On an industrial block in Greenpoint, a bright red door marks the entrance to the neighborhood’s hidden healing hotspot, Maha Rose. The charming holistic wellness center opened about two years ago and is just now making a name for itself, beckoning stressed out, spirit-seeking New Yorkers to explore therapies that range from the alternative to the esoteric.
Acupuncture and Reiki are its most popular offerings, says founder Lisa Levine, followed by hypnotherapy, breathwork, and flower essences. There’s also astrology and tarot readings and a packed calendar of group workshops and events like spiritual speed dating and sound baths.
Brooklyn, of course, is no stranger to this kind of thing anymore. There’s now wellness hub Mountain in Crown Heights, Bhati Space in Bushwick, and Treatment by Lanshin in Williamsburg. But Maha Rose was one of the first, and it comes with an otherworldly feel that’s cool and special.
Levine, a jeweler and acupuncturist, created the center in 2012 when she decided she wanted a place to meditate without going all the way to Manhattan. She invited a teacher and friends to her Greenpoint loft, and the interest it generated spoke volumes.
She began to transform her loft with dream catchers, crystals, and the smell of burning incense. “There were yoga studios in Brooklyn at the time, but not healing centers,” she says. “We were very creative and experimental. The first classes we offered were in meditation and Reiki, as well as things like sexy dance and a wild woman workshop.”
Today, Maha’s team of more than a dozen practitioners serves about 100–150 people per week, and the space’s chill, soul-searching energy is firmly established. Everything—from the lighting to tapestries on the walls—is soft and soothing, as if an Instagram filter has been applied to reality. And you can stock your spiritual treasure chest in Maha’s shop, too, which sells crystals, jewelry (including Levine’s own), and books.
When I stopped in to sample some treatments, I arrived as a skeptic (and still am) in terms of the more mystical offerings, but the two women who read my astrological chart and gathered insights from a deck of Tarot cards put so much thought and care into helping me figure out my life, I couldn’t help but appreciate it. They also brought a sense of open inquiry to the practices, so that I felt comfortable just taking it all in and making my own decisions about what it meant.
Levine says my perspective is common, but that she’s seen a shift among jaded New Yorkers. “I find that if people make it through our door, they’ve already shed at least the top layer of skepticism,” she says. “New Yorkers are opening up to more esoteric teachings and practices. Our inner worlds are so rich and beautiful, and people are rediscovering and exploring that.”
In the end, whether you show up for bodywork or an Oracle Card reading, Maha allows you to escape the manic New York City existence for a brief moment and let go, so you can think about who you are, what you want, and what matters to you—until it’s time to figure out if the G train will actually show up to get you home. —Lisa Elaine Held
Maha Rose Center for Healing, 97 Green St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, 11222, 718-757-2758, www.maharose.com
(Photos: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)