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Mindful : February 2017
Start meditating and you quickly find out it can be a real challenge to keep up with it. A place to go and people to be with can be a big help. Some day, there may be a meditation space on every block, so it will be easy to find one that suits your sensibilities. Here's a tour of a few recently opened meditation studios—sleek, urban, and built for convenience. By Kathryn Hayward Kathryn Hayward has been a magazine editor and freelance writer for close to 20 years, specializing in health, wellness, and parenting. You have your cushion and you’ve downloaded that new meditation app you’ve heard so much about. So then why is it so hard to actually sit and be present? You know the benefits of mindful- ness—stress reduction, improved executive-brain function, increased ability to self-reg ulate—but that doesn’t make it any easier to establish a reg ular practice on your own. There is that class at the rec center across town, but it’s at a really bad time, and plus, the floors are always grimy. And as wonderful as a weekend retreat sounds, it’s just not in your budget right now. Sound familiar? The irony of mindfulness is that while it doesn’t require anything other than your presence, it can be incredibly difficult to just...do...it. Enter the urban meditation studio, a new breed of practice space popping up in urban cen- ters across North America. Offering a modern option befitting the booming mainstream inter- est in meditation, these studios provide begin- ners and seasoned practitioners alike with an array of drop-in sessions, programs, and more, in contemporary digs. According to a few of the enterprising minds behind this trend, the inspi- ration stemmed from personal need. Desiring a friendly, accessible place to sit and be still, when they couldn’t find it, they built it themselves. Will these studios meet the needs of everyone interested in mindfulness? Probably not. But with new studios opening all the time, it's clear that a demand exists. Here, owners of three stu- dios share how they are trying to meet it. PHOTOGRAPHBYCLAIREESPARROSFORHOMEPOLISH February 2017 mindful 63 trends