Take a look at your typical day — you’re eating well, training diligently and working hard. Most days are busy with varying responsibilities and you’re ticking things off left, right and centre. But when was the last time you took a moment to take your foot off the gas and slow down? Relentless productivity has its benefits, of course, but you could be steering towards burnout if you’re not careful. As such, it may be worth blocking out 10-15 minutes in your day to focus on slowing down and dipping your toe into meditation. Perhaps ironically, the best place to start would be with your smartphone — where you can use meditation-specific apps to help you get started on your journey.
“When choosing a meditation app, here are a few factors to consider – do you want guided or non guided meditation?” explains Third Space Master Trainer Clare Walters. “Do you find the voice of the person leading the guided meditation calming? What style of meditation technique does the app offer? There are many styles of meditation, but not all of them will suit you so it sometimes takes a few tries to find one you connect with.”
Below, with the help of Walters, we walk you through five meditation apps to try (in your own time, of course).
1 Giant Mind
How much: Free
What: “This is lead by Australian Jonny Pollard who teaches the 1 Giant Mind technique which is a very simple mantra based meditation,” says Walters. “They have a 12-step ‘learn to meditate’ course then a 30-day challenge in the app. There’s also a meditation timer in the app which allows you to choose whether the meditation is guided, what music plays in the background and how long you want to meditate for.
Why: “I love this app for its simplicity in both design but also the technique. Jonny’s voice is super calming and the 12-step learn to meditate course gradually introduces the technique and answers all the questions you could have leaving you feeling super confident in moving on to the 30-day challenge.”
How much: Free timer, subscription-based
What: “Lead by Michael James Wong from Just Breathe Project, the free timer has the option to be unguided or guided by Michael and is a mantra based meditation. The library is full of many types of guided meditation and breathwork practices.”
Why: “I love the variety this app offers and the little words of wisdom Michael drops in during the guided meditations in the library.”
How much: Subscription-based
What: “It’s totally customisable around experience level and goals, using this they create a personalised plan for you with a choice of two people to guide you through,” says Walters. “There’s also a huge library of one-off themed meditations, breathwork practices and sleep stories.”
Why: “They create a plan for you as it really becomes a personalised practice tailored to your level and needs.”
How much: Free, subscription optional
What: “There’s a meditation timer and a huge library of free guided meditations,” says Walters.
Why: “The app records how many days in a row you’ve meditated and for how many minutes. Also when you open the app it shows a mindful quote which is a really nice way to set up your meditation practice.”