Over 5000 meditation teachers use the app InsightTimer as a platform to publish and share their meditations, music and podcasts. While InsightTimer does a fantastic job of breaking down meditations depending on the category you’re looking to focus on (i.e. Meditation for Anxiety, Sleep, Relationships, Work), it can be overwhelming for someone who is new to the practice of meditation to wade through such a sea of recordings and teachers in order to find the diamond in the rock – a teacher or recording they truly click with.
Regardless of if you are new to the practice of meditation and don’t know where to start, or are a veteran meditator who’s looking for new teacher recommendations, today is all about my top 5 female meditation teachers who, in my opinion, you should be listening to right now on InsightTimer. These women are teachers whose recordings and meditations I find myself repeatedly returning to OR who’s messaging really resonates with me, what I’m looking for in order to fulfill my practice and my life. These teachers have also produced meditations of various lengths of time, making them appealing for meditation students of all skill levels. This list is in no particular order.
Melli is an Australian mindfulness teacher, better known as Mrs. Mindfulness. She is the co-founder and a host of The Mindfulness Summit – the world’s largest mindfulness conference.
Why I Listen
I enjoy Melli and her meditations because of the casual, practical approach she takes in delivering her meditations. She is very down to earth in how she guides the listener and does a fantastic job of leaving out the “fluff” that I think is often falsely associated with meditation (the perception that it is a woo-woo practice). Melli is a great starting point for beginners to the practice of meditation, her shortest meditation being 4 minutes in length, and one which I have used when I’m needing a mental break but am strapped for time.
Michelle is a licensed therapist and integrated life coach with over 25 years experience. Michelle offers listeners a fantastic mix of talks and meditation recordings and was one of the first teachers I listened to when I joined InsightTimer. She is best known for developing a transformative process known as The Adult Chair, which helps people to overcome false beliefs, and assists with getting to the root of their problems in order to get unstuck and live better lives.
Why I Listen
I enjoy Michelle and her recordings because they create a safe space for individuals to truly reflect inwards. Her recordings are a great option if you are wanting to dig deeper into the inner workings of your trauma, stress, and anxiety using The Adult Chair approach. Michelle also covers topics which many of us are not taught, such as building healthy relationships as adults and often features special guests on her podcast who provide even more information and insight to the listener, such as doctors, therapists, and other life coaches.
If you were to visit the main page on InsightTimer for sleep meditations, you would see Jennifer’s Yoga Nidra for Sleep close to, if not, at the top of the list. There is a reason her meditation has been played a whopping 8.6 million times. Jennifer specializes in sleep and dream education, honoring tiredness and exhaustion as a space to explore and accept sleep and restore natural body rhythms.
Why I Listen
I enjoy Jennifer’s meditations for her ability to ease me into sleep. There are very few meditations I enjoy with no background music – it can be hard for a teacher to “carry” a meditation using just their voice and their guidance. However, Jennifer has the very special gift of lulling people to sleep using just her voice. On many occasions I’ve fallen asleep mid-way through listening to her meditation. There’s also a particular part in her sleep meditation where she guides you through different body parts to isolate and relax each one. No matter how tense or stressed I am going into the mediation, as soon as I hit that point, I am instantly relaxed. It’s the most soothing and peaceful way to end a long day.
Besties Annie, Lindsay and Ella form the trifecta of Pretty Spiritual Podcast. They share their personal stories and spill the deets on how they incorporate their spiritual practices into the great big quirky, messy, lovable experience of being human.
Why I Listen
I’ve listened to Pretty Spiritual Podcast at work on several occasions and typically find myself laughing in my cubicle when I do (which might confuse my co-workers but if they find my methods of betterment entertaining, then so be it!). Their lighthearted yet open approach to sharing, creates nothing short of an authentic, humorous, relatable listening experience, one which leaves you saying to yourself me too girl, me too. Self-described as your spiritual besties, these women are the ones you want to have over for a Friday girl’s night, glass of vino in hand to just shoot the spiritual shit. Also one of the trio and I share a name and if name twinning with your faves isn’t enough to make your eyes sparkle like a Disney princess, I don’t know what does!
Vanessa was another teacher I listened to when I first started using InsightTimer. She is a woman’s leadership expert, a writer and a motivational speaker, and helps others gain clarity on their life’s purpose.
Why I Listen
I enjoy Vanessa and her meditations because she uses great examples and analogies within her recordings which make it easier for the listener to follow along. For example, she compares a mind that wanders when practicing meditation to that of a puppy that’s ran off. If you wanted to get the puppy back, you wouldn’t get angry or yank on it’s leash as punishment, you would gently call it back into focus.
I also like Vanessa because I see parallels between how my life is progressing and how her life did progress and what she did to turn it around. She spent nearly 10 years following the traditional route of what she thought she should do – she got an MBA from Stanford, worked her butt off on Wall Street, and achieved what many of us would label as success. But in the midst of achieving the success she realized it hadn’t led her to happiness or fulfillment, and that she had in fact climbed the wrong ladder of success. She has since found her purpose and dedicates her professional life to helping others seek out their purpose as she once found hers.
Life, simply put, is too short to not be doing what you want to do. Seeing someone who has gone through that and turned themselves around makes me realize the importance of figuring out what I want to do from the get go, instead of spending time building a career which lines up with what I think I should be doing, but doesn’t provide me satisfaction, happiness or fulfillment in the long run.
These are women whose content hasn’t been in my rotation quite as frequently as the above 5, but I like what they produce and still think they are worth mentioning to check them out.
- Michelle Kerr
- Lyndall Mitchell
- Selena Lael
- Joanna Jackett
- Bethany Auriel-Hagan
- Dina Proctor
- Sharon Salzberg
- Carmen Warrington
Do you have any favorite female meditation teachers? Let me know in the comments below!