Today is Veteran’s Day, and I’m extremely proud to announce that today we launched our new “Healthy veterans, happy families.” campaign to raise funds for Give an Hour. Give an Hour is an amazing non-profit organization which asks mental health professionals to literally donate one hour of their time to veterans and their families. Many times, parents, siblings, and loved ones do not qualify for the same kind of support services offered to veterans by the government, but their needs are just as important. We’re donating ten percent of every app sold in the month of November. If you’re interested in learning more, click the banner above or go here.When our servicemen and women return home, it may seem like the war is over for them, at least for now (over a quarter of our military personnel have been deployed more than once). Yet many of our veterans bear wounds which cannot be seen by the naked eye. They manifest in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and panic attacks, anger, apathy, and more. Moreover, it’s not just the veterans themselves which suffer from deployment–their families, friends, and loved ones all suffer in turn. This is why it’s so important to recognize (article via the Deseret News) the incredible burden which our servicemembers, their families, and communities must bear.
Today I’d like to take some time to address the issue of music in our Health through Breath – Pranayama app. We’ve had more than a few users, and even a couple reviewers mention that they’d like the option to choose their own music to listen to while going through our breathing exercises. Seems harmless right? It’s completely understandable that people want to listen to their favorite music while meditating, breathing, relaxing, etc., and we’re not necessarily saying it’s not going to happen. However, we do want to take a minute to explain why music is so important to the function and effectiveness of our app.
Pranayama relies on two things to be as effective as it is: music and animation. Animation allows our users to see the physical form, function, and flow of deep breathing. It’s used to show you how to breathe deeply using your diaphragm and show you what’s taking place in your body as you breathe. It’s used to show you how to control your breathing and it helps you settle into your breathing rhythm.
Music is the force which drives you through the various stages of breathing and it’s also what we use to help condition your breathing habits. After all, the kind of shallow chest breathing that most of us engage in is nothing more than a bad habit. Our app is designed to help you unlearn your bad breathing habits and encourage the development of new, good habits. We do this largely through our music. The rise and fall of each musical tone clearly illustrates the beginning and end of each part of the breathing cycle. The music conditions your mind and body and directs your advancement through the various breathing patterns. Once you’ve mastered our app, you’re taking 0.97 breaths per minute. The music is what gets you to that level.
October has been a great month in so many ways for Saagara! Fresh off hitting our 100k download mark less than two weeks ago, the new version of our deep breathing app Health through Breath – Pranayama dropped on the App Store at the beginning of the week and boy did it make a splash!
The iPad version quickly climbed to number one in health and wellness in Japan, Switzerland, France, and India. Even now, the app is resting comfortably in the top 10 in all of those countries, plus many more. In addition, the HD version (exclusively for iPad) is coming up quickly, looking to replace its predecessor as top dog in the iPad app store!
As if all of that wasn’t enough, last night the iPad version of the app hit the “New & Noteworthy” and “What’s Hot” page for iPad apps in the Health and Wellness genre. Check it out:
In case you didn’t hear, this last weekend the Saagara Team packed into a Honda Pilot SUV (it was a pretty tight squeeze) and rolled off to New York City to take part in the New York Maker Faire. After attending an exciting opening event hosted by CNET and Red Bull (and a sweet performance by ArcAttack!), the Faire opened to the public on a beautiful Saturday morning.
The Saagara Team
We were one of 500 other “Makers” who had come to present at the Faire armed with a series of contraptions ranging from the simple and practical, to the complex and potentially life-threatening (i.e. the rocket-powered carnival rides), and everywhere in-between. Nearby our exhibition our new friends CW&T had a neat little game which required that you start a timer and stop it as close to 10.000 seconds as possible (without looking!). Across the hall another local Ann Arbor resident, Mike Flynn, was mystefying everybody in sight with his super cool magnetoscope, and those were just a couple of the exhibits housed both inside and outside the impressively large New York Science Hall.
This weekend (Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26) the Saagara Team travels to the Big Apple to attend the New York Maker Faire! For those of you who have never heard of the Maker Faire, it’s put on by the same people who do MAKE magazine (and its corresponding webpage, television series, etc.) and is a physical manifestation of their growing community of do-it-yourselfers and others who “look at things a little differently”.
We’ll be at the Faire this weekend to put on display the power of deep breathing! At our booth we’ll be demoing our “Health through Breath: Pranayama” application, showing off a model we’ve constructed that physically demonstrates the power of diaphragmatic breathing, giving away various kinds of informational materials and goodies (which both parents and kids can enjoy!), and even giving some instructional seminars where we’ll show kids how to build their own lung models while their parents can experience the power of Pranayama first-hand.
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