Technology is a two-edged sword. It makes our lives easier in so many ways, but it also brings with it all sorts of distractions (too many to list here). President Bush may have never found WMD’s in Iraq, but he could have looked a little closer to home because pretty much all of us carry around WMD’s — Weapons of Mass Distraction — in our pockets and purses all day. It’s awesome though when we discover new uses for our favorite grown-up toys that don’t ratchet up the distraction frenzy, but rather calm our minds, focus our attention for more than 30 seconds, and encourage a little more mindfulness in our daily activities.
I recently discovered the “Health Through Breath – Pranayama” app for my iPhone and iPad and can tell you that it’s now one of my favorite and most used iOS apps. With its beautiful graphics and interface, the Pranayama app simply and effectively guides the user through a variety of stress-reducing breathing exercises. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in pranayama–I’ve read more about it than actually practiced it–but this app is making me a true believer in the power of breath control. If you’re interested in using your technological resources to discover more about this fourth limb of yoga, you should check out the demo on the app’s website.
The website also provides a great review of many of the health benefits of pranayama. I won’t rehash all the science here (you can visit the website), but I’ve noticed that even practicing slow breathing for only five to 15 minutes a day has helped clear my mind and reduce any stress I might be feeling. If you could use a little more focus and a lot less stress in your life, then I recommend giving the Pranayama app a serious look.