Category Archives: Yoga App

The Quest to Keep the Mind Quiet

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Every morning my iPhone emits a shrill alarm noise while I fumble with the device, desperately trying to place my fingers over the right sequence of numbers with one eye open to disable it. While I have my phone screen in front of me, I leisurely scroll over to my email app, nervously watching my email populate to see what the day will bring. These first few actions has already triggered my mind to spring into action, and before I get in the shower I’m already making assumptions about what my day will be like.

This is not healthy. I should not be set into fight or flight mode within minutes of waking up. At the same time, quiet is my mind’s worst enemy. If I’m doing any sort of activity where my mind might find room to wander…I’m immediately thinking about every little detail that I might be forgetting. This is the exact reason why I tell myself I’m not cut out for meditation, but a recent article in the Harvard Business Review that I mentioned earlier this week has shown me that no one is perfect at meditating. I might be able to do this!

I did some research, and found this free mediation app called Silva Meditations (image below), which provides guided meditation — perfect for those of us who can’t drown out distractions ourselves. What’s great about this app is that it provides meditations for different times in the day: a “good morning” mediation, “good night” meditation, an “energy booster,” and a “centering exercise.” Throughout the meditation, Silva periodically reminds you that meditation is designed to help cultivate alpha waves that promote the kind of thinking of geniuses (who doesn’t want to think like a genius). She explains that when the mind is at rest, alpha waves from the right side of your brain (the creative side) are activated, helping you make associations you might otherwise ignore. The 20-minute morning session was actually manageable!

I’ve never considered myself one to meditate, but after hearing so much about all of the benefits of just letting your mind zone out, I had to at least give it a try. Do you meditate regularly? What are some strategies you use?

 

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Yoga You Can Take With You: Pocket Yoga Practice Builder

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Earlier this week, I spent some time discussing the cost of yoga — from the expensive monthly membership to the gear and latest fashion trends — yoga is far from a cheap physical activity. I want to emphasize that yoga is a practice about self study. So, why not practice yoga by yourself?

Pocket Yoga Practice Builder  is an app for iPhone and iPad that allows you to build, edit and share complete yoga practices while on the go. There’s no need to worry for beginner yogis, since the app narrates the sequence with a set of pictures to guide you through. The app costs $4.99, which I feel is actually quite expensive  for the App Store, but when you compare it with the cost of yoga, it’s actually a steal. I got my app for free from Starbucks while it was App of the Week.

So, how does it work? Admittedly, I’ve only used it a handful of times and think this app is best suited for new instructors who want to play around with different yoga sequences. To get started, you first click “new practice,” then you simply scroll through pages of poses and add them to your timeline. You can even add in music!

I have no idea what I’m doing when putting together a workout, so my “practices” all feel a bit disjointed. I will say, though, that as long as you’re adding in your regular planks, warriors, etc., you’re going to get an excellent workout.

The verdict: I don’t think this app can replace regular attendance at a studio, but it can be a great “fix” for your yoga addiction if you’re in a pinch, such as traveling for business, visiting family, etc. The app is suitable for beginners, but make sure you have a strong foundation of poses to prevent at-home injuries.

Have any of you tried Pocket Yoga Practice Builder? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.