02/14/17 10:50am
Photo: MNDFL Williamsburg

Photo: MNDFL Williamsburg

Taking deep breaths and closing your eyes to meditate in your cluttered bedroom, under fluorescent lights at your desk, or even on a crowded train is not exactly ideal, but it’s still an effort that many of us put forth as often as we can. Studies showing that meditation helps with everything from stress to fatigue to monkey mind, plus convenient apps like Headspace and Calm have inspired a new interest in the ancient practice and devotees swear that even the F train can yield moments of inner calm. Still, imagine that there was a dedicated space–a soft, undisturbed room in the middle of the city–the only function of which was to house a group of people who wanted to escape the hubbub and work on their mindfulness. Sort of like a yoga studio for meditation.

Now there is, and you can find it in Williamsburg.

MNDFL exists to enable humans to feel good,” says Lodro Rinzler, meditation teacher, author, and co-founder of MNDFL, a meditation studio with locations in Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, and now Williamsburg. “It was a natural partnership from the beginning,” says co-founder Ellie Burrows, who met Rinzler while volunteering for his non-profit. “I knew that I wanted to open this studio, but I couldn’t have done it on my own. I’m not a meditation expert, I’m just a lover and practitioner of meditation.” (more…)

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02/02/17 10:18am

February may be the shortest month, but it has a tendency to feel more like the longest page on the calendar. Instead of despairing that your work schedule or bank account won’t allow you to escape somewhere warm to recharge, find some inner sunshine with these three inward retreats, for less than you spend on your morning coffee.

7310557616_1aa99df928_z_0_0Lovingkindness Fridays
If you love the idea of guided meditation, but don’t want to wear yoga pants or feel like you’ve joined a cult, The Interdependence Project may be where you make more space for yourself in New York City. The approach is a secular study of all aspects of Buddhism, mixed with psychology and a deep exploration of meditation as a tool for living better and more fully. In addition to special classes, intensives and series they offer regular weekly sessions like introduction to meditation classes on Sunday afternoons and Metta meditation on Friday evenings, which focuses on exploring the Buddhist concept of “lovingkindness.” Many workshops and classes are also available online, including a series called Transforming White Privilege, if you prefer to dive inward in the privacy of your own home. The suggested donation for most classes is $10-20, and the center is committed to making sure that people of all incomes are welcomed and have access to the community. (more…)

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06/14/16 12:20pm
Commune with the sky at the Brooklyn Grange Photo: Sarah Capua

Commune with the sky at the Brooklyn Grange Photo: Sarah Capua

It’s possible to do yoga, for free, almost every day of the week this summer, as New York City’s parks are transformed into al fresco yoga studios. These classes are all either mellow Vinyasa flow or Hatha yoga–a gentle style that often includes a meditative component, so they’ll be satisfying and safe for all levels of practitioners, even total newbies. Wear comfortable duds, bring water and a mat, and use common sense, if it’s raining, classes will probably be cancelled. Remind yourself that there are green trees and soft grass in the city, and calm pastures in your own mind.

FREE

Mondays: Sunrise Abhaya Yoga in Brooklyn Bridge Park, 7:30am through July 25 Early risers, this one is for you. On Mondays from now through July 25 salute the sun on the lawn at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park while the rest of us are still groggily loading up on coffee and trying to figure out what to wear. Registration for each free class starts at 7am, so get there early if you want to stake out a specific spot.

Wednesdays: Yoga in the Grove, 6:30pm, through August 31 As part of the massive Navy Yard transformation that’s going on right now, a weird little park called the Naval Cemetery Landscape recently opened at the intersection of Kent Avenue and Flushing, along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. It’s not the most beautiful corner of the world, but the park, which was once the site of a cemetery for the Naval Hospital (the remains were relocated to Cypress Hills), is devoted to native plants, and once you step through the gate it really is an oasis, despite the proximity to the BQE. Head to yoga on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 7:30pm and then follow class with a drink at Rooftop Reds or Kings County Distillery (yes, you can have a cocktail after yoga). Free, with RSVP. (more…)

04/21/16 10:33am
Quartz crystal bowls and other instruments create sonic vibrations for a sound bath. Photo: Maha Rose

Quartz crystal bowls and other instruments create sonic vibrations for a sound bath. Photo: Maha Rose

Subway delays. Traffic honking. Nonstop chatter. That upstairs neighbor who’s apparently in a band. The bodega employee yelling that your sandwich is ready. Life in New York is loud.

There are some sounds, though, that are designed to soothe. A sound bath is a meditation practice that bathes your body in sonic waves emitting from quartz crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, gongs and tuning forks. For devotees, they’ve emerged as a way to cope with the intensity of urban life.   (more…)

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