Relaxing in Virtual Reality
Relaxing has never been easier, new emerging technologies like Virtual Reality are allowing us to find balance in our crazy exhausting schedules. Many of us have a hard time finding a spot where to meditate or relax, often that leads into dismissing self-care altogether. I know that the idea of using a VR headset can be daunting but it's easier than it looks.
Nobody likes to feel stressed, stress can take a huge toll on your health which can have some serious consequences but with VR things can be more doable and you'll feel the benefits of relaxing right away.
Relax VR is a great place to start meditating in Virtual Reality, created by
Sourabh Jain an Ex-Consultant at IBM, Yoga & Meditation teacher and
Eddie Cranswick an innovation consultant, Lean Startup, and Human-centered design specialist.
First Relaxation VR app on iOS
Â Listed in Top 200 companies that are driving technology for mental and emotional wellbeing (transtech200.com). Part of the Transformative Technology conference (ttconf.org).
Regularly in the Top 100 Paid Health & Fitness apps on the iOS and Android app stores
It's free but offers in-app purchases
It's available on Google Cardboard (iOS, Android), Samsung Gear VR and Daydream.
I personally use Relax VR to de-stress when I don't have much time and I use it with my clients so they get to relax in VR before our coaching session.
What works for me:
Effective guided meditations, I wish there were more options that can address different emotional states and needs.
The music is very soothing and you have the option to turn it off.
The environments are the best ones I've experienced so far, great graphics.
The menu is super easy to use, so even if you have no experience with VR you will be able to navigate with no problems.
I love that when the meditation starts the lights begin to dim.
What's not working for me:
In-app purchases, It's something that for some reason I really don't like, I rather pay for the whole app up front.
The meditations point out the right and the left side of your body, I'm ambidextrous and I have a hard time identifying which part of the body I need to focus on in such a short notice. My brain takes longer and that throws me off the meditative state sometimes.
The headset, especially the gear VR puts too much pressure on my nose and it's hard to breathe, but this has nothing to do with the experience. Hopefully, VR headsets will become lighter within the next couple of years.
Interview to Sourabh Jain
Mindfully Augmented (MA): What's the main benefit of meditating in VR?
Sourabh Jain (SJ): Speed of relaxation and creation of a focused visual/auditory space.
MA: How is VR an effective mean to meditate?
SJ: VR's ability to cut out external visual and auditory input means it can help users disconnects from distractions in their normal environment.
MA: Who will benefit from using Relax VR?
SJ: Anybody who wants to relax, or is stressed out / anxious, people who are unable to access relaxing environments when they want due to time, cost or immobility or people who are traveling - or waiting e.g. in an airplane, trains, buses, Specific use cases include:
Office workers for a quick time-out during the day. Or after coming home from work.
People in aged care homes
Students before taking an exam
Actors/presenters before going on stage
Women getting manicures or pedicures
MA: Why is Relax VR different from other VR apps for meditation?
SJ: The aim of Relax VR is specifically to effectively and efficiently relax users, currently using VR and guided meditations. In the future, we will include other methods other than meditation as well. Other VR meditation apps include meditations that focus on more than just relaxation.
MA: What's next for Relax VR?
SJ: We are working on an update that will expand our content offering and allow users to select from many different locations, meditations, and music.