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Meditation in VR

I've been wanting to do this review for the longest, Guided Meditation VR was one of the first relaxing experiences I've ever tried on the GearVR. Before I jump into my review, I want to thank Cubicle Ninjas and Josh Farkas for their invaluable time.

As I've mentioned in my previous post, using VR experiences for relaxation can  help you achieve a healthier and happier life. Researcher Michal Sedlák  found that Guided Meditation VR was statistically effective in increasing the user's comfort, reducing anxiety, impulsivity, restlessness and blood pressure.

What I liked about this experience:

  • It has 4 different environments for the GearVR and 12 for the HTC Vive that are very engaging.

  • It has different lengths of guided meditation, which is awesome because you can adjust it to your schedule.

  • It addresses your mood and emotions, this was huge for me, being able to incorporate my feelings into the meditation had a healing effect.

  • It records your heart beat before and after your session, you will be able to see which sessions worked for you.

  • You have the option to choose your own meditative adventure, I love having fun and Guided Meditation VR is a buffet of relaxing fun.

What I did not enjoy:

  • The music selection wasn't my favorite but luckily you can turn it off.

  • The beginning of the Autumn environment made me queasy .

  • I had a hard time to engage with some of the meditation audios.

Overall It's a great experience, especially because I see it as a tool to improve your life. Even if you are not into meditation, I suggest you give this app a try and if you have an HTC Vive it's on steam for $14.99.

4 Questions to Josh Farkas

Mindfully Augmented (MA): How can Guided Meditation VR improve people's lives?

Josh Farkas: "When I found meditation, I was so excited to share this with my friends and family. But they all sort of scoffed, -I've tried that, and it doesn't work for me-                                                                                                                  

After hearing this repeatedly, I was bummed to realize that often the people who need meditation the most are also those who find it the most difficult: the type-A, ultra competitive, hyper-efficient, self-critical, folks who are focused on perfection. They'd tried meditation, didn't receive clear feedback on success or failure and gave up. We also heard in our initial research that (just like in my case) a person's home was too distracting to meditate within. With bills in the corner and all of your preferred technology at an arm's length, it is overflowing with disruptions.

VR has a few built-in advantages to tackling these common problems:

  • Virtual Reality is like a vacation for the mind, so the household clutter can be left behind. Taking a 10-minute breather in virtual Hawaii or Japan is joyful.

  • Real-time biofeedback is available for some devices*, so users can visualize the positive results meditation has on their body. Living in your heartbeat is so intimate, it helped me respect my body in a fresh way.

  • Users can select from multiple meditation practices, helping them to understand that if a meditation doesn't work it isn't their fault. We can then assist them to find techniques which work best for them.

My hope is that those who think "meditation isn't for me" can learn the power of this simple, age-old practice.

* On Gear VR and coming soon to Vive. We capture biometrics to provide a better feedback loop, allowing a user to view effectiveness."

MA: How is Guided Meditation VR different from other experiences out there?

Josh Farkas: "Many experiences are simply 360 video of locations meant for low-end VR headsets. They weren't built for serious use (more than 5-minute sessions), they aren't interactive, and they have limited meditation content. Guided Meditation VR was crafted from the ground up for VR.

  • We use 3D computer graphics environments versus videos, which gives us greater control of building ideal spaces. Want to float above Earth or the bottom of the ocean? We're not limited by reality.

  • We're the first and the only app to capture heart rate in VR without any add-ons to see your results.

  • We provide a platform for the best meditation experts, from Mindfulness to Loving-Compassion and beyond. In December's upcoming update we'll have over 10 hours of meditation content!

  • And users can explore multiple meditation spots within one environment to find their perfect 'Happy Place' amongst over 120 in the Vive release."

MA: What was your favorite part while developing this experience?

Josh Farkas: "Traveling across the globe the past year and seeing the positive impact Guided Meditation VR has made in people's lives has been life-changing.Whether we're enabling a young student to win over anxiety, a veteran cope with PTSD, or people in hospice who are looking to escape their hospital bed – people are in need of tools that improve the quality of their life. "

MA: What's next for Cubicle Ninjas?

Josh Farkas: " We're excited to continue expanding Guided Meditation VR across all platforms. VR can make the world a brighter place, and we're doing everything we can to make this happen.And we have a few secret projects up our sleeve exploring VR and AR in the next year we can't wait to share.Thanks  for taking the time to ask such engaged questions."

MA: Thank you Josh! It's been a pleasure. So here it is my review of Guided Meditation VR, hope you guys try it out and let me know what you think.

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