benefits, benefits of meditation

December 18, 2018, by

 

Meditation App Review Part One – Insight Timer App

 

The benefits of meditation can’t be overstated. Studies show that regular meditation practice reduces stress, anxiety and other mental health issues such as phobias, depression and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. It promotes positive thinking, increases attention span and focus, reduces memory loss, fights addictions, improves sleep and even promotes kindness in practitioners!  Given these results, why are we not all trying to incorporate more meditation into our lives?

For students encountering stress in any scenario, including standardized tests, meditation can be an invaluable tool to help you maneuver stressful situations. It’s free; it can be done anywhere and it’s relatively easy to learn.  Nevertheless, getting oneself to actually meditate can be tough.  To help our readers, several tutors at Marks Education decided to try a few apps specifically designed to help encourage meditation practice and manage stress. We found three apps we’d like to share with you, in our three-part series on meditation.  In our first part, Nitin Sawhney talks about his favorite meditation app.

For the past fifteen months or so, I’ve used a meditation app called Insight Timer almost daily. It has over 13,800 guided meditations (as of the date of this article) and no hidden fees or gimmicks. The guided meditations are usually between 10 and 20 minutes long, and the types of meditations include mindfulness, relaxation, sleep, yoga, and music. Many meditations are secular, and others come from leading spiritual traditions. The app allows each user to rate the guided meditations on a scale of 5. Because there are thousands of users rating the meditations, my students and I use these ratings to guide our choices.

My students use the mindfulness meditations regularly. Like me, they tend to cycle through a few different teachers trying the highest-rated meditations and bookmarking the ones they like best. The app also has a timer that I use to track my daily silent meditations.

According to data released by the CEO of Insight Timer in a recent article published on Medium.com, Insight Timer is the most used meditation app in the USA.

 

What I love about the app:

 

Because I sometimes have trouble falling asleep, I frequently use the “Yoga Nidra for Sleep” meditations on this app. I have seven or eight favorites that I can cycle through, so I do not repeat them too often.

Although I usually meditate without guidance (using just the timer), I sometimes use the guided mindfulness meditations on the app. There are many wonderful teachers on this app, and occasional guided meditations can be helpful even for experienced meditators.

I also love that I can track my daily meditation time, both silent and guided, on graphs on a daily, weekly, or monthly axis. I’m a pretty driven person, so I check my graph frequently, and this feature really helps me. It could very well help you too! Just over the past year, my graph shows a steady upward climb, so the app is clearly working for me.  We would enjoy reading about your experiences with this app or another meditation app you’ve tried.  Leave your comments below!  Stay tuned for Part II, as Sara Plunkett reviews her favorite meditation app.

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