Meditation is hard. At least it is for me.
I try to meditate at least once a day, but sometimes only make it about 15 minutes before I’m back on my phone answering an email or checking Instagram.
So naturally, when I heard about the Somadome, a pod-like structure you sit in that uses technology to help you meditate, I was pretty sceptical.
How could adding gadgetry to the practice of meditation make it any easier?
I decided to give the pod a shot and headed to the Cornelia Spa at the Surrey Hotel in Manhattan where one of the two meditation pods are currently located (the other is at California’s Ojai Valley Inn & Spa).
Before you can get into the Somadome you first get a menu of sessions to choose from. There are eight options. I did the “Manifest” sessions because the spa manager told me it was her favourite.
Once I selected a session, I got inside the orb, propped my feet up on a stool, put on the binaural beat headphones, and pressed a button that brought the top of the dome down.
Sitting in the dome is very comfortable. Because the shape is similar to a pod, I kind of sunk into the chair, which is lined with cushions.
The cushions, though, aren’t normal cushions. They are actually something called “microcrystaline tiles” which help block electromagnetic fields from electronics. At least, that is what the woman at the spa told me. I didn’t really care what they were made of, I was just really comfortable.
Part of the Somadome experience also includes colour immersion therapy, or the idea that colours stimulate impulses in the brain.
The dome that surrounded me began to glow a violet light, which according to Somadome’s website is the colour of transformation and helps at “slowing down an overactive heart.”
The colour was pleasant and calming, but I closed my eyes to really tune into the meditation session.
Besides the guide’s voice, there were some other trippy sound effects, like echos of the speaker’s voice in the background, but all in all it was pretty pleasant.
It only took me about five minutes before my breathing slowed and I was totally engaged.
After about 20 minutes, the session ended, I pressed the button for the dome to lift and came out of the pod.
I felt lighter, refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day. I didn’t realise how wound up I was before I went into the Somadome. I was bummed the session was over, but I also felt fantastic.
Now look, I’m no seasoned expert in meditation.
Even though I have been making a conscience effort to practice daily for the last year, there are times when I still struggle.
For starters, just finding the time and a quiet place to meditate can be difficult. Not to mention trying to completely disconnect from all of the devices it seems I’m tied to.
Sarah Attia, Somadome’s founder and CEO, said this a big reason why she came up with the device.
“Meditation is all about finding our minds and listening to a sort of voice from within and connecting and it’s so hard to do that and it’s just getting harder,” she told me. “In a perfect world we would all go to yoga everyday and go on a meditation retreat every quarter and have the perfect place in our home that is sacred where no one interrupted us and we could find the time. But we don’t.”
The Somadome helps fix this problem. It’s a safe space where you can block out all of the rest of the world and really just focus on being present.
While the fancy lights, cushions and headphones definitely help, I found the structure of the pod to be the most soothing. You kind of do feel like you are in a cocoon, of sorts.
The Somadome is currently only in the two spa locations and will set you back about $US60 for one half-hour session. But Attia said that they will be taking the business to scale this year and will be rolling out more pods in spa locations. Eventually, she aims to begin selling the pods to companies so that Somadomes could be used for employee wellness and even hopes to develop a model for homes.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.