Do you guys meditate? Have we chatted about this? I’ve been meditating on and off for about 3 – 4 years now. There are days where I finish a session and think “man I rocked this!” and days where I’m losing focus about every 2.5 seconds. Funny enough, most times when I lose course, it’s because I’ve wandered into writing mode for a blog post. I just always have ideas flowing that I want to chat about! If I could have a *think to text* app my blog would be overflowing with so much incredible content it would be ridiculous. That’s not how it works though, you know?
I’ve already started veering off course with this post… that’s just what I do (sometimes). Anyway! Most of the time my meditation practices consist of mantra repetition or breathing techniques. Over and overtaking deep breathes, repeating: “I am healing” or “this will pass” or whatever sort of healing/pain validation I need at the moment. If my stomach feels like it needs more love, I might just focus on deep belly breaths in and out. Another one I repeat to myself often is “guru guru wahe guru ram das guru.” What does that translate too?
I honestly have no idea. It’s just one of the meditations that stuck when I read through my medicine meditation book a few years ago. And now, for years, I repeat it to myself over and over and over again when I just need to breathe and focus. I mentioned it to a meditation expert friend and she laughed at me because she said it was a very popular song in the meditation world. And while I’m sure she’s 100% correct, I know it’s a meditation mantra as well 😉 Actually, I just googled it and this blog post about it came up. It says that each part of the chant is supposed to resonate with each one of the 7 chakras.
Well, that’s cool. But if you’re like me then you’re less concerned about chakras and more concerned about tuning out the noise and feeling better in the present moment. Not to say that the chakras are irrelevant– I just need to focus where I need to focus 😉
Anyway, I know a lot of people have been praising different meditation apps they’ve been using recently. And I checked out a few and they were great, but man they were pricey. I get the point of the price tag (someone has to pay for the app and its up-keep) but right now, I can’t bring an additional app price into my daily budget. So I asked, “what are your favorite FREE meditation apps?” and I definitely got answers! And thanks to you guys I’ve been using meditation apps regularly for the last few months to tune in…. or tune out. And it’s been wonderful! So, of course, I thought I should share 🙂
Five Free Apps For Meditation
This was the number one recommended app. After using it I can see why. While the paid version obviously has a lot of great perks, the free version is streamlined and user-friendly enough where you don’t feel like you’re totally missing out. There are still a lot of great options with the free membership. The biggest downside I found with the free version is you can’t fast forward or rewind, but that’s the price you pay (or don’t pay). Still a totally great app. I’ve been loving the yoga nidra sessions each night. Marlowe does too. At least 6 nights out of the week she asks to do a meditation to fall asleep to. How awesome is that?
I just downloaded this one and cannot wait to try it. So far the biggest perk is the app is created by Thich Nhat Hanh— meditation/mindfulness amazing man. Secondly, I love how there are even eating meditations you can practice. Eating is one of the trickiest things for me (and maybe us as a family). Marlowe ALWAYS wants to read during meals– sometimes I let her, sometimes I don’t. (I know she shouldn’t.) Alex doesn’t chew his food for the life of him. For me, I’m an overeater. I chew my food well– well, better than most maybe, but I serve bow after bow of food overeating. I’ve been paying more attention lately since I noticed my blood sugar was actually dropping to do this– and in the last month or two of trying to pay attention, my blood sugar issue went away. Crazy how just paying attention can affect you, haha. So yeah, looking forward to trying this out! Oh! Also! There is no paid version. It’s all free. That means everyone gets the same benefit whether they have extra cash to spend or not.
The second most recommended app by you guys. I think Headspace might be the best one for super beginners. It really breaks everything down for you and even customizes it to your needs. I guess the problem with that is that sometimes we want to mix it up a bit more and the customization can be a bit much. The free version is definitely more limited than the paid. But either way, it might be a good place to dip your feet into mediation.
Another app that seems best for beginners. Most meditations are about 5 minutes long. I think we can all take 5 minutes to breathe. Chances are you guys spend over an hour on your phones each day (often guilty) take 5 minutes of that time to meditate. If you like it you can pay one flat rate which is great– it’ll end up being much cheaper than paying a yearly fee I’m sure. The perk of it is the app basically sets everything up for you. There’s little thought involved (which is sort of the point, no? haha). My friend Steph has been using it for over 2 years and loves it. She has ten million kids, cooks every meal, works full time and writes on the side– if she can do it, you guys can 😉
Mindful Powers (Kids app)
I wanted to add this here. While I was searching for apps for myself I stumbled upon this one. There are a lot of kids mindfulness apps out there, but for whatever reason, this one stuck out to me. I (we) liked it because it feels way more like a game than meditation. Marlowe has mindfulness in school every day and asks for the yoga nidra meditations at night– so I think she qualifies as a bit of a pro, haha. But this app would be great for any kiddo– experienced or not.
And that’s it! I highly recommend trying one out today! And if you’re feeling like you’re totally sucking at the meditation game, well remember, there’s no winning or losing. It’s just a practice. And a practice specifically designed to increase your compassion. So be compassionate with yourself 😉 We’re not perfect, we’re growing!
Ps. I have a lot of friends who rave about the calm app. I didn’t add it to the list because I tried it months ago and found it so incredibly limiting in the free version that I gave up. The friends who rave about it pay for it though– so that might be the trick 😉
PPS. I’ve def. listed loads of meditation books here on the blog and on Instagram as well in the past. But if you’re looking for two good shorter and super relatable reads to check out, then I recommend 10% happier and the sequel to the book too 🙂
Cheers and happy brain growing time!