Fitness fads usually make us sweat in the oddest ways—from performing yoga in a sauna to perfecting anti-gravity Pilates in a swinging hammock. Now it seems health enthusiasts are turning inward, exercising the mind as well as the body. While meditation is a technique that has been around for more than 3,000 years, it is just now becoming a marketable “workout.” It is becoming increasingly popular to schedule time to meditate just as one schedules their daily 30 minutes at the gym. Today, there are many ways to get into the zone, whether with an app or a group class. Here’s how you can find your “center.”
- We are all aware of the endless amounts of fitness apps that help us fit in quick workouts and track our progress. But the Headspace app is soley focused on those taking up guided meditation. The free version of the app gives newbies 10-minute introductory guided meditation sessions as well as a personalized progress page, reminders, and a tracking system that help you and a buddy stay on track.
- Meditation classes are now just as convenient to access as your spin class. Boutique meditation studios are popping up everywhere. MNDFL is one such studio in NYC where beginners can book a spot in a quick 30-minute class right online. Choose a class that fits your needs—you can focus on anything from breath, mantra, emotions, and more—and schedule it. A single session is $18, perfect for someone who would simply like to give meditation a try.
- INSCAPE is another company bringing meditation into the mainstream by combining your mobile meditation app with the drop-in session experience. The studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan provides the space—a dome-like enclosure complete with aura music and lighting—while you follow your personalized mediation schedule on the INSCAPE app. For example, on Day 3 you may need to focus on deep sleep. Just book your spot at the studio, settle in with your smartphone, and get ready for the best 30 minutes of sleep you’ll have all week.
- Mindfulness is also popping up in the corporate sphere. Companies that provide wellness amenities are now incorporating meditation into their programs. Lunchtime classes help workers release tension, refuel, and get back to work with freshness and awareness that are said to increase employee happiness and productivity. It also helps employees stay healthy in the long run, proven to help many with anxiety, depression, and physical pain management.
- Meditation has also proved key in professional sports. All-star athletes, including Michael Jordan, believe that “visualizing success” is a crucial part of keeping your head in the game and getting the most out of your training.
Thinking of giving meditation a go? There are plenty of introductory deals for classes you can find on Groupon or LivingSocial. If you prefer trying out guided meditation in your own home, Headspace can be downloaded for free—all you need to do is set aside 10 minutes of “me time.”