Virtual reality and meditation may be the perfect pair. [Knight Center for Journalism | Flickr]

When the incessant demands of the world prevent you from sinking into yourself to achieve true meditation, technology can give you a hand through virtual reality. Several tech firms have created totally immersive virtual reality apps for guided meditation.

Self-help guru Deepak Chopra has collaborated with the LA-based VR firm Wevr to create Finding Your True Self. This guided meditation experience is different from the other apps in this article as it doesn’t use footage of actual natural landscapes. This VR world is constructed from animation and visual effects of both natural and mythological imagery, with the meditation guided by the voice of Deepak Chopra himself.

Another VR meditation app is Relax VR. Created by an Australian start-up, Relax VR is compatible with Google’s Cardboard and Daydream, as well as Samsung’s Gear VR headsets.

“There’s some research that indicates VR is actually more effective at relaxation than traditional cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a great tool for relaxation and we have science to back that up now,” Relax VR co-founder and meditation teacher Sourabh Jain is quoted as saying. Relax VR offers guided meditation following traditional Yoga Nidra, or breath awareness. The company is also looking at possibilities in working with hospitals to enhance treatments, as well as collaborating with massage chair manufacturers.

Provata VR began as a general health and wellness app based on 25 years of clinical studies by the National Institutes of Health, but feedback from initial customers led them to develop more strongly in the area of mental health through meditation.

“If we could use technology to improve and enhance the experience we believe we can help not just improve regular people’s stress but more severe cases with the work sites we deal with like corrections officers, firefighters and police,” Provata CEO Alex Goldberg is quoted as saying. “That was the motivation for us to figure out the best science and best technology to improve their health.”

Provata VR has developed its own VR headset which plugs into most smart phones and takes users to 360 degrees of utopian landscapes curated by soothing voices and sounds. What’s unique with Provata VR is its meditation biofeedback system. By linking into the user’s wearable devices such as Apple Watch, Provata VR gives you direct feedback on meditation’s effects on your health in areas such as sleep and heart rate.


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