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Byte by Byte

Miceala ShockleeMiceala Shocklee
A Caltech graduate, is our editorial assistant and a monthly columnist.

The Digital Direction of Modern Meditation: An Interview with the UK’s Nimita Bhatt
(Continued from Monthly Columns)

The very in-vogue Headspace app, however, takes the opposite approach, coopting our constant connection to the digital world as a way to help people combat anxiety, slow down mental chatter, and stop to meditate – anytime, anywhere.

While Headspace is the brainchild of Venice, CA resident Andy Puddicombe, the app has exploded in popularity around the globe. Edinburgh-based editor and yoga teacher Nimita Bhatt is a regular Headspace user.

A London native herself, Nimita is no stranger to a life steeped in hustle and bustle. She began using the app two and a half years ago, when the stress of living and working in such a big city convinced Nimita that for the sake of her own mental well-being, she had to start actively working on her inner life.

While Nimita tried several meditation resources, she found Headspace felt most comfortable for her. Its meditations were less spiritual and more rooted in day-to-day life than those offered by other apps. Nimita appreciated that she didn’t have to divorce herself from the real world in order to engage in the practice.

“Meditation is training the mind to be a bit more still, and becoming more aware of yourself,” Nimita explains. “We forget that we’re human beings, not human doings.”

Now going into her third year of using the app, Nimita says that her ten minutes of daily morning meditation have brought her to a place where she feels much more solid and settled. “I can tell a difference if I haven’t done it in a while,” she shares. “I’m more frazzled when I don’t do it.”

For those just beginning their meditation journey with Headspace, Nimita advises that it takes about three to four days of using the app to start noticing changes. Furthermore, she says it’s important to keep in mind that meditation is not a monotonic journey but rather one that “depends on everything else in your life as well.”

Headspace users can focus on meditations that target moods like restlessness, motivation, and self-esteem, and even gamify the process by adding accountability buddies, setting in-app goals, and tracking how many minutes and types of meditation they’ve done. For those who don’t have 10 minutes for meditation, or need an extra boost, Headspace even offers an “S.O.S.” option that offers a few minutes of panic-easing guided meditation.

In addition to having helped her personally, the app has helped bolster Nimita’s professional life too. A longtime editor and very down to earth person herself, Nimita is aware that there are “so many stereotypes [she] doesn’t fit” when it comes to her yoga side – a strength, from her perspective, since it allows her to relate the often nebulous ideas behind mindfulness to practical, workaday life. Nimita uses the technique Headspace taught her to gently introduce basic meditation principles at the end of her yoga classes in a way that she’s found intrigues rather than scares off scene newbies.

With the skills Headspace has given her, Nimita plans to continue dovetailing her editing and yoga careers. To follow Nimita’s work in the UK, visit www.instagram.com/agirlnamednims. To learn more about Headspace and check out a free ten-day trial of the app, go to www.headspace.com.

With today’s technology, you can pack all the books that exist into a box the size of your pocket, flinging the bounds of travel reading wide open. There’s a whole world of words to explore.



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