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A stylish place for stress reduction is growing in New York


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Photo: MNDFL

Countless businesses are created to help address the stress in our lives—gyms, flotation tanks, wine bars, Netflix…

It’s a key reason why Manhattan meditation studio MNDFL (pronounced “mindful”), which last year pioneered the cool East Coast concept of booking a cushion like a spin bike for group classes, is now opening new locations on the Upper East Side and in Brooklyn.

“It’s become particularly hard to get into evening classes, which have waitlists weeks ahead,” explains co-founder Lodro Rinzler, who’s also a prolific author on cool books for Buddhists. The demand, er, stress level, is real.

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A rendering of the new MNDFL meditation room.

So starting with an Upper East Side location, which soft launches on December 19 and officially January 3, and a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, location that will open shortly thereafter, Rinzler and co-founder Ellie Burrows say MNDFL needs to have more spaces to meet the growing demand of (over-worked, multitasking, burnout-prone) New Yorkers. “More people everywhere are now incorporating meditation into their day,” she says. “Of course we want to make that easier.”

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Ellie Burrows and Lodro Rinzler in their first West Village MNDFL studio. Photo: Sarah Elliott

The UN model of meditation will continue, with MNDFL’s 30-plus instructors teaching various traditions for classes that are refreshingly organized and named according to a super clear focus: Breath, Mantra, Emotions, etc. Graduates of MNDFL’s recent meditation teacher training will also have a place to practice leading classes during community priced sessions offered during the day. Those packing into the white-hot sound baths, with Sara Auster, will now have more rooms for that form of sonic rejuvenation, too.

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A rendering of the new MNDFL studio community space.

And Rinzler and Burrows clearly have great real estate juju.

Like the super-pretty design vibe the duo first created with its 8th Street studio, the new spaces, also created by Homepolish’s Shelly Lynch Sparks as well as Taylor and Miller, are both townhouses, with double exposure and skylights. “We can’t believe our luck. I pictured herringbone floors, and what do you know, the UES location has them!” says Burrows.

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Photo: MNDFL

Gorgeous places to practice are part of their success story. With such stylish surroundings (Instagram-worthy decor, a plant wall by The Sill, and a Rishi tea bar), MNDFL broke the mold on the dated thinking that spaces for inner life pursuits need not be pretty—and in so doing, it wooed Millennial meditators and made it feel like the place to be.

The new Upper East Side location is on the second floor at 239 East 60th St., the same location as Flywheel (ideal for those who like to sweat and sit) and Serendipity (for those who like to carbo-load?).

The new Brooklyn storefront location at 208 North 8th St., at Driggs, was formerly a wellness space called Greenhouse Holistic (no need to burn sage before the opening!), and will have a schedule of classes that suit the Williamsburg community, like later evening hours to reflect the commute home from work.

“This time of day is really key, adds Burrows. “It’s an amazing intermission from your work life to your personal life. In New York, the mindset is definitely, ‘I work out in the morning and I meditate after work.’”

For more information, visit www.mndflmeditation.com 

New to meditating? Here are the five biggest meditation myths, debunked. And these are nine brilliant meditation hacks from the wellness-savvy gurus at The Big Quiet.

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