International World Yoga Day, the day celebrating practice of yoga and meditation, will be held on June 21. The idea of Yoga Day was first proposed by Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India during his address to the United Nations in 2014. Since its inception in 2015, the World Yoga Day is being celebrated on June 21 since it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that can be attributed mostly to India. “Mindfulness means living in the present moment. The mind is constantly involved in activity – swinging from the past to the future – but never staying in the present. By simply being aware of this tendency of the mind, we can actually save ourselves from getting stressed or worked up and relax the mind. Living in a hectic city, where the mind is constantly occupied, we sometimes just forget to consciously breathe,” said Mumbai based Yoga expert Natasha Noel.
While you don’t necessarily need a dedicated equipment to practice Yoga, there are apps that can help in your practice. One such app is the Breathe app on Apple Watch. Apple Watch stands out as one of the most effective wearable device for those concerned about fitness. With the Breathe app, the Apple Watch helps reminds to focus on the breath. “What I really like about the Breathe app and about any kind of technique that is accessible to people, is that they do give people who might not otherwise give meditation a try, a sense of how powerful those techniques can be,” adds Natasha.
Here are some of the apps on Apple Watch that can help you this Yoga Day:
As mentioned above, the Breathe App is a native application on the Apple Watch and it guides users through a series of deep breaths. It will you to take time to breathe every day. Once you choose how long you want to breathe, the app gives animation and gentle taps to help you work through your goal.
In order to start a session, Apple Watch users simply need to go to the Home screen then open the Breathe app. You can turn the digital crown to set the session’s length and tap to start when you are ready. “Inhale as the animation grows, then exhale as it shrinks. Or inhale when your watch taps your wrist, then exhale when it stops. Breathe until the session ends and your watch taps you twice and chimes. When you’re done, you can see your heart rate.”
You can further track your sessions with the Health app by tapping on the mindfulness section and looking at the graph accompanying the setting. At the end of each session, there is also an option to see how many times you have used the Breathe app that day.
FitStar Yoga is an application created in collaboration with yoga expert Tara Stiles. The free app aimes to reduce stress and gain strength with tailored experience for both beginners and experts. The app is also integrated with Health app to track your calories burned and workouts, contributing to your overall Health dashboard.
YogaGlo – Yoga and Meditation classes
YogaGlo is another free app that helps you practice yoga at the comfort of your home and when you travel. While the app is free to download on your iPhone and iPad, you will need YogaGlo membership to access over 3,800 classes. “You can also track your YogaGlo activity on Apple Watch and monitor your heart rate during each practice so you can contribute to your Activity Rings and meet your daily goals.”
Calm is the number 1 app for mindfulness and meditation to bring more clarity and peace to your daily life. The app has been awarded the ‘2017 App of the Year’ on App Store and it offers guided meditation sessions in lengths ranging from 3 to 25 minutes.
Other Apps worth checking out
Apple Watch has access to a number of applications and App Store is home to millions of apps that can help you perfect your yoga and fitness practice. Apart from these top picks, you must check out Asana Rebel for yoga inspired fitness, Zova for tracking and improving fitness, Oak for meditation and breathing, Headspace for guided meditation and Waterminder for keeping track of your water intake.