"Om" your way through life with the help of these meditation apps.
There's no hippie mumbo jumbo here. Meditation is often encouraged by medical professionals as a way to decompress when life might be moving too quickly for you to catch up. On a physical level, meditation can be particularly helpful with lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety attacks, helping insomnia, increasing serotonin production, and simply gaining clarity and peace of mind.
I've personally reaped the benefits of consistent meditation throughout my life. I practice yoga, so meditation is a part of it, but sometimes I don't have the room or the time to get into a physical flow. So what do I do? I pop on a pair of headphones and the Daydream View to get going. I've found this method to be particularly effective in helping me drown out the noise around me, whether that's my inner voice crowding around everything else I'm worrying about, or the cat yowling for a bowl of food. Virtual reality has helped me efficiently reach that state of "nothingness." Here are some of the apps that I've found to be particularly effective in aiding my own meditative practice.
There's this episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 where Dylan's beatnik mother takes Brenda's mother, Cindy, to a "mind gym." Brainwaves VR is essentially the app version of this concept. It uses flashing colors and audio frequencies to help you get into the zone. There are several different programs to choose from and the interface is extremely easy to use, though it employs the "head point" mechanism for navigating the menu rather than the Daydream View remote. I like to use Brainwaves VR while laying in savanasa on a yoga mat with a blanket over me and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones over my ears, but you can easily use this laying down in bed — just lose the pillow. However, if you are epileptic or have a tendency to develop headaches from bright lights, you might want to avoid this app altogether.
DunkTank VR: Guided Meditation
This app is helpful for novice meditators — especially if you have a hard time letting go. It features a soft-spoken instructor guiding you through the meditative experience by offering cues on how to breathe and what to focus on. After a couple of minutes, the instructor will begin to drop off with the instruction as you venture on your own mind journey.
There is nothing particular "VR-y" about the app, save for the fact that you can focus on a specific point in the virtual scene. But I like that I can use this app with my eyes open or closed, depending on the day I've had before getting into the zone.
VR Blissful Meditation Retreat
Maybe you don't need a fancy app with flashing lights and a sultry voice guiding you through the metaphysical — that's fine. VR Blissful Meditation Retreat is a nice treat for anyone who just wants some help breathing in and out and getting into the zone. The app itself is fairly simple: You move your head to turn on music and background sound effects, and then follow the cues on screen for breathing. I'd suggest avoiding using this app while laying down. It's most effective if you're sitting up straight against a wall because of the breathing exercises.