Monday, June 2, 2014

Meditation Monday-Comparing Guided Meditation Apps

I know I haven't done the Meditation Monday post for quite awhile but I'm attempting to make it my Monday "thing" again now that I'm past the Stationery Show and have some of my orders filled for the moment.
I thought I'd re enter the meditation discussion by comparing a couple of guided meditation apps: the two I'm comparing this week are Simply Being and Headspace. I tried the free (or almost free) versions of each of these so that's what I'll be reviewing here.

First: Simply Being
Cost: $ 0.99

Nice calming graphic interface with simple button choices for options to meditate with music, with music and voice, with nature sounds and voice or just with voice. For time options, you can choose from 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute sessions. There are slider bars to regulate the volume of each sound individually. The guide's voice is a female one and it's mild and soothing in my opinion. After using this app for several weeks, I didn't feel the need to have the voice on anymore as the different programs weren't that varied plus I realized how much I missed just meditating in silence and hearing whatever sounds were around me instead. It seemed a bit silly to me to listen to pre-recorded nature sounds and drown out the actual nature sounds that were right outside my window!

Secondly: Headspace
Cost: Free for 10 day intro

I've heard this app described as "Type A Meditation" and I have to say I agree with that description. With fun, graphic illustrations on the interface I really was drawn in to the Headspace Take10 program-this is the introductory program that lasts 10 days and is meant to encourage you to purchase the full year of the program for $6.28 a month. The guide's voice is male and he speaks in an easy-to-understand Australian accent. I really like a lot of his techniques in this program--he uses some visual cues that really did help me to get in the meditation mode--the only problem was, every time I felt that I was really relaxed and into it, he would speak again and it would distract me. Some people may really like this approach and if so, you should definitely try it out as his program is varied each day plus he has different programs that I haven't tried like Headspace Motivate and Headspace Active. I felt that I didn't really want to pay $6.28 a month for this type of guided meditation but if you like lots of verbal cues while you meditate, this may be the program for you. Also there is an entire website/blog devoted to this app so you can read a lot about the various meditation options before you sign up for the paid version.

That's all for this Meditation Monday. Next week I will compare two other guided meditation apps.
Happy Monday!

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