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By Rakhee Bhatt | April 10, 2017 | Lifestyle
When it comes to the modern stresses of daily life, finding a few moments to press pause can elude even the savviest of city dwellers. Here, we round up a few meditative ways New Yorkers can disconnect from technology and reconnect with themselves.
Begin your journey within by taking the MNDFL 101 class for newbies taught by Chief Spiritual Officer Lodro Rinzler. During this session, Rinzler will go over the types of classes offered, lead a guided session on the mindfulness of breath as well as a session on contemplation practices, and answer any lingering questions at the end. Afterward, newbies can move on to other classes like Intention, which teaches how to live in a more conscious manner; Mantra, which focuses on a word or phrase aimed at alleviating stress; and Energy, meant to naturally infuse more vitality into your day-to-day life. “Learning to meditate is tough for everyone in the beginning,” says CEO Ellie Burrows. “Meditation won’t turn off your mind and that’s totally normal. Be aware if your mind starts to wander, then bring yourself back to the breath or mantra. Like going to the gym, you won’t be able to lift heavy weights right away, but if you keep practicing it gets easier. Also, consistency is key. Once you learn to really get a practice going, consistency is probably the most important component: consistent type of meditation, consistent time of day, consistent environment, consistent amount of time. Taking even 60 seconds to bring your full attention to your breath counts. We all have to start somewhere!” For schedule and class pricing, head to mndfl.zingfit.com. 10 E. Eighth St., 212-477-0487; 239 E. 60th St., 212-477-0601
Proving that meditation doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor, The Big Quiet aims to bring hundreds of locals together every couple of months for a social introspective experience set against an ever-rotating backdrop of the city’s most Instagrammable spots like Central Park, Lincoln Center, the Oculus, and the United Palace. For their most recent event in March, the company partnered with apparel and lifestyle brand Kit and Ace to host 1,100 people, 1,776 feet above the streets at One World Observatory. Taking over the top three floors of the building, The Big Quiet led a guided mass meditation and sound experience that incorporated a live DJ, string musicians, and a teen gospel choir before culminating in a moment of silence to honor the historic site and the city. To find out about upcoming events, check out biqquiet.nyc.
Press pause at this stunning space in the Flatiron District. Created by Khajak Keledjian, the founder and former CEO of Intermix, Inscape is perfect for the novice or expert meditator. Visitors can choose between two spaces—the Dome, where an oculus on the ceiling sits at the center of a woven bamboo installation incorporated throughout the room, or The Alcove, a cozy space that features an alternating art installation—to completely immerse their senses for a richer experience. Led by an audio guide, classes incorporate three key meditation methods: focus, mindfulness, and mantra. “We wanted consistency and neutrality in our deliverance,” says Keledjian. “What happens when you meditate is happening within you… we’re creating an environment so that by design you focus inward rather than outside of yourself. Of course, people have different experiences even under the same format, but consistency for us is the main factor.” Class options range from Focus 22, where attention is placed on a single thing such as the breath or a body part, to Deep Sound 66, a sound bath that aims to relax the mind and body through a mixture of different texture and instrument sounds created as meditators are lying down in stillness. For schedule and class pricing, head to inscape.life/book. 45 W. 21st. St., 646-952-0706
Silence is truly golden on the first Wednesday of every month during Quiet Mornings at MoMA. Opening at 7:30 a.m., MoMA urges visitors of this event to mute their phones, clear their heads, and take the time to go slowly through different exhibits of the legendary museum to gaze at world-famous pieces by artists like Van Gogh, Pollock, and Rothko—all before the space opens to the general public. After perusing the artwork, attendees gather for a guided meditation in a changing location of the museum to close their eyes and center their thoughts for the day and week to come. Members free. For more information, head to moma.org. 11 W. 53rd St., 212-708-9400
All roads lead inward at The Path, a weekly meditation gathering held mostly at The Standard, East Village. Meditation sessions can incorporate an energizing technique, speak on the importance of mindfulness, and/or help focus thoughts on a mantra or intention, all meant to have a powerful effect on the mind. “For beginners I would say, just start,” says Dina Kaplan, founder and CEO of The Path. “Even if you have one minute at your desk, in the bathroom, wherever, just begin a daily practice and stay consistent with it. You'll quickly see how much it changes your life for the better, making you less reactive and more mindful during the day!” For schedule and further information, check out thepath.com. The Standard, East Village, 25 Cooper Sq., 212-475-5700
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JULIA ROBBS FOR HOMEPOLISH (MNDFL); FELIX KUNZE (THE BIG QUIET); RICK MORATA (QUIET MORNINGS AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART). PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF INSCAPE; THE PATH