The health movement began – and has largely remained – focused on the body: diet and exercise and every contortion of each. But the body is only one leg of the three-legged wellness stool. We know now (or at least we are learning) that we need to put just as much time and energy into cultivating our healthiest minds and spirits. That’s where meditation comes in and we are still in the earliest days of meditation breaking out to become part of millions of Americans’ daily routines – like the gym. The stigma of mental health meditation has eroded, and 41% of millennials have reported trying meditation. Meditation, like yoga a decade ago, is the next large cultural shift in the way people take care of themselves.
Technology has proven adept at demystifying and democratizing access to meditation, but it has also perpetuated people’s isolation. Historically, meditation was practiced in groups, not alone. In fact, leading meditation leaders both historically – like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi the founder of Transcendental Meditation – and today – like Deepak Chopra – tout the “network effects” of group meditation, where the energy, clarity and focus that an individual experiences when meditating by themselves is compounded in a group setting. As with other activities like the gym and diets, the social support of a group helps consumers continue to with programs that they might otherwise drop.
That’s why I was so excited to back Journey Live last year. Last month, they launched the world’s first digital meditation community, connecting people to live teachers and group classes. The company is founded by an incredible founder, Stephen Sokoler, who, after selling his previous company, discovered meditation and became meditation instructor.
The western world is waking up to the power of meditation and the early movers in the space have made clear there is a market here. Journey LIVE offers fundamentally different experience. Human connection, more personal relationships.
Just as Peloton drove people to think anew about in-home exercise equipment, we believe Journey LIVE will fundamentally change how we adopt, connect with and practice meditation.