Musings

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Apps Anyone? We review a few for you.

It’s no secret to anyone that taking a little time to wind down from the chaos of our daily lives is good for you. Meditation and mindfulness training is a perfect way to take a quick break from the hustle bustle. There’s a wealth of research promoting the positive benefits to our overall health both physically and mentally from a regular meditation practice.

meditating at work app review
Put the time on your calendar, put on your headphones and bring on the calm.

“Mindfulness is a form of meditation or mental training that helps us to live in a state of awareness of our life experiences without judgment. The practice of mindfulness has a diverse set of benefits such as stress reduction, improved memory, heightened concentration and even improved physical health.” -MalaForest, Jul, 2016

But how do I get started? Do I need special equipment, clothing, etc.? Will I be chanting while attempting to bind my legs into an impossible pretzel formation? In a word, no. The good news is you can meditate anywhere, anytime. But it does require some practice and dedication.

Meditation apps are a great way to get started with a daily meditation practice. They are generally easy to use, fun and many are free. Some have music, nature sounds along with silent guided and unguided meditation. I would suggest downloading a at least 3. You may need to before you find one that feels right and doesn’t give up if you don’t enjoy the first one you try. There are many different options and I guarantee you will find one that works for you.

Here are a few of our favorites.

1. The Ten Percent Happier app
Simply put, the first app I recommend when someone says “I just can’t meditate.”    The backstory (started by a broadcast journalist Dan Harris, who discovered meditation after an on air panic attack) helps people feel less inadequate about their spiritual qualifications; and the design of the app (short teaching / plus meditation sessions of adjustable length) feeds both the mind and the spirit.  The free version has great content; but if you subscribe, there are really amazing, topical courses available.   (And the weekly podcasts, and founder Dan Harris’s books are also on my ‘recommend’ list!  (Update:  Nov 2020 – the “Election Sanity” special sessions were lifesavers!) 

 

2. Oak
I love the daily quotes I receive from Oak. You can set notifications for any time of day. The sessions are divided into 3 categories: meditate, breathe, sleep. What I love about this app is each session has a very brief explanation of what you will be doing. That way I get some insight into what I’m diving into and if that fits my needs. They also have a log to track your progress and prompt you when you need it.

3. Calm
Probably one of the most well known meditation apps and for good reason. As soon as you open the app, it prompts you to take a breathe. Right at the start, your feeling relaxed. You can choose your favorite sounds, pics and length of meditation. The pis are gorgeous and the sounds are so relaxing. I use this app quite often for bedtime relaxation.

4. Headspace

And then there’s Headspace. Founder Andy Puddicombe, is an honest to god Buddhist monk with 10 years of Tibetan monastic training across Asia and a soothing Bristol accent. He connected with 27-year-old Londoner Richard Pierson – a brilliant marketer (think Axe deodorant) who felt so much anxiety he struggled to go out in public. The duo’s creation has become a huge hit, bringing in millions of subscribers and highlighting the meditating journey in a very easy to follow way.

All of these apps are perfect for beginners as well as seasoned meditators. Start your meditation practice today, right now! Download your meditation apps and don’t forget to take your earphones with you to take advantage of your new apps anytime of day. A moment of peace and relaxation is just a click away.

Wishing you happiness and peace.

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Join us for some Doga at Tales & Ales Oct 13

If you and your best four-legged friend are looking for something fun to do October 13, look no further… the Tales and Ales festival in Palo Alto has it all.  And while you’re there, join us for some Doga!  No experience (or mat) needed, just come on out and join us at Mitchell Park.  (Pawed participants will be on leashes at all time – nonretractable preferred.)

If you’ve not heard of Doga before, here is a very sweet video with an explanation from a teacher who popularized the term at her studio.   And our friends at Leash Your Fitness working with the San Diego Humane Society recently set the world record for the worlds largest Doga class. (265 – read more about it here.)

The thirty-minute class will start with standing stretches, some lunges, some twists and some balance poses.  Then we’ll sit down and deepen our breath, take some leg stretches and do a little bit of core work.  We’ll do a bit of arm work, then lie on our back for some twisting and relaxing. Finally, we finish the class with some dog massage.  Both you and your pet will feel energized and relaxed.

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Now, while this event will be undoubtedly very canine-centric, let us know if you’re considering Pig Yoga, Cat Yoga, goat yoga (see my friend below) – we’d love to hear about it.

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Questions We Get Asked

In our goal to bring yoga and meditation to people where they are at (both literally and spiritually), we get asked a lot of questions.  Here are some of them, with my best answers.

How can I do yoga during the workday?  (Won’t I get sweaty?)

If you want no sweat yoga, we can do that.  Likewise, if you have the desire to sweat, this too is possible.  Stay tuned for upcoming Facebook live sessions where you can try a brief class via the internet.

How can I meditate at work?  (I’d be so distracted…)

shallow focus photography of woman doing yoga
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

If you can put the time on your calendar, and leave your desk, we can get you into a meditative state of mind.  Even if you’ve never practiced before.  And if you’re already experienced, we can set up the environment for you to practice on your own.

What is the yoga class like?  What if there is no fitness center?

We can teach a variety of styles based on what is right for your situation.  We can lead 30-minute stretches around your boardroom table.  We can assess your situation and find the best available space.   Yoga is like water in that it will flow into the spaces we make for it.

person standing on top of building under blue sky
Photo by theformfitness on Pexels.com

What if I’ve never done yoga, or mediated before?

Your leaders Suzy and Laura are experienced but still have the beginners mind.  We can set up a session that lets you practice yoga and meditation in a way that is beneficial for you – assessing your goals and coming up with the right format.

What does it cost?

We offer a free session at your organization and based on the factors of your situation (number of potential attendees, time desired) can provide a quote for future visits, which can be paid by your company or by the attendees.

 

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Mobile Om at Your Service

Have you heard of the cool mobile meditation busses popping up?  In New York it started with Be Time Practice and Calm City NYC;  and just recently here in the Bay Area, you can bring the PauseNow bus to your organization and let your people get some very quality OM on during the workday.

The phrase “great minds think alike” is not just a cliche – as I learned in Elizabeth Gilbert’s great book Big Magic, “simultaneous discovery” its a scientifically noted occurrence.  My dear friend and Meditation inspiration Laura M. has been wanting to have one of these wonderful spaces – and it made me realize, I’m already doing a version of that very cool principal.

I’ve been a traveling yoga service for about 10 years now.  It started shortly after I got my yoga certification (200RYT level) and people began to ask me after my public classes if I did private ones.  So – I did.  I began teaching at folks houses, in parks, and at people’s workplace.  And Laura has been sharing her training from “The Joy of Living” in the same way.

So seeing these lovely buses gaining public awareness that made me want to formalize it – and when the phrase MobileOm came into my mind, this site was born.  (With a little help from the lovely Karen at Mediaholix!)

So as we begin to “formally” serve groups in the South Bay area, I’ll keep those adventures – and others – updated here for your reading pleasure.

And – if I may cite one more inspiration – those new Nike Ads are amazing.  Is this MobileOm dream crazy enough for this former farm girl turned high tech nerd?

You tell me…

Get busy living or get busy dying. — Red Ellis, Shawshank Redemption

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