For most people reading this, the last thing that they see before they go to sleep will be the screen of their smartphone. Upon opening our eyes, an alarm and a page full of notifications ensures that our day begins online.

It seems that any spare moment we have is spent endlessly scrolling down on our smartphone screen of choice. An often overwhelming number of emails, social media messages, texts along with the pressure of liking or sharing stories can leave us feeling drained.

But, what if the very devices that fuel our addiction could also pave the way to ultimate zen and focus? The emergence of meditation apps is offering an alternative to the negative online habits we have accumulated over the years.

Gaiam is a leading lifestyle company for yoga, fitness and wellness products and content. With an extensive distribution network that consists of approximately 38,000 retail doors and 17,000 stores within stores, it seems that an app was a natural step to take.

In January, the company launched Meditation Studio, an app that allows users to explore a variety of meditation styles to lead a calm and balanced life. There are more than 200 meditations of different lengths to fit your time and lifestyle, including 2-, 5-, 10-, and 15-minute meditations inside the app.

With over 1 million downloads it appears there is no shortage of users wanting to explore a variety of styles to lead a calm and balanced life.

The commute to the office on the 7:22 train no longer needs to consist of endless scrolling and messaging. Maybe, you could use your smartphone to reach a form of electronic nirvana rather than just listening to them on Spotify.

The app is available on iOS devices and aimed at both users looking for an introduction to the world of meditation and veterans alike. Most meditations on the app last for under ten minutes meaning there is no room for excuses when your lunch hour arrives.

The scheduling feature on the app, syncs with your phone's calendar and lets you set reminders too. Keeping users coming back for more with gentle reminders is crucial to maintaining interest and motivation. However, the app has been on the market for less than a year--it remains to be seen whether these gentle reminders will help Meditation Studio users stick with the app.

Patricia Karpas is the executive producer and curator of meditations on the app. She also hosts the companion podcast "Untangle," which highlights the difference regular meditation can make in people's lives.

The innovative combination of a life changing app and a supportive podcast listening community is incredibly forward thinking. I spoke to Patricia on my show to learn more about how our addiction to technology can actually be used to pave the way to peaceful reflection

Published on: Aug 19, 2016