The many benefits of mindfulness and meditation are not in question. Consequently, it is a very good idea to start practicing meditation yourself.
As I mentioned in my most recent post, books can be useful to guide you in this process. However, did you know that you can also download interesting apps for your smartphone?
Nowadays, everyone has their mobile phone in their pocket. What could be easier to start meditating?
We thought it would be a wonderful idea to discuss apps that help you cultivate mindfulness and meditation. Today we’ll kick off with the app Insight Timer.
Let’s Get Acquainted
I’ve had this app on my smartphone for about 5 years. But it’s only since this year that I’m actually using it on a daily basis for meditation first-thing-in-the-morning.
To get started, you can download the app for free from the Google Play– or Apple store. There is also a payed Premium version. To celebrate their 10th anniversary this year, they offer a 50% discount on the Premium subscription.
The app has a nice design, but you’ll love the content even more. We’ll go over the different categories you’ll see after opening the app.
– Today: A world map with the distribution of users is shown here. There are numbers with the total amount of meditators, how many meditators today and how many right now.
If you scroll down, you can invite friends to join. You are able to see the people from your country and the ones in your community (i.e. groups you can connect with).
– Meditation: Here you’ll find a real treasure box of meditations, with up to 30 000 free audio file meditations and music tracks.
There is a great variability: from walking meditations to Nidra yoga, Vipassana and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
You can filter by theme: bookmarks, recent, meditation, music, podcasts, sleep, beginners and stress. If you are a premium member, you get even more access to full meditation courses.
– Timer: You can meditate in silence and set a timer with a start chime. In addition, you can also choose the length of time, interval tones, ambient noise and end chords.
– Courses: A library full of 10-30 day courses. Only accessible for a fee or if you are a premium member.
– Profile: You can customize your profile by adding a photo or a quote. Here you also get an overview of your activities on the app. Graphs track your progress and show how long you meditate on average and how many days you are active.
An added bonus is that you can earn milestones, for example every 10 consecutive days or after 50 consecutive days of meditating. Milestones are symbolized by stars in a specific colour, for example 1 milestone = yellow, 5 milestones = red and 25 milestones = green. This is a nice reward to keep you motivated!
There is also the possibility to make contact with other meditators. You can send them a message “Thank you for meditating with me”. Conversely, you can also receive messages from other people. There currently is a large online community of Insight Timer. Make sure to visit their Facebook page for articles and nice quotes!
Tune into my List of Favourites
I like to share my hidden gems on Insight Timer. Coincidence or not, but all 3 are women. 😉
Personal top 3 meditation teachers:
1. Sarah Blondin – I really like her ‘Live Awake’ series so much. These are all profound, self-healing meditations that allow you to find the connection with your own core with a lot of love. The exercises last about between 10 to 20 minutes.
2. Aluna Moon – Nicola Haslett & Samantha Redgrave invite you to discover the beauty of life. They have a lovely collection of feminist mindfulness meditations.
3. Bethany Auriel-Hagan – I love her breathing visualizations! If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, I’d certainly recommend putting these on… You’ll sleep like a rose 😉
– The free version offers a very wide range of meditations.
– Every day brand new exercises are released.
– Suitable for beginners and advanced meditators.
– Easy-to-use with fun options, like giving ratings and earning milestones.
– With the built-in reminder you’ll get a notification when it’s your time to meditate.
– Available for both Android and Apple smartphones.
– I don’t see many disadvantages, but it’s a pity that the courses are only for Premium members.
– For people who are perfectionists and put pressure on themselves, the milestone system can be a killer rather than a motivator. They may focus too much on the number of consecutive days instead of enjoying the process of meditation.
In general, I am a very satisfied user of this app. I’m sure I’ll keep using it on a daily basis.
I hope you share my enthusiasm for Insight Timer!
Overall, I reward this app with 4.5 stars. Because of the few contra’s, it’s not a fully-fledged 5.
Make sure to leave a comment in the box below. I am curious about your experiences with this app!
You may want to share your personal top 3 teachers?
With love ❤,