As a passionate yoga practitioner and teacher, of course, I am familiar with the legendary Deepak Chopra. I listened to his Chakra balancing: body, mind and soul album many times and read Radical beauty, a book he co-wrote with plant-based nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. I wouldn’t call myself a Chopra fan, but I wonder what he has to say. So when Fitbit gave me the opportunity to attend Chopra’s Zoom Meditation, I jumped at the opportunity.
The event was set to hit Chopra’s new Mindful Method content series launched on Tuesday as part of Fitbit Premium.
During the approximately 17-minute session, Chopra guided us through various types of meditation, including breath awareness, reflective exploration, and transcendence, giving us a taste of different methods. For starters, Chopra made us observe the breath, a technique he called the “original method of mindfulness”. Thanks to his soothing voice, I felt more relaxed almost immediately.
“Just watching the breath, it starts to slow down,” he said. “Your breath reflects the movement of the mind, the thoughts, the emotions. But when you observe it, then it spontaneously begins to calm down – both the breath and the activity of the mind.”
Using Fitbit Premium for meditation with Chopra
If you are a member of Fitbit Premium, you can now jump out with Chopro as well. His new Mindful Method collection features 10 exclusive audio and video sessions, including guided meditations to help you relax before bed and relieve stress at any time. Go to the Discover tab in the Fitbit app to check them out. Each session is shorter than 20 minutes.
Over the coming months, Fitbit plans to expand the Mindful Method collection to include more than 30 Chopra-led sessions, covering topics such as how to start the morning positively, how to deal with a stressful work day, and how to reset a bad mood.
The Fitbit Premium costs $ 9.99 per month or $ 79.99 per year after a 90-day free trial. The service also offers personalized wellness reports, guided exercise programs and more.
It really works (and you can measure it)
According to Chopri, technology enables a new era of mindfulness. The meditation icon said he is excited about new wearable stress monitoring devices that can show Zen seekers how interventions like breathing and mindfulness affect their body.
“The big advantage now is that everything is measurable,” Chopra said.
Case: After the first two minutes of guided meditation with Chopra, my heart rate dropped from 63 to 57 beats per minute, according to a measurement conducted with Fitbit’s Sense smartwatch.
You don’t need a smartwatch to know that you feel calmer after guided meditation. But according to Chopra’s point, wearable devices like Sense, which has an EDA Scan app that measures small electrical changes in skin sweat levels to track your body’s response to stress, can help you quantify the benefits of meditation sessions. This information can motivate you to make meditation a regular practice.
Sense is not the only device that can help you monitor and manage stress. These days even basic, affordable fitness trackers offer guided breathing exercises. An increasing number of wearable devices, including the Oura ring and the Garmin lily, go a step further, using a metric called heart rate variability or the natural variation in time that occurs between each heartbeat, to measure stress levels. Meanwhile, Core, a hand-held meditation aid, uses vibrations to direct your breathing as sensors measure your attention and its accompanying app tracks your progress.
But for the sake of your health, it is important to discard all your devices every now and then, according to Chopri, who has been studying the mind-body connection for more than 40 years. It is recommended to completely disconnect from the Internet for at least a few minutes a day. This means removing the smartwatch (or enabling its Do Not Disturb feature), hanging up the phone, and moving away from email and Slack. For a more energetic, joyful body and mind, Chopra recommends scheduling time for things like using technology, working on your relationships, eating, and sleeping.
“Multitasking is the only thing that gets worse with practice,” he said.
For more ways to use technology to improve your body and mind, check out our ultimate guide to health and fitness technology. Just remember to end the connection every now and then.