Meditation is having a moment in New York City.
The ancient practice is finding a foothold on the city’s wellness scene, as studios devoted to the practice pop up.
Last month, Inscape opened its 5,000-square-foot meditation studio in Flatiron, with classes in mindfulness, focus, mantra techniques and more. And in 2017, MNDFL (pronounced “mindful”), which opened its first meditation studio in Greenwich Village last year, is expanding to meet demand, with a second location slated to open Jan. 3 on the Upper East Side and a third in Williamsburg in early February.
“Back in March, we started seeing consistently sold-out classes in the evening — we realized if we really wanted to reach our goal of making meditation as accessible as possible to New Yorkers, we needed to expand,” MNDFL co-founder Lodro Rinzler said.
Though meditation is something that could be done easily at home, MNDFL’s founders count the accountability, devoted space, instruction and community as contributing to the success of the studio.
“I like to say there’s a difference between singing in a shower and singing in a choir,” co-MNDFL founder Ellie Burrows said. “Not that one is better than the other, but they have different feels and have different benefits.”
It isn’t just New Yorkers who are seeking some zen. MNDFL has seen such an interest from across the globe that this month it launched a streaming service for those who can’t make it to to classes in-person.
“That’s another way we decided to grow based on our community needs — people were asking for it on social media,” said Rinzler, who sees meditation as becoming more mainstream, much like running once upon a time.
“In the 1950s, it was a weird thing to go for a run. Now it’s socially accepted — it’s a part of what we do. I think we’re seeing that now with meditation with all the science that’s coming out [on its benefits],” he said. “I feel we’re minutes away from a Buzzfeed list of ‘The 50 sexiest reasons you should be meditating.’”