While taking some time to sit and take a few deep breaths is accessible to nearly everyone, anytime, it definitely helps to have some guidance. Guided meditations give you something to focus on when you feel stressed, anxious, or scattered. They're also helpful for learning new meditation techniques. And given the state of the world, there certainly isn't a better time to try to establish some calm in your life than now.
The need for more peace—for everyone—inspired meditation superstar Deepak Chopra to team up with literal superstar J Balvin to launch a free 21-day bilingual meditation course called Renew Yourself: Body, Mind & Spirit. Available on iTunes and Google Play now, the course focuses on building resilience and finding healing. Each meditation is 20 minutes long and will be available in English and Spanish, featuring storytelling from Balvin followed by a meditation exercise.
Chopra says the partnership was a longtime coming. "I've been traveling to Colombia and Latin America for 25 years. My Hispanic audience is actually bigger than my English-speaking one," he says, adding that he's taught multiple Colombian presidents how to meditate. Given his special relationship with Colombia, teaming up with Balvin was a no-brainer to him. "We FaceTimed and he shared with me the mental challenges he's faced and how meditation has helped him," Chopra says.
"I have struggled with anxiety. I have been depressed. Meditation is one of the many ways that I have dealt with my mental health. It saved my life." — J Balvin
"What makes mental health universal is that it doesn’t discriminate. It affects all of us. I know that firsthand because I have gone through it myself," Balvin wrote in an essay for People announcing the partnership. "I have struggled with anxiety. I have been depressed. Meditation is one of the many ways that I have dealt with my mental health. It saved my life and to me, can be one of the key first steps in achieving mental and spiritual well-being."
He said that for him, meditation was the key to self-awareness and understanding that the mind is something that needs to be cared for. "That goes especially for this moment we’re currently experiencing: where money is so tight for many, health is such a question mark on a global level, and the fight for racial justice is more urgent than ever," he said. "When our world is in flux, our mental well-being is often one of the first things we neglect. But this should not be the case. In fact, it’s in times like these that mindfulness can help us most."
The partnership is the latest of a few Spanish language meditation offerings out on the market. Some mindfulness apps, such as Bambu and Meditopia, are either entirely in Spanish or have Spanish-language meditations included in their programming. (Headspace also has a Spanish language setting.) There are also a variety of YouTube videos featuring meditations in Spanish. However, this seems to be one of the first (and highest-profile) Spanish-English meditation offerings on the market. Hopefully, this program will inspire other companies to offer dedicated Spanish-language meditations to reach the 572 million Spanish speakers living around the globe (41 million of whom live in the U.S.).
Besides being bilingual and free, there's another (um, obvious) benefit to the new course: Meditation is bound to be a lot more exciting when J Balvin is leading it.
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