We may have gotten a barrage of “teacher self-care” tools and apps that may or may not be serving our needs this past school year and summer. I don’t know about you, but I’m hearing about a lot of things that were “gifted” during the spring but now are changing the parameters for access in the upcoming school year.
I completely understand that business is business, but I want to share a teacher self-care app that has been completely free since its inception and promises to remain free “forever”….and that is the Insight Timer. You can check out my previous post about why the Insight Timer “rocks” that I wrote four years ago and I would say that I still believe that it does (maybe even more than before!).
If you use an app to listen to guided mindfulness practices for yourself or to play for your students, you may use Calm or Headspace. Those apps are great and serve a very useful purpose, but I want to share with you the differences in Insight Timer because I think they could be really important to note as you are trying to integrate teacher self-care into your busy schedule.
Also, the owners and investors just seem to have a unique business plan that I haven’t heard elsewhere. They are truly running an ethical business, which is always great to see!
First, I am not an affiliate, although I do have mindfulness practices uploaded on the Insight Timer, but this is one reason that I love the platform so much: there is a huge variety of voices and backgrounds represented on the Insight Timer. Where Calm and Headspace have carefully curated recordings and you can choose the “voice,” you want to hear, the Insight Timer invites all people who want to share mindfulness practices with others to share.
Yes, that may mean less than perfect quality, but you will find that most of them are pretty good. The benefit of getting to hear different perspectives and practices far outweighs the occasional audio glitch. In addition to the variety of guided mindfulness practices, there is also free music, yoga practices and talks (similar to podcasts) that you can access.
By the time of this posting, there were 45,000 practices uploaded in an easy-to-use searchable interface. It’s crazy how this app exploded. When I first started using it in 2014, I think there were 1,000 practices! I loved it then, and I continue to love this app.
Oh, and if you DON’T like guided practices with talking, there are lots of great features with the “Timer.” For example you can choose different opening, ending, and intermittent bells.
If you’re yearning for a more low key crowd than some of the social media platforms are providing these days, you may really enjoy being able to see who else is meditating around the world or near you. You can also join groups that allow you to communicate with people who are exploring like-minded topics.
You can of course turn these settings off so that others can’t “see” that you are meditating or using the app, but if you are looking to branch out into another platform, this might be one for you to try.
One thing that is newer about the app is the ability to support real life mindfulness instructors and for those instructors to actually make a living from the work that inspires and helps so many.
But the great thing is that you can choose to do that, or not. No one requires donations but if you feel like you would like to support this teacher, you get the option to do that…and get this…the Insight Timer gives 100% of the donation to the teacher! They don’t keep any of it, even though they are running the platform. They value and support the diversity of their teachers so much that they want the teachers to continue to be able to share their work with the app.
It’s really a win/win/win for everyone!
With 45,000 mindfulness practices, you could be feeling like you don’t know where to start, but there is a great search engine to narrow down your choices from male/female voice to secular or religious content.
But in the event you are still looking for some recommendations, here are a few of my favorite teachers that I continue to return to session after session…they all have their unique flair so if you’re looking for something new, check them out!
Dora is the founder of Bliss Your Heart, a flourishing women’s community rooted in self-care, mental health and mindfulness. https://insighttimer.com/dorakamau
Davidji is an internationally recognized stress-management expert, corporate trainer, meditation teacher, and author of the critically acclaimed and Amazon #1 Bestseller, “destressifying,” and “Secrets of Meditation,” winner of the Nautilus Book Award. https://insighttimer.com/meditation-app
Melody Litton is a life coach and spiritual teacher focused on personal empowerment and transformation. She incorporates a unique form of hypnotherapy and energy healing in order to tap into the wisdom and healing power of the soul. https://insighttimer.com/melodylitton
So as we’re needing to readjust for the new school year trying to figure out what is accessible and available and what is not, you can count on the Insight Timer to be a consistent companion for building those teacher self-care moments that we desperately need to find in our days.
If you are looking for teacher-specific mindfulness practices, please check out my Insight Timer teacher page and practices here. I believe these are some of the only mindfulness practices that can be found on the Insight Timer that are specifically for teachers by a teacher. Please let me know what you think!
If you also want to extend mindfulness to your classroom (both in person or virtual), check out the free download 10 Ways to Go from Calm to Chaos. Once you start building your own teacher self-care and mindfulness practice, it’s great to begin finding ways to bringing these practices to the “big moments” that may challenge our calm!