The idea of using an app for meditation will strike many as odd. I know, because that was also my initial reaction. This may be because we tend to see meditation as something spiritual and meaningful, and a mobile app as anything but that. The association of the two therefore sounds inherently contradictory, like a kids yoga studio attached to a candy store. Yup, there’s one of those too. http://redtri.com/chicago/just-opened-a-kids-yoga-studio-candy-shop/
But I was wrong to think this way, and I’ve changed my mind since then (about the app, not the yoga studio). There’s nothing inherently anything about an app; it’s a vehicle, and it can just as easily be used for personal enhancement as it can be used for entertainment. A similar mistake leads some parents to prohibit their children from playing with an iPad, when it can be an awesome tool for learning and development. I bet that in the early days of printed books, the idea of books for kids seemed quite ludicrous and inappropriate as well.
So, on the recommendation of someone I trust, I gave it a try and found something surprisingly awesome: an extremely well designed app that is simple and friendly. Headspace takes a scientific approach (https://www.headspace.com/science) to meditation which means the experience is also happily devoid of any of the esoteric baggage that so often clouds what is really just a simple healthful act like stretching.
The idea is simple: ten individual ten-minute meditation sessions to try for free, ideally one a day, and then make up your own mind if you want to subscribe based on how it makes you feel. The sessions are guided by one of the founders, Andy Puddicombe, but his voice is surprisingly not distracting and obtrusive. What I found after my ten sessions was an increase in mental clarity, productivity and focus at work. It was enough to get me to sign up.