While you might consider meditation a discipline for only the deeply spiritual or those still stuck in the 70’s, it is now one of the hottest new wellness trends. Meditation studios have been popping up all over the country, many designed with the modern feel of a boutique fitness or yoga studio, and with a variety of class options. Chic, contemporary, and very zen, these drop-in studios offer a new spin on traditional meditation practices.
Tal Rabinowitz, founder and owner of LA’s newest drop-in meditation studio The DEN, started penciling meditation into her daily schedule as an NBC executive. She and several colleagues would try to block off time in their busy days to reflect and unwind. But she wasn’t satisfied, saying, “Sometimes it’s hard on your own. I wanted something better and something regular, before work or after work, kind of like exercise classes.”
That’s when she came up with The DEN. Rabinowitz’s studio is a beautifully designed multi-use space which she says embodies “exactly who I am.” She and her clients can not only take a class, but also lounge, relax and read with a cup of tea. The DEN is unique because of its variety of offerings and evoked feelings of “home.”
While the aesthetics may have changed, the benefits of meditation remain the same, and are perhaps more important than ever. Meditation is proven to reduce tension and anxiety; improve mood and focus; and boost energy and creativity. In this digital era in which we are always connected to the outside, meditation provides an opportunity to unplug and re-focus on the inside. Says Rabinowitz, “We’re all just craving a moment of balance.”
From NYC to LA, here are the new meditation studios that have got even the busiest learning to check out to check in:
MNDFL is located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. MNDFL’s inventors, spiritual blogger Ellie Burrows and The Buddha Walks Into A Bar author Lodro Rinzler, dreamed of a non-traditional, non-religious space to meditate. The modern studio at MNDFL features exposed brick walls, large greenery and neutral-colored plush cushions. MNDFL offers drop in classes for 30 or 45 minutes of modern guided meditation. When you book your cushion, you chose from a “menu” of meditations catered to your mood or current state; for example, there is MNDFL Breath for relaxation, MNDFL Mamas for expecting mothers, or MNDFL Sleep for insomniacs. When classes aren’t taking place, the studio is open to the public for self-guided practice. 10 East 8th St, New York, NY. Photograph: Stephen Wilson
Founded by Suze Yalof Schwartz, former executive fashion editor at Glamour magazine, LA-based UNPLUG was the first of its kind as a chic, boutique meditation studio. Clients can “drop-in” for 30 or 45-minute guided meditation classes, a format that the The New York Times described as “a Drybar for meditation” UNPLUG’s minimalist aesthetics make it a peaceful and uncluttered place to unwind. The classes focus on mindfulness, breath work, and imagination, and the “drop-in” style allows people to investigate the practice of meditation. UNPLUG offers crafted unique meditation programs for kids and corporate groups, too. 12401 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, Ca.