Something super important to know and accept is that there's no such thing as a bad meditation. Any amount of time that you're willing to give to yourself to sit and find some stillness is a beautiful gift that you should be proud of giving. Even those of us who teach meditation and practice it daily have wandering minds. This is all part of the work.
A thing that can really help when it comes to meditation is using technology. Sounds counter-intuitive, right?! Most of us are trying to get time away from our phones, so me suggesting you use a phone to help you might seem odd. Hear me out...
Having an app that can give you guidance, help with your timing or just give you advice is a great way to practice meditation, no matter the 'level' you think you're at.
I wanted to give you a quick run through of my favourite meditation apps, why I like them, how to use them and what you can get out of them, so here goes.
INSIGHT TIMER - I use Insight Timer in a super simple way and that's for the timer and the bell sounds. As I work with mantra and visualisation a lot, it's not often that I use guided meditations, opting instead for my own practice, just with the help of Insight Timer. The app does have other highlights including a community feature of people all over the world sharing what they're doing and the option to pay for meditation courses. The app is free to download and use with lots of free guided meditations along with extras that you can pay for.
HEADSPACE - One of the original guided meditation apps, Headspace was founded by Andy Puddicombe who spent 10 years in Northern India as a Tibetan Buddhist Monk. On returning to the UK, he knew he could use everything he'd learned and put it to good use for the general public. And so, Headspace was born. Headspace is free to download with a 10-day basic meditation package. From there, if you like what you hear, you can subscribe to different tier packages that cover meditations for all sorts of lifestyles.
CALM - Another free meditation and mindfulness app with a free trial, Calm is similar to Headspace, but with a couple of little accolades likes "World's Happiest App" and App of the Year 2017". To be honest, I do prefer Headspace, but I think that has a lot to do with being inspired by Andy's story and being able to feel the good intentions behind him creating it. That doesn't mean to say that Calm isn't good. It has lots of great functions and had the addition of video lessons on mindful movement and stretching.
THE MINDFULNESS APP - You can either use the free version of The Mindfulness app, or you have the option to subscribe monthly, yearly, or for your lifetime. The latter costing £499.99 in case you were wondering! The free meditations are anything from three minutes, up to thirty and come from a variation of teachers. There's a timer, a calendar to log your activity and lots of categories ranging from relationships to travel.
In all honestly, a lot of meditation apps are offering very similar content and at similar prices, so I'd say it's worth downloading the free version of each one, give them a go and then make a choice on which one you'd like to subscribe to after that. And of course, if you're not looking to subscribe, you can also do my meditations on YouTube for FREE! I've linked to some of my favourites below.