If you answered yes to any of the questions above you might like to consider getting some headspace. The booking site is now open to choose your session: guarantee your place at the more popular workshops now! We are all used to reports from Gartner and Altimeter that look at social intranets from a US perspective. Better knowledge management is one of the top reasons why organisations are putting in a social intranet. Some of us remember the Andersen and Enron fiascos, certainly the banking crisis and more recently Thomas Cook, Alton Towers and of course VW. They advise the world’s largest companies on strategy but how do McKinsey use internal communications to support and engage their own consultants? Findings from a new report by People Lab reveals how organisations are approaching employee engagement.
With the stream of scientific and anecdotal evidence showing us the benefits of meditation, it’s no wonder that it’s touted as the tool for a happy and healthy existence.
Headspace is a project that has set out to simplify meditation, to make it bite-sized, accessible and relevant to your every day life. To truly stay motivated in your practice, it might be helpful to understand the benefits of meditation.
In this fast paced world and our busy lives who doesn’t need time and a way to clear one’s mind?
And who hasn’t lit some scented candles and hopped into a hot bath with Epsom salts and tried to wash away the stress of the day? Andy knew what he was doing when he went traveling at the age of 22 and made the decision to become a Buddhist monk. I challenge you to take the 10-day trial offered by Headspace and not have your life completely turned around. For those unfamiliar with meditation pods, the next question is: where does one even put it?
Headspace's choice to involve Oyler Wu demonstrates some of the core principles of such an object. There are certain design elements the team at Oyler Wu found to be fundamental in the pod creation. With an array of tools, Nicolas Aracena Muller stands just beyond the windows of design boutique Chamber in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood. ICFF itself is trying to decide which of the many offsite happenings to hit up throughout the city.
We're approaching that time of the year many people come to dread for its airport travel clogs and the political arguments that await at dinner. While we are always on the lookout for new things to add to our ever-evolving Buy section, during the holidays we like to turn it up a notch to help readers find the perfect presents for friends and family. Two years after Memory I, famed documentarian Wu Wenguang and choreographer Wen Hui are back with a new performance that challenges the boundaries of art to reconnect people to a disappearing past. Wind energy in itself isn't a novel concept, but the MARS Turbine (Maggen Air Rotor System) puts a new spin on conventional wind turbines with its Goodyear Blimp otherworldliness and innovative operating system.
In the wake of last year's devastating tsunami, artist Masaki Batoh sought to address the emotional wreckage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. It’s easy to imagine how important the concept of VIP is in a country where individuality is easily lost in an immense multitude of people.
These minimalist wooden pods resembling natural geological formations make it easy for people to zone out and practice meditation. The studio designed the pod as a minimalist structure on the outside, with a machine cut wood interior that forms a curved seat for a single person. Please note that gratuitous links to your site are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. Former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe seeks to turn meditation into a corporate productivity hack. The New York Times wrote, “Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food.” Enough said. On a typical day in retreat – though it varies from monastery to monastery -- there are 14 to 18 hours of meditation, seven days a week, and if you are there for the whole year, 365 days a year. Once the monastery feels confident that you can teach, you’re often sent to a particular center.
When I was in Moscow, expats started to come to the meditation center where I was teaching. One of them –- who was very senior in BP Oil Company –- said, “I’d love for you to come do some work with the execs at the office.” But then he said, “You know what? It got me thinking, “Am I passionate about being a monk, or am I passionate about teaching meditation?” The answer was clear.
I spent about three years putting the content for Headspace together before I met Rich Pierson, who’s the co-founder, in 2009.
People started asking, “How can we continue afterwards?” So we started recording parts of the event and posting them online.
Almost as important as the subscription is what we term "brand partnerships." So things like the Headspace channel on Virgin Atlantic, or the project we’ve just done with Selfridges, one of the biggest department stores in London. The macro level of Headspace is to get people to think differently about the help of the mind. We just finished scientific studies with Roche Pharmaceuticals and a large tech company I’m not allowed to name because the paper hasn’t been published yet (but it’s one that everybody probably uses on a daily basis).
I think the more science that comes out, the more the perception of meditation will start to change. Headspace, is a project founded by Andy Puddicombe and encourages users to take 10 minutes out a day via their smartphone.
While rave reviews and stories of changed lives sure inspire us to want to try it for ourselves, it’s not always easy to know where to start. And we’ve teamed up to break it down for you to get the basics just right and show you that anyone and everyone can experience the benefits of meditation. Check out some musings on why getting some headspace can make all the difference then let us know in the comments: How do you stay inspired?

However, sometimes the other stressors seem to almost drown that tranquility that the music is supposed to provide. Again, I find it provides really fantastic dividends as far as my body is concerned, but not so much for my mind. For the most part I guess it all seemed too hocus pocus and who has time to sit and meditate anyway?
Through his sacrifice and growth of self-awareness he is now revolutionizing the way we can de-stress the mind and improve our moods.
There's an invaluable ease to using their service (especially the free app) and it has opened the doors of meditation to many. As they explain, "We felt that a meditative space, without being completely enclosed and isolated, should offer an immersive experience. To help navigate through it all over the coming days, we pared our picks down to 10 must-sees. Each of the structures, designed by architecture firm Oyler Wu Collaborative for Headspace, an online and app-based course for guided meditation, features a cozy carved-out spot for a person to sit back, slip on headphones and watch a meditation guide on the screen in front of them. Inspired by natural geological formations, the Headspace Meditation Pod features an organic wooden interior laid on top of a steel structure. I was in university studying sports science and about halfway through my degree I thought, “I’m going to go and be a Buddhist monk and I’m going to train in meditation.” I wanted to better understand how to stop the endless chatter inside my mind. These are usually closed in somewhere close to the monastery, tucked away in the countryside or in the mountains. Coming in dressed like that to an oil company in Russia, it’s just never going to work.” And he was right.
We looked for places where people wouldn’t expect to find meditation, like high-end places in London and New York. In society we have a good idea of physical help –- eating the right foods and getting exercise. The scientific world adds weight to something that’s been seen up until now as “airy fairy.” Yet the current app showed a significant change in workplace stress when testing for blood pressure and cortisol levels. There are many ways that we live now that aren’t particularly conducive to a healthy mind, that maybe exacerbate the situation.
As long as we’re born, then we have to deal with the fact that at some stage we’re going to die. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center. Do you often get a knot in your stomach and spend time worrying about infinite possible scenarios? The soothing dulcet tones of Andy’s voice encourage relaxation and mindfulness and from the outset it’s clear that this is a far cry from the mysticism and the mediation stereotype. Whether it is crying kids, hectic work schedule or housework that just keeps piling up, it seems that my mind is constantly boggled almost to the place of totally being insane at times. Every once in awhile I splurge and go for a massage, which eases the stress and pain in my body, but really does very little for my mind; especially when the therapist talks the whole hour. Now, the acclaimed team behind the app have produced a different sort of tool for meditation: a private nature-inspired pod made in collaboration with architect duo Oyler Wu.
We were interested in evoking cavernous, semi-enclosed environments with an organic interior texture. And Andy Puddicombe just might be the one to introduce meditation to the Western market on a comparably massive scale.
A new version of its online subscription service will be out in Spring 2013, as well as a series of scientific stress studies incorporating the Headspace app. When I was in university I was going out with a girl who read a lot of books about Buddhism. You’re getting on busy subways, going to and from your place of work, and having to deal with people and relationships and everything else. I could see they were benefitting from the exercises but they didn’t really relate to the whole Buddhist thing. We work with a lot of corporations interested in making the app available to their staff –- anywhere from 1000 to 100,000 employees or more.
An upcoming cover story in Scientific American Mind also features the Headspace app and psychologist Amishi Jha recommends its use. But even a few thousand years ago, when there were no mobiles and we didn’t have the same responsibilities and commitments, there was still a need for tools to help people step out of the busyness of everyday life. So what else is there which will not only relieve my body, but also cleanse and refresh my mind? Sometimes we get so busy that we take it for granted and as I learned, not even breathing correctly. It's been created to provide a thoughtful reprieve from distraction and offer a dedicated space for peace. At the same time, it is modern in the exterior, and reflective of the technology that is being used in its production. All the while, the design team was aware of a need to balance modern, tech-driven elements with the "intimacy of a familiarity natural material," they note.
We launched the subscription about a year ago and we’ve just seen phenomenal growth in the U.K. This kind of brand association gives people permission to try something they might be uneasy about. It enables us to address the wider concerns of not only individuals, but larger organizations as well.
Headspace is making great headway as mindfulness is given the rubber stamp of approval from large brands including Selfridges and Virgin Atlantic. At first I had some fear because I wondered what the two guys who developed it could possibly teach an old crony like me. My mind became completely enthralled with the British voice of Andy Puddicombe (one of the founders) guiding me to listen and be aware of sounds around me. Each contains an all-wood seat facing a screen, surrounded by a nurturing, cube-like structure.
We hit it off from the first meeting and we never looked back." Over time and through dialogue, the pods went from concept to creation.

This led to the idea of making the space appear to be carved out, almost by the impact of nature.
But some of it must have gone in because one day I just turned around and said, “You know what? Stress does not just impact the individual; the gross affect is a loss of ?26 billion a year in the UK economy alone. He also taught me to be aware of any pain I was feeling in my body (which I suffer with on a daily basis).
And there are more than a few reasons why a digital company would begin producing something physical. Headspace's meditation system itself balances technology and science with an invocation of the natural and human. If they go into Selfridges and they’re looking at Christian Dior handbags and see a little meditation pod, they might think, “Well, I’ll give that a go.” There’s a tacit permission.
In the last few years various studies and surveys have shown the devastating effect of a stressed workforce.
I never imagined in my wildest dreams that meditation would work better as a pain reliever than the narcotics I had been swallowing for years.
The pods then become an ideal complement the service—as well as a worthy first physical product from pioneers in meditation.
It has become so popular that there is even a second version now available with more features than the prior version released two years ago. It is estimated that ‘presenteeism’ costs UK businesses ?15.1 billion per year in reduced productivity. Jeorg Floeck, Managing Director of Global Sales believes, “Headspace provides an invaluable opportunity to learn a simple but highly effective technique aimed at teaching participants how to take control of their mental state to achieve greater focus, concentration, positivity and overall well being.”We spoke to Andy Puddicombe to find out more.
AP: Meditation is often thought of as removing yourself from the present but in fact it’s the reverse.
It puts us very much in the present, allowing us to appreciate our immediate surroundings; in turn it leaves us with more space in the mind. When we are allowed to step out of the busy mind, even just for a short period each day, with mediation or something else, there are significant health benefits. Studies have repeatedly shown increased performance under pressure after repeated short sessions of meditation.
One of the aims of the HR department is to help the workforce understand and identify where the points of stress lie and reassure employees that they are helping them in a very real way. Presentation is key as well, I’ve been into different companies where they treat these initiatives as a tick box exercise but others are genuinely interested in improving the health and wellbeing of their employees.
The HR department need to be engaged and mindfulness initiatives need to be presented in an interesting and creative way. Having invested heavily into visually stimulating an exciting resources we encourage our corporate partners to use the stuff to get people interested in the idea of mindfulness and more likely to try it.SC: What advice would you give to our professional communicators, who are constantly being pulled in different directions, to help them switch off?
When people talk about taking a deep breath, although it may sound like an old wives tale, there is something very definite that happens. It’s not always appropriate, it may look at bit odd in the middle of a difficult conversation (!) but if it is then certainly it’s a useful starting point. I suggest taking four or five deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
We often have the opportunity to say to the other person, ‘you know what, let me step out for a moment and can we continue this in a minute.’ By removing yourself, even for a minute or two, you can allow the mind to settle a little. Then reengage in the conversation, the outcomes could be so different if it’s approached in that way. By bringing the mind into the body either by using sight or sound or your contact with your body on a chair; all of those things effectively cut that loop. So we no longer are lost in the thoughts of the mind, equally we’re not trying to supress those thoughts. We’re simply re-diverting our attention to something physical and what that does, is it eventually cuts the seed of the thought that is feeding the emotion. I think we are presenting, very deliberately, meditation in a way, which is creatively interesting, engaging, and in a way which is familiar to people in our society by taking away the mysticism.
There are well over 300 000 peer reviews and published scientific papers that show that mindfulness does have a very real effect, not only psychologically but also physiologically.
We draw quite heavily on that research and use that to help give people confidence to try it out. And lastly our partners; they’re not just providing tools and techniques for companies but other headspace channels. For example the Virgin Atlantic campaign is using in-flight channels, or the No Noise campaign at Selfridges. These campaigns are not only commercially important but there is something else that is really valuable as well. They give more people permission to try something that they may not have been willing to try before, or not have even thought about before. Selfridges gives mindfulness that stamp of approval and it’s all part of presenting mediation in a lighter reach, which makes it more accessible.
The Silence Room Selfridges have created a dedicated space for their No Noise campaign, The Silence Room. Designed by Alex Cochrane Architects its minimalist nature creates an atmosphere of serenity with the rest of the department store reduced to a mere muffle.
Interestingly this is not the first Silence Room, the original existed when the store first opened in 1909. Alannah West, Creative Director at Selfridges describes the No Noise project as an invitation to the customer “to find a moment of peace, was realised with the support of our exclusive partnership with Headspace.” We spoke to a frequent user, “I love visiting The Silence Room, the tranquillity is a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street.
I’m new to all this but Take10 and this room are helping to find a sense of calm.” About Andy Puddicombe Setting off to become a monk at the age of 22, his meditation training took him all over the world, culminating with full ordination at a Tibetan Monastery in the Himalayas. Ten years later, Andy returned to the UK with the singular wish to demystify meditation, to make it accessible, relevant and beneficial to as many people as possible.

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