The short answer to this question is yes, the Muse 2 meditation headband is really that good! For the long answer, keep reading…
If you meditate then you will be familiar with this little snippet of internal dialogue…
Ohmmm…. deeeep inhale…. long exhale… aaand inhale….. exhale….Calming and soothing breathing, clearing my mind ….. Meditating’s great. It’s good that I made the time. Cos that’s something I don’t have much of. Work’s so busy right now. Did I send that invoice out? Oh shoot, I haven’t paid that parking fine….Argh! I’m thinking! Meditate!!…..
If you don’t find that this happens when you meditate then get in touch because you must teach me your technique! Our minds are so easily distracted and we’re all time poor.
The Muse 2 Is Like A Zen Assistant
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a little Buddhist monk (or a big Buddhist monk), sitting next to you while you meditate. He could tap you on the shoulder each time your mind starts chattering and bring you back to your calm. That little reminder would be all you needed to refocus on awareness and presence.
Well, that’s pretty much what the Muse 2 felt like for me. A reassuring meditation partner, giving me subtle feedback and keeping me on track. A zen assistant!
How The Muse 2 Works
The device itself is a lightweight headband, which sits comfortably on your forehead and tucks behind the ears. Your heart rate, brain activity, movement and breathing are all measured by sensors along the strap to give the Muse 2 a full picture of your meditative state. Connected via Bluetooth, the Muse 2 communicates its data with an app on your phone.
You can listen to the app’s feedback via your phone speaker or headphones but I found the latter more conducive to calm. When your brain activity is high, the app plays louder noises and when you find calm, the sounds lower in volume accordingly. If you are able to find calm for a few seconds in a row, little birds tweet. That data is then available in a graph at the end of your meditation session so you can see how you did.
What We Learnt From The Muse 2
Inevitably I passed it round the whole family so we could compare. Competitive meditation is a real thing, apparently! Everybody found it very intuitive to use and it revealed some really interesting things about my husband and my youngest son.
Mike, my husband, got so relaxed he started to fall asleep but instead of giving him loads of birds twittering, his data showed high brain activity. That’s the opposite of what you’d expect from such a relaxed state. This is because reaching the alpha state of near sleep is a more active space than meditation. So if you thought a nap was as calming as a few minutes of breathing meditation then you’re wrong. Brain activity increases as we fall asleep.
It Defied Our Preconceptions About OCD And Tourette’s
Bertie, my youngest is a hectic kid. At 13 he is as young as Muse recommend users to be. Diagnosed with mild Toourette’s Syndrome and OCD, his mind is constantly active, or at least that’s what we thought. To our surprise though, in 3 minutes Bertie got 30 birds tweeting. Bear in mind I achieved 8! He was calm for 97% of his 3 minutes. If you met Bertie you would see why this was not what we expected.
When I asked him how he did it he said he just did what he always does – daydream! Well, yes I can attest to that. He said, he pictured a tree and imagined being the tree. That’s a type of meditating I guess? Good for Bertie!
It Makes Me Meditate More
What I love most about the Muse 2 is that it makes me want to meditate. Of course I always love meditating but that’s not to say I always find it easy to get to my yoga mat (where I meditate) and get started. The Muse 2 is another little nudge in the right direction.
Is It Worth It?
At £240 it ain’t cheap. But if you used a meditating app and had to purchase additional content within that app then over time (a long time, admittedly) the Muse 2 would pay for itself.
For me, it’s totally worth it. No other app (that I know of) is actually giving you direct brain, breath and heart rate feedback. This thing is a game changer!