As more and more of New York City's busy young professionals add a half hour of stillness to their weekly wellness schedules alongside workouts and farmers market runs, the number of places offering meditation classes is increasing to support the rising demand—and they're not all run by aging monks you can't relate to.
"Attendance at our Intro to Meditation classes has doubled in size over the last six months, with upwards of 40 people at each one," says Kimberley Brown, the executive director at popular East Village center The Interdependence Project. "The stigma behind meditation as being something foreign or hippie has been lifted. [People have] learned that meditation can help when you're anxious or sad more than going for a drink to forget about it."
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Whether you're thinking of trying that approach for the first time or are an at-home meditator who wants to find a crowd, we found seven great spots around the city (listed in no particular order) that offer high-quality, modern meditation classes, from the brand-new to the tried-and-true. And don't worry, we won't tell if you still get that drink (with a clear, calm mindset in place) afterward. —Jamie McKillop
Founded by popular author and modern meditation teacher Ethan Nichtern, The Interdependence Project offers Buddhist studies, courses with leaders like Sharon Salzberg, and Intro to Meditation classes. "These are great for people who don't know anything about Buddhism but have heard of mindfulness and meditation, and are interested in learning what it can to do benefit their own lives," Brown says.
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(Photo: The Interdependence Project)
The Path is a modern-minded pop-up meditation group with classes in New York City and the Hamptons. It's part meditation session, part networking group for young creative entrepreneurs. Sessions are held at always-changing cool venues like private rooftop terraces, the W Hotel, and The Montauk Beach House.
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Center Of The Cyclone was founded by wellness it-girl Biet Simkin (who also teaches classes for The Path). Simkin leads weekly pop-up group meditations in art galleries and other interesting venues and settings like the Botanical Gardens and weddings.
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Rasa Living's Donna D'Cruz is a venerable rockstar teacher of meditation who teaches her popular "Dip Into Bliss" classes at locations like the Soho House in both New York and Los Angeles.
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Former SoulCycle instructor Ben Turshen (brother to amazing cookbook author Julia Turshen) opened his own meditation center in the Flatiron District just this past April, which focuses on courses that teach the art of Vedic Meditation and then supports those who have committed to a Vedic practice.
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This Buddhist meditation center in Chelsea opened long before meditation's trendy moment and it offers tons of options, from long-term spiritual study programs to 30-minute lunchtime meditation classes—all focused on learning practical ways to apply meditation and Buddhist principles to daily life. Conveniently, it also hosts classes in rented spaces outside of Manhattan, in Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, and more.
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(Photo: Lesly Weiner)
If you're interested in learning the practice beloved by a wide array of celebs like Russell Brand and Russell Simmons, Transcendental Meditation runs several centers in New York—with locations in Midtown, the Financial District, and Long Island—where you can attend a free introductory talk before deciding if the commitment (which is pretty large when it comes to both time and money) is right for you.
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