I talk a lot about mindfulness on my blog and on Medium, but sometimes I feel like I should be getting into the details of how I incorporate mindfulness into my daily life. Also, how you good apples can too!
In the past few months, I’ve switched from the Calm app and YouTube videos to Insight Timer as this has been incorporated to my Tuesday and Wednesday morning meditation circle.
I’ve tried a number of free meditation apps since I first started meditating a few years ago, but there’s something about Insight Timer that has made it really enjoyable for me to stick with meditation. I utilize it on the commute to work, before I go to sleep, and also when I just need a quick minute to breathe during a hectic day at the office.
Whether you’ve never heard of Insight Timer before or you’re already a fan, I thought I’d share my insights on the app and why I’ve become a loyal user.
How I use Insight Timer
To start, I prefere to meditate in the morning or right before bed, as that helps me sets an intention for my day, and help for a dreamier sleep at night. I need that sort of tone for my day, so I am able to be more productive at work while remaining mindful.
When I start my day, I check turn of my alarm and drink some water, brush my teeth, slip into my already planned outfit, and then get my butt moving right to the train to head into work. It is here that you may be thinking — “meditation.. on the train!?” Yes, I know it seems crazy. However, this helps me run through my thoughts and intentions for the day ahead. It also helps make the commute go by much quicker. The sessions only last 15–20 minutes which is the perfect amount of time for me.
Additionally, there are sleep-specific meditations on the app that I like to tune into when I’m ready for bed. After I’ve planned my outfit for the next day at work, brushed my teeth and packed my lunch, I plug in my headphones and choose the meditation. I tend to go for the longer ones so that I can meditate and fall asleep to them during my practice.
Why Insight Timer is my Favorite
One of the features I love about Insight Timer is the overall user experience of the app. Upon first opening the app, you are shown with a map of all the users across the world who are currently meditating with Insight Timer. That’s really cool.
You can also easily flip from guided to silent to timed meditations, all from each tool. You can customize your profile and view your meditation stats as you continue to grow your practice.
Types of meditations
You have a huge directory of meditations to choose from — these include body scans, introductions to meditations, intention setting and walking meditations, plus meditations on topics like healing and forgiveness.
My favorite, however, has to be the customizable feature of the “timer” meditations. You can customize the bell sounds, frequencies and intervals, background noise as well as set an overall timer in case you are on a schedule.
Pro tip: I tend to stick to a 16 minute meditation with the basu starting bell, interval bells at every 4 minutes, with the zen guitar as my ambient sound.
With Insight Timer, you have a world of guided meditations at your fingertips — those from experts to those also trying guided meditations for the first time. Everyone’s preferences are different when it comes to the type of voice you want guiding you through meditations, I’ve come to find my favorites are those whose profile pictures are included, so I can get a feel for what their calming voice may sound like. You can bookmark your favorites as well so you can go back and repeat the meditation, or go to the user profile to see what other guided meditations they offer.
With the groups feature, you can join other Insight Timer users who may have common goals or themes when incorporating meditation into their practice. Personally, I am a member of “Beginner’s Mind”, “Be Here Now” and “Women Meditate Worldwide” as these groups align with my interests and goals with my practice.
To be able to track my progression through meditation using Insight Timer has been so beneficial and has helped me set goals for my practice. You can set milestones and refer back to your “stats” tool to see how many you’ve achieved. You can also keep track as to how many consecutive days you have meditated with the Insight Timer app. You can track your friends and group stats as well to keep consistency throughout the app.
Overall, I’m seriously loving the Insight Timer app at the moment for these reasons: the variety of topics to chose from (stress, self-love, loss, forgiveness etc.), the awesome customization, and the ability to track your progress with your meditation practice.
Whether you use the app or another one, such as Calm, Insight Timer has amazing options for anyone who’s interested in getting started with meditation and for those of us who have a consistent practice.
Interested in trying Insight Timer for yourself? You can find it in the Apple store and Android store.