represent Communications