New York City’s busy young professionals are adding a new wellness practice to their routine of getting sweetgreen, hitting up hip-hop yoga, and kombucha happy hour — meditating. Manhattanites, Brooklyn Hipsters, and Queens-lovin’ NYCers alike can’t get enough serenity and stillness in their lives. And, naturally, there has been an increase in places offering classes as the demand has risen.
Want in on the good feelings? Whether you’re thinking of trying meditation for the first time or are an at-home meditator looking to feel the vibes in a crowd, these 10 meditation studios in NYC will give you the modern meditation experience you’ve been craving.
The Interdependence Project
Beginners, take note. Founded by author and meditation teacher Ethan Nichtern, The Interdependence Project offers Buddhist studies courses and meditation classes. With a student-teacher kind of approach, these classes are great for people who want to learn more about meditation before diving right into the practice itself. Fitt tip: If you’re new to the whole meditation thing, make sure to sign up for their “Mindfulness Plus” workshop, which will answer any lingering concerns you have about doing it right.
If you’re young, networking, and need chill the F out, The Path is the modern pop-up meditation group you need. It’s 50% meditation session and 50% networking group for creatives in the city. Right now, the venues are always changing, but cool venues like private rooftop terraces, the W Hotel, and The Montauk Beach House make for amazing settings to find yourself. And while “The Path” may seem too cool for school, their tagline is “come sit with us”, a far cry from everyone’s favorite Mean Girls line. So reserve a cushion, and get more focused the millennial way.
Kadampa Meditation Center
Before meditation was cool, there was this Manhattan meditation center. Tried and true, there are tons of options from long-term spiritual study programs to 30-minute lunchtime meditation sessions. They’ve got their main center in Chelsea, but they rent out space in Brooklyn and Queens so that you can get in on the chill wherever you are in the city. For your first time, we recommend going to the Chelsea location and getting acquainted with the eight-foot statue of Buddha that glows at the center of the room. Fitt tip: It only costs $5.00 for a lunch time spot, so ditch your midday cup of joe and accompanying jitters with some dharma.
Artists and creatives, head over to the MoMa on the Upper West Side on the first Wednesday of every month for a morning of art and meditation before the hordes of tourists take over around 10am. After a guided meditation in the sculpture garden at 8:30am, you’ll be ready to go about your day feeling refreshed and relaxed. Or, get the experience of seeing your favorite works without all the crowds. Enjoy the serenity of being surrounded by Claude Monet’s monumental Water Lilies, find space for personal reflection in the minimalist canvases of Agnes Martin, or see the sublime in the colors of Mark Rothko. If you ask us, this is an incredible self-caring morning.
The Class by Taryn Toomey
If “relax” just isn’t in your vocabulary, we suggest heading to The Class at either their Tribeca or Flatiron location for a 65- or 75-minute workout focused on releasing all of those pent up emotions. The concept behind The Class seems easy enough: doing only one move repeatedly for the duration of a song. And yes, some exercises are easy (heart openers), but most will have you questioning why five-minute songs exist (burpees, push-ups, side-planks, etc.). Don’t be surprised when find yourself grunting or yelling in trying to sync your breath to the music; everyone’s doing it. And while The Class ends with a meditation, the positive physical and mental effects will stay with you long after you leave.
MNDFL (pronounced “mindful”) is Manhattan’s hot spot for New Yorkers in Williamsburg, the UES, and Greenwich Village who’ve always thought about trying meditation and haven’t known where to start. The studio takes the stress out of starting a new practice by keeping it low on spirituality and time commitment. Plus, there are a few different kinds to choose from: one that focuses on breath, another on sleep, and even one concentrated on just listening. If after one class you want to make it a lifestyle, MNDFL makes it easy — take a seat in the a complimentary tea section and hang in the impressive and modern entryway before and after class, or linger at the retail section with ultra-zen groceries, apparel, and their favorite meditation books and apothecary items. Seriously, this studio knows what they’re doing. Oh, and first time classes are only $10 — which if you know NYC, you know is as close to free as you’re going to get.
If you’re on Instagram, you’ve surely seen pictures of this badass studio. Inscape is both a meditation app and and a Flatiron studio. The space is chic, sprawling, reminiscent of outer space, and you’ll walk in unsure as to if you’re walking into the chillest space in NYC or an art gallery. Inside are couches and beanbag chairs and two dome-shaped meditation rooms where artistic purple, pink, and orange lighting is projected onto the walls. Even with all the showy décor, if you’re looking for a place get calm and grounded, this is it. And if you love it so much that you never want to leave, we don’t blame you. Luckily, they offer a monthly membership, the perks of which include unlimited meditation, access to members-only areas, and the ability to come and use the space as you please.
Alright, Manhattanites, it’s time to get horizontal. This Chelsea space offers yoga, healing, meditation, mindfulness, and wellness courses in a studio that is as luxury and high-end as they come. Here, you can try out Reiki, acupuncture, Ayurveda, physical therapy, or just some good ol’ meditation with the pros. And while you’re there, be on the lookout for what’s earned the studio its bragging rights: the Quantum Resonance Crystal Light Bed. Yes, really. Here’s how the bed works: you lie on a warm, vibrating infrared pad while rainbow quartz crystals direct healing energy into your body. Nonbelievers not welcome; adventurers encouraged.
Shambhala Meditation Center
Opened in 1971 by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader who revolutionized the way Buddhist meditation was taught in the ’70s—this Chelsea Center is the true Buddhist meditation experience. But just because they’ve been around a while doesn’t mean they aren’t updated with offerings. Besides running classes for every level, the center offers talks such as “Queer Dharma” and “Sex, Love, and Compassion”. If you’re reading this and still thinking about deadlines, check out their “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” class as soon as possible.
Ben Turshen Meditation
What happens when a former SoulCycle instructor (Ben Turshen) opens his own meditation center in the Flatiron District? Something totally spiritual. The focus here are courses that teach the art of Vedic Meditation, and then providing support to those who have committed to a Vedic practice. No idea what we mean? It sounds intimidating, but, basically, Vedic meditation is designed for people living busy lives (as opposed to types of meditation designed for monks in the mountaintops). Many of his students work in demanding industries like finance and claim that Vedic meditation has helped them sleep more, focus better, and react to stressful situations much more calmly. Fitt tip: it’s a big commitment, so hit this studio up when you’re really ready to let go.