Other Stuff

Spire: The Mindfulness Tracker

Fitness trackers are all the rage, right? I think I might be the last person in the US without one. I have no inclinations toward an Apple watch and I don’t want a FitBit or whatever in the way of my old school watch… because I wear one every day. It’s my thing.

So I fell victim to a FB ad when I saw Spire. I looked around their website and after reading, it seemed like an interesting idea and an added plus that it didn’t go on my wrist.

After I got a pop up for $20 off if I ordered, I handed over $129 bucks and one was on its way. Shipping was fast, downloading the app was simple, and set up took about 10 minutes.

I’ve been using it just over a month and I think it was money well spent. I wear it everyday and it really does help me be more aware of my tension, my focus, and yes, even my physical activity. I wear it either on my bra or on my waistband of whatever pants/skirt I’m wearing and it senses my breathing patterns.

It comes with “boosts” that teach you how everything about the Spire works, and a few pep talks to get you focused, to relax, etc. It vibrates a little to let you know when you’ve hit a tension streak (two minutes or more of tense breathing) and I’ve been impressed how just being alerted to it allows me to refocus, take a few deep breaths, and move on in a better way. It allows me to set different goals for calm, focus, and activity and then tries to help steer me in the right direction.

And, yes, as much as I was averse to tracking my physical activity, it is nice to be alerted that I’ve been sitting too long or how many steps or equivalent activity I’ve done in a day. I’ve made a few feeble attempts at running (something I want to keep doing to add to my regular yoga practice) and it adds that activity to my totals.

It provides daily and weekly summaries, and I can go back and review every day I’ve used the Spire so far. I can see how many streaks I’ve had of each type of activity–including the tension, which allows me to reflect on my days to see what I can do better going forward, what makes me tense, and how I can either remove myself from a negative influence or figure out a way to not have it impact me in a negative way. After all, life is about choosing the better option. We have so much more power over our lives and moods than we realize.

Overall, I think it’s a great tool for someone looking to be more in tune with their mind and body. It’s not perfect, but the issues I’ve had aren’t enough to really complain. The app on your phone has to be running in the background at all times or it won’t log your activity–which has added to some slight battery drain. Not a major problem because I still make it through the entire day without a recharge but there have been a couple of days where I had to drop the phone on the charger as soon as I got home from work.

The other minor issue is that when I wear it on my bra, I’ve seen a handful of instances where it says I need to reposition it to sense my breathing. It’s a little awkward to be grabbing at my bra strap through a shirt or dress to get it to sit right again. There was one time where I accidentally pulled it off my bra and it fell right through the bottom of my dress onto the floor. Luckily, I was alone when it happened so it’s only embarrassing now that I’ve announced on the Internet, but whatever.

Those are very minor compared to the new level of awareness I have. I’m very thankful to have run across this little contraption and I hope the company does well enough to stick around for many years. In this go-go-go world, reminders to stop and breath are needed.

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