In trendsetting New York, a string of wellness venues are taking the meditation experience to new heights. Here are five places around Manhattan to get in the zone.
Opened last November in the “fitness district” of Flatiron, Inscape offers a secular meditation experience in its striking wood-and-canvas Dome room and a second, more intimate studio, with 30–45 minute audio-guided sessions tailored to deep rest, deep breathing, and visualization. There’s also a curated retail space stocked with a wealth of remedies (1-646/952-0706).
This Greenwich Village meditation studio has recently expanded to a second Manhattan branch in the Upper East Side. Both have digital-free communal spaces where you can kick back with other serenity-seekers over organic teas and a book from the wellness library. Classes come in 30-, 45-, and 60-minute slots, with 30 teachers offering almost as many meditation traditions.
Music is the mantra at Woom’s SoHo multi-sensory space, which incorporates sound, light, and scent to give yoga and meditation sessions an extra lift. Its unusual approach—aided by an immersive 3D sound system—has proven a hit since the venue made its debut last October. While classes verge on the trippy (blindfold meditation, anyone?), Woom feels refreshingly grassroots compared to other New York wellness studios. There’s also an on-site organic café with a menu of elixirs and yoga books to thumb through (1-646/678-5092).
Another urban oasis is the Meditation and Sensory Lounge at Naturopathica Chelsea. Candlelit meditation sessions are held twice a week, and the Alpine Arnica deep-tissue massage is a must-try. The center is also equipped with an herbal apothecary and vitality bar, where you can sip on immunity-boosting probiotic tonics while browsing through remedies and tinctures designed to improve your sleep and skin (1-646/979-3960).
Aire Ancient Baths
Visitors here can expect salt floats, aromatherapy-infused steam rooms, and hot and cold plunge pools, all housed within a hushed subterranean cavern of marble and exposed brickwork in a former Tribeca textile factory. Treatments include an indulgent red-wine bath with a scalp and facial massage, while the twice-weekly Flamenco Acoustic Concert Experience allows you to drift, float, and dream to the sounds of live classic guitar in a nod to the Aire brand’s Spanish origins (1-646/878-6174).
This article originally appeared in the April/May 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Zen in the City”).