RESOURCES + TIPS: MEDITATION
Our ARISE box comes with a three-month subscription to MNDFL’s online platform. Maybe your subscription is up, maybe you’ve done ALL their meditations or maybe you want to try something new. We’re sharing a few of our favorite meditation resources so you can build upon your meditation practice.
1. There’s an app for that. No, really. There are so many meditation apps today, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which to choose from. We’ve used and loved Buddhify, Calm and Stop, Breathe, Think.
> Buddhify – This app understands your busy lifestyle; you don’t need to find time for meditation, it comes to you. More importantly, in addition to meditations about how you are feeling, you’ll find meditations around what you’re doing, so you don’t need to find a separate time or space. They also have an entire section dedicated for kids; this is a great resource if you want to get them onboard with meditating, too.
Why we love it: We love the concept of meditations coming to you and not needing to find a quiet, sacred space to check in. You can do many of their meditations while you’re doing other things – walking, traveling, with a friend or on a work break. There’s even a “using your phone” section - who couldn’t use their phone more mindfully?! When time is of the essence, they offer shorter 4 minute meditations. Bonus points for being a family owned, self-funded business.
Cost: The app costs $4.99. Buddhify also offers an optional membership for $30/year. Their membership is aimed for those looking to deepen their meditation practice vs. gaining access to all of their content.
> Calm – This app helps you to relax, meditate and sleep. They offer a breathe bubble, relaxing music, meditation 101 and meditation series to help you reduce anxiety, cultivate gratitude or strengthen your focus (just to name a few). Many of their meditations are guided, but they offer a section with less guidance if you feel like venturing on your own. Calm also offers soothing bedtime stories to help you get to sleep naturally. Their latest offering includes master classes dubbed as life changing audio classes delivered by world-renowned experts.
Why we love it: We love the variety of classes focused on a specific topic they offer which can help anyone start a regular meditation practice (aka build a habit). We recently did the one around building focus. We found the sessions 1000% relaxing and their tips to remain focused helpful.
Cost: You can test out some of their meditations without signing up, however they do offer a free 7-day trial. It costs $12.99/month or $60 if you opt to pay for the full year.
> Stop, Breathe & Think – This app focuses on you stopping what you are doing and checking in with yourself. Upon opening the app, you are prompted fill out a mini survey to note how you are feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally. From the survey, you are given a handful of meditations to chose from to support you in that moment. There is also an explore option to see all of their meditations.
Why we love it: We love being prompted to connect with ourselves first. This is something we rarely do when we get so caught up in our day to day. Also, this app is like your own personal concierge service telling you what you need. It really takes the guess work out of which meditation to do.
Cost: Many of their meditations are free, but to gain full access to all of their activities (meditation, breathing, yoga and acupressure) it costs $9.99/month, or $60 if you opt to pay for the full year.
Yes, we left Headspace off the list. There is nothing wrong with this app; we wanted to provide you with apps you may not have heard of. Additionally, this was the first app Kristen, our founder, started using to manage her burnout. Unfortunately, their meditations are guided by a man with a British accent, and coincidentally, a man with a British accent was causing Kristen much of her stress. Headspace did the opposite for her, so if you have an aversion to the voices on the guided meditations and they are stressing you out – don’t give up! Find another meditation or app to use.
2. Let’s get physical. You’ve heard of yoga studios, but have you heard of meditation studios? They’re popping up all over the place. In NYC there’s MNDFL and Inscape. In L.A. there’s Unplug. Chicago has Chill. Meanwhile, inhere is in London. Many also offer online classes or have an app. If you don’t live in a city with a meditation only studio, check out your local yoga studio – they likely offer meditation classes as well.
Why we love it: Meditation in a community setting can be powerful. It’s hard to put our finger on, but it feels like it’s more potent and calming. Similar to a workout class, meditating in a class holds you accountable (you did pay for it up front after all) and it’s a great way to meet like minded people (so you might meet your new best friend or at least an accountability partner).
Cost: This varies by city, but it typically costs anywhere from $15-30 per session. Many, like yoga studios, offer multi-class packs as well as first time class discounts.
3. Your fav "wellness guru”. It seems like everyone in the wellness space these days is offering their core expertise with a side of meditation. Check to see if your favorite “wellness guru” is offering meditations. We regularly use Kris Carr’s and Melissa Ambrossini’s meditations.
Why we love it: We like these ladies and use their content regularly, so of course we love their meditations. Kris Carr’s self-care meditations for busy people are spot on (pep talk meditation, self-love reboot) and they’re all under 10 minutes. Here are some of Kris’ tips to make meditation easier. Melissa Ambrossini’s voice is relaxing AF. Her meditations are a bit on the longer side, but they each give you a dose of what you might need (letting go, love over fear, worthiness).
Cost: These could range anywhere from $20-50 depending on the “wellness guru”, but they’re sold as audio downloads so it’s a one-time payment and you get to keep them for life.
4. Untraditional approach. It took us FOREVER to write this post and we’re so glad it did because we recently discovered Move + Meditate by Kait Hurley. We’re excited to include her method in this round up. Just as it sounds, you sweat first to either some heart-pumping, sneak up on you and kick your ass workouts, or some yoga flows. Then you sit to get your meditation in. Most of her online classes are 20-30 minutes total. The meditations focus on body scans, loving kindness or breathwork. Kait started meditating after dealing with a series of anxiety attacks. She started Move + Meditate as a way to get in both her workout and meditation, so she wouldn’t have to choose.
Why we love it: We love getting in our workout and meditation in 30 minutes or less. The workouts always trick us into thinking they’ll be easy because they’re short, but they kick our asses. During the movement part, Kait reminds you to stay mindful in the movements – how does it feel, what are you telling yourself. This is something we’ve found useful in other areas of our life (like hiking during a heat wave for example). Kait feels like an old friend and isn’t intimidating (like some fitness instructors we’ve had). She encourages you to move in a way that feels good for your body – and it might look a bit different than her, which is ok. We also found that its easier to meditate and sit still after working out. We may be slightly obsessed and she is for sure our latest #WCW.
Cost: 7-day free trial, then $20/month.
5. Go deeper. Consider adding binaural beats to your meditations. Basically, each ear gets a different sound frequency and the brain perceives a third tone based on the difference of the two frequencies. There are five different frequencies for the state of mind you would like, including one for deep sleep and meditation. We use this Binaural app in Theta and then hit play on whatever meditation we plan to listen to. Don’t forget your headphones.
Why we love it: Using binaural beats helps us relax quicker and makes us feel like we are getting more out of our meditation, especially when we’re short on time.
Cost: Free, baby.