Meditation: Balance, Gratitude
Length: 10 minutes
Where: Living Room, Michigan
How It Felt: Hard to focus
There’s a new meditation app in town, and I decided to try it.
Actually, I have no idea how new it is or how long it’s been around. The more correct sentence would be, “there’s a new meditation app in my Instagram feed and I decided to try it.”
The app is called “Balance”- have you heard of it or tried it? It’s definitely interesting- large, fun graphics, a sort of gamified experience, and supposedly a more personalized approach. I like it, but it’s definitely different from what I’ve grown used to. Mostly, I use Headspace and Calm, and while both certainly offer different features and their aesthetics are not similar, both follow a general way as far as what they offer, how it’s organized, and what happens next.
With Balance, first you take a little quiz, asking about how often you meditate, what your goals are, things like that. Then it recommends a plan for you under “todays’s pick.” My first offer was a ten-day “Advanced Plan,” likely because I answered that I meditate so much, but I decided to choose something different from their “singles” offering. I wasn’t quite ready to commit to a long course right away.
I found a ten minute “Gratitude” session- you know I love a chance at some gratitude!- and went for it. It was a type of loving-kindness meditation, which was not what I was expecting but cool anyway. The meditation itself was totally great- I liked the guidance and the voice, as well as the different time options.
My feeling was that there was a little less content on Balance (so far, at least), than the two bigger apps, but definitely enough to keep you busy for a year.
Which brings me to my next point: Balance is giving away a free year for new signups right now, so the free factor makes it kind of a no brainer.
One thing I noticed today that I don’t love is the lack of a “journey” or “recent meditations” section. It’s completely possible I just couldn’t find it, but I searched in vain for a history of the meditations I’d completed. I think that’s a nice thing to have.
The app does, however, offer badges and “skills,” which is a pretty fun way to stay on track and reward yourself for meditating. It reminds me a bit of Duolingo, and I think the way that app made learning language into basically a video game is genius. It’s always fun to mark your progress as you work on a new skill- I know my fellow former gold star chart kids hear me!
Some more examples of the interface, from after my meditation:
Overall, I like the app and am excited to integrate it into the rotation, especially since it’s free for the first year. The only other thing I really “miss” from the Headspace and Calm apps is a little quote or piece of wisdom at the end of the meditation. I save a lot of them and like how it sort of puts a button on the experience.
I’m sure you’ll see more of these sessions to come! We are in Michigan now, and driving to Indiana tomorrow, so the next few days will be busy, and the blog posts will likely get short. But you know I’ll find time for those meditations!