I started meditating two years ago as a break from work deadlines, wedding checklists, and other things on my daily to-do list. The practice has changed my life for the better—and my friends say I am way less crazy—so I can’t imagine ever stopping. Just setting aside 15 minutes per day allows me to clear my head and find a sense of calm, even if for a short period of time.
Meditation has become quite the trend in New York City, with luxury meditation studios popping up all over and museums hosting special sessions during off-peak hours. May is officially Meditation Month, so it’s a perfect time to give it a try. While we can’t help you find the perfect moment to stop and take a breath during your packed days, we can at least share our favorite places where you can find your zen.
51 East 25th Street (between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South), Flatiron
I enjoyed this new nail studio’s intimate meditation class when I gave it a try this past winter. While I was unfamiliar with its methods of meditation—instead of sitting, you’re standing and doing slow movements reminiscent of Tai Chi—a personal introduction with the owner and a steaming cup of green tea loosened me up. Sundays wholeheartedly believes in the Danish concept of hygge, the practice of taking time out of your day to embrace positivity and focus on everyday enjoyments, which helps to create a warm and cozy experience. Plus, the studio eases you back into the “real world” with vegan hand massages. If you don’t have time for a full session, it also offers a two-in-one guided meditation via headset while you get a luxurious nontoxic manicure.
Locations in Williamsburg (208 North 8th Street), Greenwich Village (10 East 8th Street), and the Upper East Side (239 East 60th Street)
Classes start at $10
Whether you’re a first-time meditator or a seasoned zen master, MNDFL has a class that perfectly fits your needs. After kicking off your journey toward personal zen with a MNDFL 101 session, follow it up with additional programs geared toward your meditation goals. Classic journeys targeting your emotions, sleep cycle, and energy levels are popular, and the studio also offers unique meditations suited to improve your compassion level, get in touch with your emotions, and positively contemplate your life’s intentions. There’s even a class for kids ages 8 to 12, so a meditative family day might be in order.
Quiet Mornings at MoMA
11 West 53rd Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), Midtown
Adults, $15; seniors, $12; full-time students with current ID, $10; children (16 and under), free
While I enjoyed a mindful journey through the Museum of Modern Art‘s popular exhibitions, usually overrun with art enthusiasts, I found myself smiling over the fact that I wasn’t starting my day staring at my phone (participants are prompted to shut off their phones upon their 7:30 a.m. check-in). I’d much rather spend my mornings going through a 30-minute guided meditation while sitting among the serene instead of scrolling through my inbox. It’s a rarity to completely disconnect, but I (along with 100 other peace-seeking New Yorkers) was able to do just that. And is there any better way to experience MoMA than an early-morning meditation session?
Mindfulness Meditation at Rubin Museum
150 West 17th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), Chelsea
$15; free for members
The Rubin Museum is known for celebrating Himalayan culture, so it’s only fitting that it would host weekly meditation and mindfulness workshops. Each midday 45-minute session—perfectly timed to accommodate your lunch break—is inspired by a different work of art in the museum’s collection. Peaceful discussion before and after your sitting session adds to the zen-filled experience; it’ll put your head in the right mind-set to get through the rest of your workday.
45 West 21st Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), Flatiron
Classes start at $18
I immediately felt transported away from the bustling Flatiron streets and into a relaxing zen retreat as soon as I entered InSCAPE. From there I was offered a selection of fruit-infused waters and instructed to cozy up in a bean bag in the quiet space to set my mind at ease prior to the session. My goal was to “focus,” so I decided on the energizing water, which was filled with tangy undertones. In the meditation dome—or as I like to call it, “cave of wonders”—I was greeted by relaxing hues, low-toned music, and a selection of seating options for my 33-minute meditation session. The air smelled of bergamot and lemon, an uncommon combination, but the scent immediately lifted my mood and helped to propel my focus inward. While on my cushion, the guided meditation took me through a series of mindful movements and long moments of relaxing stillness. By the time I walked back out into the afternoon rush, I felt revitalized and was ready to conquer (almost) anything.