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admin | starting exercise program | 30.11.2014
Over the past few years, meditation and particularly mindfulness meditation, have become huge buzzwords. Lifehacker UK is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Why is forming the habit of sitting still for 10-20 minutes a day way easier said than done? Like many of you out there, I’ve been wrestling with meditation for quite a few years. Recently, in an attempt get myself back on track and make the pesky meditation habit stick again, I started playing around with guided meditation. For each resource I’ve listed the number of free guided meditation tracks, the different types of mediation available, the average length of each mediation, and whether the tracks are downloadable. Meditation styles: Loving kindness, mindfulness, forgiveness, sleep, mantra, healing, children. Fragrant Heart is one of my favourite free guided meditation sites, partly because of it’s cool name, but mainly because of the quality of the guided meditations. Some tracks are as short as a minute, which is great for beginners, and they also provide a free guided meditation course too. Tara has a massive library of at least a hundred guided meditation tracks to keep you going, various styles, with a new one added each week. I’ve used it for quite a few years now, mainly for their collection of free yoga class videos (hip flexor heaven is a personal favourite). The Chopra centre is the brainchild of Deepak Chopra and David Simon, two MD’s with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of body, mind and spirit. Amongst other things, the site hosts a wide range of meditation styles with high quality audio. Most tracks are pretty short, but might be great for someone who’s just getting into forming the meditation habit. It’s really cool to see universities recognising the benefits of meditation and mindfulness! Headphones are recommended when listening, because the tracks are layered over binaural beats, which apparently affect your brainwaves and make you extra mindful. Audio Dharma is a massive resource, with around forty free guided meditations available from a variety of teachers, as well as a shed load of interesting talks and videos on mindfulness. You can either choose the simple guided meditations (which range from 2 to 20 mins) or go solo and use the meditation timer. Meditation styles: Mindfulness, relaxation, loving kindness, body scan, stress, anxiety, productivity, healing. Developed by former buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, and his business partner Rich Pierson, Headspace is the meditation app and website taking the mindfulness world by storm.
It’s an incredible resource, with literally thousands free guided meditation tracks and talks from teachers from all around the world. Everyone from your GP to Oprah to your Nan is talking about how it can calm your nerves, make you more productive, and even work to tackle more series issues, like anxiety and depression.

I’m inconsistent, and whenever I do make the time to sit quietly, my mind is racing and I just wanna be somewhere else. Please check it out and feel free to link us if you ever update this superb resources post of yours. Related: All the Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness, According to Science There are lots of different types of meditative practices, but the one that's having its moment in the sun because it's so easy to pick up, is mindfulness. I was recommended one of her books a while back “True Refuge” and really loved it! So it's all about attention and, contrary to popular belief, it's not about silencing your mind or clearing away thoughts. Will have to check out some of the others on this list too thanks for the reccomendations!
Like most things nowadays, there are plenty of apps to help you get started, whether you'd like someone to talk you through the process, or just have a reminder pushed to your handset so you've got a better chance of building the habit. These are our picks of the top meditation apps available right now in the UK, but do a little digging around and you'll find hundreds more. As with most apps, the key is to finding the one you enjoy using the most, whether it's the easiest user experience or has recordings with the voices you find most soothing (yep, that's a thing). Headspace Headspace isn't just an app, it's becoming a global phenomenon with its simple guided mediation practices and adorable animations. The Headspace team is partnering with brands, releasing books and sorting out whole businesses with meditative practice.
But it started its life as a simple app - an app which counts some of the biggest names in sports, medicine and the glitzy land of celebs among its users. The reason it's become so popular over the past few years is it's just so damn easy to get started. You download the free app (your first 10 days using it are free) and begin your Take 10 Programme, which is 10 days of mindfulness meditation practice guided by the app's founder, Buddhist monk-cum-entrepreneur Andy Puddicombe. Each day, you're prompted to breathe deeply, check in with your mind and body, and take stock of what's going on inside and outside of your head.
You can do it pretty much anywhere, which is great for those with lengthy and frustrating commutes. If you struggle, there's plenty of help at hand through tips and animations that remind you of just how awesome meditation is.
Once you've breathed your way calmly through the first 10 days, you'll need to sign up for a membership to get access to more content. Once you're signed up and delve deeper into the specific meditation 'packs', you can pick and choose what you focus on and also get access to some on-the-go meditations too. They're like little calm-down nuggets of wisdom that help you focus on your breath when your anxiety has spiralled out of control. There are lots of different things going on inside the Buddhify app, but the best (and most aesthetically-pleasing) is the wheel of meditations in the middle. All you do is pick what you're up to at the moment, so there's travelling, waking up, at home or just meditation if you're not doing anything specific.

From there the wheel will fan open to reveal a number of different meditation options with details about how long they last.
Most are all about mindfulness on-the-go and helping you check in with your mind and pay attention to the world around you, rather than staying all wrapped up in your thoughts. But one or two are a little different, encouraging you to go on a guided visualisation journey (Universe in Just Meditation II is my favourite for that) or take part in a body scan. Once you've become used to meditating regularly, I'd highly recommend going 'freestyle' and not using a meditation to guide you. It may seem daunting at first, but hit Buddhify's little timer option at the bottom and you'll have 10 free minutes with soothing music at the beginning and at the end. There's something about timing your practice when you go it alone that makes it so much easier.
There's also a Stats tab, which gives you information about how often you've been meditating and what your best streaks have been. I don't tend to visit this section often, but if you're into gamifying your experiences you might want to compete with yourself and up your stats.
The colours, styles and voices just all seemed a bit blah and instead I used a mixture of Headspace and Buddhify for a few years. Only recently did I pick up Calm again to see it's changed and has a few brilliant features I can't find elsewhere. Although Calm does take you on some great mindfulness journeys and body scans, it's the sounds of sea, forest, a lake and rain that really set it apart from the others. Some people may find this irritating, too twee or just not at all calming, but if you're anything like me then atmospheric sounds can sometimes be even more soothing that a guided meditation, and allow you to take your mindfulness practice even deeper without the help of someone else.
Calm also allows you to set reminders to check-in with yourself and practice some meditation, a great addition if you find it hard to build new habits and need a virtual prompt. Basically, it's a huge database of yoga sequences and workout routines to connect your body with your mind, but there's also a huge section dedicated to mediation practice. There's a real mix of mindful practices and ones that go much deeper and call for connections to chakras and a lot of guided introspection.
I love meditation but always get a little tired of listening to the same voices and styles every so often, so Yogaglo has been a brilliant new addition to my practice. The reason it's included in the app list is because, although Yogaglo is primarily an online database, you can download the Yogaglo offline viewing app. This is designed specially to give you access to whatever you have in your Watchlist offline, so you don't need to be worried about losing a data connection when all you want is a little bit of peace. Some of the meditations in Yogaglo's vaults are dedicated to calming nerves and getting a good night's sleep, and they're some of the most effective I've ever come across. It's a must-download if you're not a good sleeper and find it hard to switch off far too often.

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