App of the Week: Start the Day Right With Mindfulness Meditation

Working mostly from a home office, it’s easy to slide out of bed and into my desk and stay there for hours. It’s not healthy and hampers productivity.

So I’ve been trying to get up an hour earlier and walk over to the Hudson Piers or the High Line and back. Not an easy task for a recovering night owl. But what to do during my 15 minutes or so at the water’s edge? Light Yoga? A QiGong routine? How about meditating?

I have no problem hitting the gym, but meditating has not been a top priority. However the early morning jaunts seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore. The Mindfulness Meditation iPhone app ($1.99) has made that exploration fun and easy.

The app provides mindfulness-based techniques for stress-reduction. The routines range from 5 minutes to 40 minutes, good for short breaks, trips, and outdoor practice. I started with the 5 minute routine. Baby steps. A gentle voice guided my meditation as I sat on the grassy knoll. The voice belongs to Stephan Bodian, author of Meditation For Dummies. Perfect for this meditation novice.

A few highlights:

- Includes 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40-minute guided mindfulness meditations
- Audio guide to meditation
- Checklist for optimal meditation practice
- 10-minute deep relaxation exercise to prepare for meditation or to unwind at the end of a stressful day
- Mindfulness-based technique for stress-reduction
- Scientifically proven health benefits when you meditate consistently
- No previous experience with meditation required

I’m somewhat new to this but would have liked a bit of background music along with the audio guide. Not sure if it would take away from the effectiveness, but in a noisy city like New York it could lessen the din.

We’ve read that mindfulness increases focus, concentration, and creativity, as well as reduce stress. And that mediation helps promote mindfulness. The Mindfulness Meditation app helps you to gently explore that space.

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