The Balinese new year is celebrated over six days. On the third day, there is Nyepi, the day of silence. This year, it’s on Wednesday, March 9. And on that magic day, during 24 hours, the whole island is deserted: no planes fly, no transport operates, no people are on the streets. The legend says if the island remains dark and silent on Nyepi day, it will fool any evil spirits into thinking that the island is uninhabited so they will go elsewhere. This brings good luck and peace for Balinese New Year. While Westerners celebrate the New Year in revelry, in contrast, the Balinese open their New Year in noble silence. Except for the sound of birds and geckos, all is stillness. The whole island moves inwards. A full day committed to expressing gratitude for the blessings of the ending year, and the opportunity to pause, look deeply at oneself and meditate and reflect on the year ahead. Meditating is proven to reduce stress, help us keep calm and sleep better too. Ready to give it a try? We have picked 5 guided meditation apps that help you live a more ‘mindful’ life.
Christopher Plowman, one of the co-founders and CEO of Insight Timer, is a Bali resident, so this kinda makes this app made in Bali. It offers several guided meditations by teachers like Eckhart Tolle, author of the cult self-help book, The Power of Now, and Pak Merta Ada, who has been teaching meditation since 1993 in Bali. If you wish to meditate in complete silence instead, Insight Timer will time your session and wake you to the sound of an authentic Tibetan singing bowl. You can also configure it to ring at any interval you wish.
Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe, is a former Tibetan monk aiming to teach you the basics of mediations, by delivering a directed 10-minute sessions in his relaxed style – no hippy talk here, he strips it down to basics and throws in the odd joke. Emma Watson is a fan, so you’re in good company with this one.
It’s designed for those who’ve always been curious about meditation but haven’t known where to start. Trying to sleep? Sitting in a park? Exercising? The app contains 16 categories, and a small handful of guided meditations to choose from within each. Want to gauge your progress? It stores stats and presents graphs to track your activity.
USD 4.99 iTunes only
Adults aren’t the only ones who are stressed. Sometimes you need to think of the kids too. Smiling Mind was created in Australia and is aimed at helping young people de-stress and stay calm. There are tailored programs for different age groups, all delivered in Aussie tones. There’s one for adults too so you don’t have to miss out.
Omvana is basically the iTunes of guided meditation apps, offering one of the largest collection of meditation sessions and tracks available on any app in the store. Omvana also connects to HealthKit (that app on your iPhone with the pink heart in the middle, for the uninitiated) to suggest meditations based on your stress levels.
Free iTunes only