Headspace aims to make meditation techniques and practices available to everyone.

Ever feel as if you can’t shut your mind down, or are never able to slow down and appreciate the present moment? Do you worry often, struggle with stress or pain or find practicing gratitude difficult? Fear not, as you are not alone.

Enter “Headspace Guide to Meditation,” a new Netflix series for meditation beginners, experts and everyone in between. Headspace is an online healthcare company that works to make meditation available to everyone through their website, apps, books and now an eight-part series.

Each episode of the series is about 20 minutes and is narrated by Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe, whose calming voice conveys stories from his journey as a Buddhist monk, the science and history behind mediation and various guided techniques.

The episodes cover topics ranging from “How to Let Go,” “How to Fall in Love with Life” and “How to Deal with Anger.” Puddicombe meets you where you are in your journey, allowing you the space to comfortably reflect, forgive yourself and grow, keeping in mind that meditation is a skill to be practiced and strengthens the muscle of the mind.

After learning a little on each topic, the viewer gets the opportunity to practice the technique as Puddicombe gently guides the mind into a more open perspective, keeping in mind that the desired result may not be achieved in a single session.

Sometimes there is a certain object or topic to focus on, other times simple observation, but always the mind will naturally wander to something seemingly more pressing, which Puddicombe stresses is normal and not to be judgmental or alarmed.

Along with the invaluable information cascades the animations of the show, easily transitioning from one image to another in bright, calming colors. These pleasing animations alone are a high motivator for de-stressing and becoming more present.

The scientific benefits to meditation are also compelling reasons to watch the series. The episodes each discuss the results of various studies on meditation, with both the short- and long-term rewards to human health.

Aside from the first episode, “How to Get Started,” each one can be watched in a different order and all can be returned to whenever needed. Some topics in particular may speak better at certain times in life, such as “How to Deal with Pain,” but by no means are they ever inaccessible or impossible.

What is most appealing about the series is its universality. Everyone throughout time and geographic location struggles with stress and pain, especially now, during a pandemic. The show’s gentleness and easy, encouraging nature allows it to be accessible to everyone, regardless of age, gender and race.

One note before you watch —  approach the series with a willingness to be open. As with anything new, being completely closed off might mean protection, but it also cuts off growth. Headspace will meet you where you are, but you must open the door first.

For any Zag who ever feels overwhelmed or stressed or lost, “Headspace Guide to Meditation” is a must watch. Happy meditating, and best wishes on your meditation journey.

Caitlin Relvas is a staff writer.

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