7 Books To Help You Discover Calm and Wisdom

Discover calm while breathing, discover wisdom while reading with these book recommendations from the Spire Wellness Team.

These are just a few of our favorite books that share knowledge on how to live a happier, healthier life. Read more

Meet the Spire Health Tag: The Easiest Way to Improve Your Health

Dear Spire Community,

We’re excited to finally announce what we’ve been working on since, well, we started the company.

Meet the Spire Health Tag: world’s first invisible wearable and the easiest way to improve your health.

Expanding on the research and technology from our original Spire Stone, the Health Tag is packaged into a tiny, breakthrough design that makes your existing clothes smart, no charging required.

The Health Tag provides the most comprehensive health monitoring, including activity, heart rate, and respiration, to help you:

  • Sleep better
  • Reduce stress
  • Stay more active

Health Tags come in a pack that can be applied to all of the clothes you wear most (underwear, bras, pajamas, exercise gear, etc.) They have a 1.5-year battery life and are washer/dryer safe, so you can put them on once and forget about them.

Orders yours at a special, early discounted rate at www.spire.io

 

The Top 7 TED Talks on Mindfulness

Mindfulness, the practice of bringing your mind into the present moment, is a powerful tool to help you discover during the craziness of the day. If you haven’t thought about adding it to your everyday life, it may be time to reconsider.

Regular practice of mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, decrease anxiety levels, and improve memory and cognition.

With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that TED has invited multiple notable speakers to share their experiences with mindfulness. Be inspired to incorporate mindfulness in your daily routine with a few of these powerful TED Talks about mindfulness, meditation, and discovering calm in your life.

1. “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes” – Andy Puddicombe

As the CEO of Headspace, the popular meditation app, Andy Puddicombe knows the importance of meditation and mindfulness. Your brain is your body’s most powerful instrument, yet we rarely take time to recharge it. Fortunately, if you have just ten minutes to spare, you have plenty of time to take care of your brain…all you need to do is practice mindfulness.

2. “The art of stillness” – Pico Iyer

Travel writer Pico Iyer knows that one of life’s greatest luxuries is empty space. In this talk, he shares his experiences in stillness and going “nowhere.” He knows that to truly enjoy life’s experiences, you must truly pay attention, and that you can only really pay attention when you slow down.

3. “The practice of mindfulness” – Diana Winston

Diana Winston is the director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Center. Before that, she was a Buddhist monk; she has more than 20 years of experience in the study and practice of mindfulness. In her talk, she starts with the story of her first attempt at mindfulness and goes on to discuss how it has profoundly impacted her life. She explains that just a few moments of mindfulness can create a lasting impact on our everyday lives and relationships.

4. “Mindfulness and Healing” – Shannon Paige

Shannon Paige battled cervical cancer and won, but then found herself up against different beasts – depression and anxiety. She discovered yoga, not as a cure for depression, but as a way to get back into her body and change the mind. Through this, she found mindfulness can create a state of empowerment, stability, and release.

5. “The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger” – Shauna Shapiro

Dr. Shauna Shapiro knows that being in the present moment can be tough. But she also knows that being more mindful can be transformative. She uses modern neuroscience and ancient wisdom to show how mindfulness can help make positive changes in our brains and our lifestyles.

6. “Don’t try to be mindful” – Daron Larson

It’s easy to get frustrated with practicing mindfulness if you don’t instantly feel results.

Daron Larson practiced mindfulness for 13 years and felt it slowly transform his life – he just had to stop looking for the results to start to see them. Here, he talks about how mindfulness helps us burst out of the narrative restraints we put on ourselves and accept obstacles as part of our lives. Stop checking out when it gets hard. Tune in and practice mindfulness instead.

7. “The habits of happiness” – Matthieu Ricard

What does mindfulness have to do with happiness? Buddhist monk, author, and photographer Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to the pursuit of happiness. In this talk, he shares his findings on meditation, mindfulness, and training the brain to become happier. If you could create a path towards happiness, wouldn’t you?

Once these TED Talks have inspired you to start on your mindfulness journey, you can begin with this guide. You can also find guided meditations with renowned leaders Thich Nhat Hanh and Deepak Chopra. To discover even more calm in your life and better manage stress, use Spire to give you a gentle reminder to bring mindfulness to your breath.

Share Spire, Help People & Earn Cash

People around the world are using Spire to reconnect with their body, be more productive, and sleep better at night.

“Spire is a sleek, beautiful tracker that monitors your breathing patterns and activity to give you a snapshot of how you’re feeling.” -BuzzFeed

Read more

What It’s Really Like to be a Spire User

 

Want to know what using Spire is *really* like?

Here at Spire we love what we do, and hear all the time how we’re changing people’s lives for the better, helping them become calmer, more present and aware of their breath. Below are some stories from users about how Spire has helped them, and how they are using the tool in their everyday lives. Read more

What I Learned From My First Week With Spire

When our users first try out Spire, there is usually a range of emotional feedback. Below is what a new user learned after her first week with Spire.

I started using Spire about a week ago. It’s been great, but I’m almost embarrassed to admit what I’ve learned so far. My first day of using it was a Thursday, and not a day I thought was particularly stressful. I put the Spire on in the morning, clipped into onto my pants and noticed that I started out the day mostly focused, and calm. But then I was surprised that pretty much the minute I opened my computer, my Spire let me know I was tense. I didn’t feel particularly tense, going through my regular routine of emails, but once I started to pay attention I did notice a tightness in my chest. Read more

Mindfulness Goes Mainstream

Mindfulness is now mainstream.

More wearable technology companies are starting to understand the potential impact of mindfulness – and we’re thrilled. Since 2014, we’ve talked about why breath and mindfulness are the next frontiers in wellness. Back then, pundits called our app, market-focus and breakthrough breathing sensors “niche.” They were wrong: now, almost every other major wearable technology company is attempting to enter the space we’ve led.

But there is a big difference between a paced breathing exercise using LEDs on your wrist and actually measuring and impacting your breathing and state of mind in daily life. At Spire, we continue to invest in developing deep technologies and experiences that do what wristbands cannot: provide real-time insights on your breathing and measurable outcomes to improve your state of mind in daily life.

We do it by actually sensing respiration, improving mindfulness, and training in breathing practices. Here’s how:

Patenteblog_quote1d Respiration Sensors

Spire’s sensors – which go beyond simple accelerometers – and algorithms measure respiration patterns continuously, throughout the day (not only when to stop to meditate).

This means Spire can:

  1. Notify you in-the-moment when your breathing changes – like when you are getting tense or haven’t taken a deep breath in a while. This is key!

    “I set up an immediate alarm to notify me of my ‘Tense’ streaks, and that really helps me to become instantly aware of the fact I have to get calmer.” -A.C.
  2. Deliver a complete picture of your day to help you understand your breathing and state of mind all day long. For example, understand what makes you tense, what brings you calm, and when you get most focused.

    “I’ve also noticed that I’d often become tense when speaking about my work projects, or discussing things with my team members. Spire helps me there as well, notifying me of a tense streak.” -J.G.
  3. blog_quote2Visualize your breathing, in real-time, while doing any breathing practice or meditations.

“The breathwave visualization is the best thing I’ve ever used as a breathing technique for calming down.” -J.J.

Spire feeds your respiration data to algorithms that strip out the noise and classify it according to the way you normally breathe (what’s calm for you is different than calm for another person).  Our algorithms are based on dozens of laboratory studies around the world that distinguish how respiration patterns vary with cognitive and emotional state.

The success of wearables has been built on using new sensors to measure and provide feedback that you can directly use. This rule is no different when it comes to breathing and mindfulness: measuring your breathing is paramount.

blog_quote3Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is the practice of creating space between stimulus and response; it helps you respond to life situations versus reacting irrationally. This requires strong ability to direct one’s attention as well as the ability to observe without judgment.

A core technique in mindfulness is to use breathing as an anchor for attention. This is because respiration is the only autonomic function you have direct control over. Greater mindfulness practice results in a lower resting respiration rate, among other clinical outcomes such as reduced depression and stress. The guidance in the Spire app is based on protocols from clinical studies to alleviate anxiety and pain, increase heart rate variability, reduce blood pressure, and more.

Meditation:

Meditation is the exercise of practicing to be more skilled with our attention and to have greater awareness and control over emotions. The most common meditation technique is to maintain attention on the breath.

At Spire, we’ve always believed that helping improve wellness requires more than just tracking steps and calories burned. That’s why we’ve always taken a holistic approach to personal health.

Body + mind, together.

Calm, Focused, or Tense: State to State

Which State in the US is the most Tense? How about Calm? With Spire’s new state of mind map, you can see how tense, calm, or focused each State in the US is at any given moment throughout the day.

Is California, with it’s laid back style the most calm state in the US? With crippling rush hour on the East Coast is it one giant mass of tension?

These are a couple of the questions we wanted to answer with the Spire State of Mind Map!

Now, you can track the state of mind of your entire state throughout the day. We created one map for each state of mind: Calm, Focused, and Tense. The darker the color the more Calm, Focused, or Tense your state is at any given time.

Not a surprise at all is that New York state is a solid, dark red color from 6pm to 8pm eastern time. Must be all those traffic filled streets and packed public transit cars!

A Tense New York State of Mind.

A Tense New York State of Mind.

Head over the spire.io/stats to see how your State compares to others!

 

Global Meditation for Compassion: Contest Winner!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Read more

Learn meditation with Deepak. Track it with Spire.

Spire is the first activity tracker for state of mind. It tracks how you breathe throughout the day and helps you avoid tension, increase calm, and be more focused. www.spire.io

I heard once that meditation without community is like sex by yourself: it’s effective, something dramatic may even happen, but there’s always the sense that something’s missing! 😉

I wanted to tell you about a special meditation event taking place this weekend: a globally synchronized meditation event starting Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 9AM Pacific Time.

The goal? 500,000 people meditating together.

Meditating with others has been shown to have greater health effects than meditating alone within health groups. Many people have contributed to making meditation accessible around the globe, each in their own way. One of those people has been Harvard-trained physician, Deepak Chopra, MD.

This Saturday, Deepak hosts the Global Meditation for Compassion. Join online (or in-person at a meditation circle hosted near you) and meditate with the same intention as everybody else: greater compassion towards ourselves and one another.

Contribute your breath, win a Spire

Register for the event then wear your Spire as you meditate. Email hello@spire.io or tweet us @spire_inc a screenshot of your Spire app showing the streaks you achieved during the event. You’ll be entered into Spire’s Global Meditation Contest to win a free Spire with packaging signed by the Spire team. (Submit by Monday, July 13, 2015 at 11:59PM, winner will be notified July 17, 2015.)

‘See’ you Saturday 9AM PDT / 12PM EDT!
Neema