July 16, 2019 at 04:00PM by CWC
I’ve never been big into meditating; in fact, for years I’ve tried and failed to become a regular meditator. It’s just never stuck…until now, that is. The very first meditation form that I’m actually into and would actually use just launched, and I’d venture to say that it’s going to change the way many view the wellness practice.
Meet Wave, the experience that blends standard meditation with an immersive, modern-day twist of music, the sense of touch, and technology. The product comes from Mason Levey and Brad Warsh, aka the masterminds behind hip-hop yoga studio Y7 (which, funny enough, got me really into yoga when I wasn’t—at all—before). Not totally dissimilar to their innovative take on yoga, the duo’s intention with Wave is to provide an experience that you can feel and contribute to you being able to use your mind to its maximum potential.
“We wanted to make yoga really fun and accessible, and we got people there with music, and then they realized the other benefits like mindfulness,” Levey tells me of how Y7 came to be. “So we thought, ‘How do we get this idea of mindfulness and its benefits to as many people as fast as possible?’ Nothing ever resonated with me in meditation, and a lot of people view it as a chore. So we wanted to make it something enjoyable, something you look forward to doing, and shift the whole perspective.”
That’s how Wave works: It draws people in by being beats-based (like Y7) and music-forward, but it’s also a meditation. For $199, you get the bolster (which looks like a black memory-foam pillow), over-ear headphones, and a chic display stand. Then the app, which provides unlimited access to more than 80 original music meditation tracks (produced by Warsh and Levey themselves), costs $10 per month, or $99 per year.
What I find to be the most impressive aspect of the Wave is that it actually makes meditation cool. When I tried it for myself, I laid down onto the bolster, pulled the headphones over my ears, chose a track, and tried to keep an open mind about my stance on meditating. I quickly felt intense vibrations buzzing through my entire body, pulsating with the beat of the music, which was a very space-y, techno-ish song that made me feel like I was in a planetarium. Then, a voice started guiding me through some initial deep breathing, and soon vibrations from the bolster accompanied the experience. I felt as if my body was intertwined with the music and my lungs with the beat. This continued for about 10 minutes, during which I was actually able to melt away from my workday stress and truly clear my mind…without it feeling like forced meditative torture.
I was able to melt away from my workday stress and truly clear my mind…without it feeling like forced meditative torture.
Suddenly, I realized I might not be destined to a future of belonging to the population of people who think “meditation isn’t for me.” And, really, that is a huge population: 86 percent of Americans, according to Wave, currently don’t meditate, which is exactly why Warsh and Levey sought to create a way to bring it to the untouched demographic. What prevailed is this fun method for taking a few minutes to tune in to your mind.
Besides the 360-degree sensation that Wave’s meditations provide, the “tracks” themselves are unique. Unlike typical sounds of waves crashing or gongs sounding or birds chirping behind a fake-sounding voice that’s meant to be calming (despite having historically only making me giggle), these songs are more reminiscent of techno or rap or actual music. “We truly believe that music is a form of meditation, and when people are going through stuff, they have music tracks that they turn to,” says Levey. “But there’s no brand that has championed music as meditation. That’s why we bring it to the forefront. It just makes meditation that much more enjoyable for the consumer.”
Another modern-day meditation update Wave serves is its social component. Through the app, every time you meditate, you earn “vibes,” which you collect and in turn can redeem for merch and more content. You can even share snippets of what you heard during the meditation immediately to social media; it’s almost like it’s the meditation edition of Spotify. “Our whole brand is about inspiring and empowering your mind,” says Levey. “We want people to create positive change in their lives by engaging in mindfulness, which to us is making waves.”