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Meditation: Boutique meditation studios

Boutique studio model meets mindfulness: Kath Hudson reports on a new generation of meditation centre that’s offering drop-in sessions for those wanting to take time out from the stress of daily life

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 3

As the world gets faster, more stimulating and ever more saturated with technology, rates of depression and anxiety rise. The need for mental stillness has never been greater.

Sitting down and clearing the mind is an insurmountable challenge for many people – it’s something they simply don’t know how to do. But help is at hand. Following in the wake of the successful boutique yoga studio brands comes a new concept: meditation boutiques, which are bringing mindfulness and meditation into the mainstream.

This trend remains US-centric for now, but it’s easy to see how it could spread its wings and reach any shores where the pace of life threatens to overwhelm people.

We speak to the people behind a number of the trailblazing brands that are beginning to occupy this space.

Suze Yalof,

Founder,

Unplug Meditation, Los Angeles, US

Yalof wanted to offer ‘drive-by’ meditation to consumers
Yalof wanted to offer ‘drive-by’ meditation to consumers

Launched in 2012, we believe Unplug Meditation to have been the first standalone meditation studio in the world. We’ve driven the trend. No-one was writing about meditation in 2012, but we hit all the media – Vogue, New York Times, Glamour – which was the start of meditation going into the mainstream. Now we get visitors from all over the world, who come to see what we’re doing so they can open a studio elsewhere.

When I was a fashion editor, my mother-in-law taught me a three-minute breathing technique to go from stressed to calm. I was impressed and wanted to find out more, but the only options to learn meditation were to take a Transcendental Meditation course for US$1,400 over four days, to go to Buddhist temples for two hours at a time or to do a six-week programme at a hospital. None were practical – I wanted ‘drive-by meditation’, but it didn’t exist.

I told my husband I was going to quit my job and open a meditation studio and he said I should probably learn to meditate first! So I did hundreds of courses and downloaded every podcast. I realised meditation is very simple, but it’s often made complicated.

We’re different because my approach is as a consumer, not a teacher. I want every class to be suitable for my husband, who is not a meditator.

We were instantly busy as soon as we opened our doors, and we’re growing month-on-month. We now have 50 classes a week and the only marketing we do is word-of-mouth. Last night we maxed out with 75 people in our evening class. Classes cost US$24 each, or unlimited membership costs US$150 a month.

Most of our teachers have been re-trained to be relevant and modern and we keep the content fresh, with talks from writers on the circuit such as Ariana Huffington, Deepak Chopra and Dan Siegel.

In the next five years, we want to expand not only nationally but also globally. We’ve just launched the Unplug app, which will make us global.

Unplug Meditation in LA now offers 50 classes a week
Unplug Meditation in LA now offers 50 classes a week

Tal Rabinowitz,

Founder,

Den Meditation, Los Angeles, US

Rabinowitz’s Den: A place where everyone feels they belong
Rabinowitz’s Den: A place where everyone feels they belong

After a long career in entertainment, I was ready for a change but unsure of my next move. Seeking clarity, I turned to meditation, but struggled to establish a daily practice. I was frustrated that the type of meditation studio I was looking for didn’t exist. I didn’t have the time to go somewhere for two hours – I wanted a drop-in place to go after work, like the boutique yoga and pilates studios.

The idea crystallised to open my own meditation studio. I wanted it to feel accessible: you don’t have to be vegetarian or teetotal to join, but equally you can be. Ultimately I wanted to create a place where everyone felt they belonged – where you could come after work in a suit, or from picking berries on a farm. Somewhere that was aspirational without being alienating.

Den Meditation opened in February 2016, offering classes before and after work, as well as during the day to help people establish a regular meditation practice. Classes vary from 30 to 45 minutes and there are also retreats and workshops. We offer memberships or pay as you go. It has a casual vibe – a bit like a hip, cool living room, where people feel comfortable hanging out. During the day we have tea and coffee, and wine in the evening.

With a good location and hitting the market at the right time, the studio was busy straight away. Meditation can be hard initially, but no matter how people find their first attempt, they all leave feeling more relaxed. This is enough to bring them back.

We’re just about to start construction on our second studio, in the Los Angeles Valley, and I believe more meditation studios will open up besides our own. There’s a trend towards wellness and taking care of yourself, plus people are burning out before they get to the end of their careers. We’re constantly hooked up to email, life is moving too fast and we need to slow down.

"More meditation studios will open. Life is moving too fast and we need to slow down" – Tal Rabinowitz

Den Meditation in LA has a casual vibe, like a ‘hip, cool living room’ where people like to hang out
Den Meditation in LA has a casual vibe, like a ‘hip, cool living room’ where people like to hang out

Lodro Rinzler,

CEO,

MNDFL, New York, US

MNDFL CEO Lodro Rinzler
MNDFL CEO Lodro Rinzler

About two and a half years ago, my business partner Ellie Burrows approached me about opening a studio which embraced all types of meditation techniques. She wanted to try out different practices under one roof without it involving too big a time commitment, and proposed that if I could sort out the content and teachers, she could design the look and feel of the place.

Run along the lines of the yoga studio model, MNDFL has drop-in sessions of 30 to 45 minutes, with around eight or nine classes offered each day starting at 7.00am. It’s a very calming space: the full plant walls immediately inspire people to breathe more deeply.

We attract a real mix of people: all ages, races, genders and socio-economic backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of New York City. Some come once a week, some come every day. Most are brand new to meditation, but for those who have been coming since the start, we now run advanced classes.

As an introduction, we offer unlimited usage for US$75 for one month, after which people tend to buy a package of their favourite classes. Classes range in price from US$10 to US$25, depending on the length of the class and the experience of the teacher.

This trend is definitely here to stay. Meditation is more mainstream now and there’s a lot of scientific research to show how beneficial it is to the mind and body, helping people sleep and boosting the immune system.

We’re getting enquiries from across the US, the UK and Australia, so it won’t be long before studios open internationally. Within a few years, I predict meditation studios will be as mainstream as gyms.

However, while we now have two studios in New York and are launching a third, we aren’t planning a mass rollout. Instead, we’ll be supporting the existing studios with online content.

"Within a few years, I predict meditation studios will be as mainstream as gyms" – Lodro Rinzler

MNDFL in New York will soon start to offer online content / PHOTO: NATALIE BAXTER
MNDFL in New York will soon start to offer online content/ PHOTO: NATALIE BAXTER

Lionela Torreiro,

Founder,

Infinite You, Costa Mesa, California, US

Torreiro sees meditation 
growing rapidly
Torreiro sees meditation growing rapidly

Shortly after moving to the US from the Ukraine in 2001, my body collapsed through the stress of putting myself through college, learning a new language and being a single parent. To say meditation changed my life would be an understatement: it helped me deal with the tremendous everyday stress and restored my physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing.

This gave me the idea of opening a centre to help others. After a few months searching, I found a beautiful place with a special vibe in a small town of Costa Mesa. Open to people from all cultural and religious backgrounds, the centre offers individual sessions and group meditation classes.

My experience suggests meditation studios are currently still an urban trend. People in smaller towns like Costa Mesa don’t embrace it as readily as those in larger metropolitan areas – they still see meditation as an individual practice.

However, I’m sure this will change in the future, with meditation becoming a daily practice for many people in my community. A variety of educational programmes will emerge online, targeting a wide spectrum of the population. Our society is also slowly transforming from one that values material achievements to one with a larger emphasis on balanced lifestyle, eco-friendly environments and broader education.

I expect meditation studios to grow in the same way yoga studios have: in 2001, there were good yoga teachers, not great studios. Now we have beautiful, specialist yoga studios. The same will happen with meditation – I expect it to be huge in 10 years’ time. It will also become more specialised, people will do meditation for specific issues, such as to help with cancer, their creativity or concentration.

"Meditation will become specialised: people will do it to help with cancer, their creativity or concentration" – Lionela Torreiro

Infinite You is open to people of all backgrounds
Infinite You is open to people of all backgrounds
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features

Meditation: Boutique meditation studios

Boutique studio model meets mindfulness: Kath Hudson reports on a new generation of meditation centre that’s offering drop-in sessions for those wanting to take time out from the stress of daily life

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 3

As the world gets faster, more stimulating and ever more saturated with technology, rates of depression and anxiety rise. The need for mental stillness has never been greater.

Sitting down and clearing the mind is an insurmountable challenge for many people – it’s something they simply don’t know how to do. But help is at hand. Following in the wake of the successful boutique yoga studio brands comes a new concept: meditation boutiques, which are bringing mindfulness and meditation into the mainstream.

This trend remains US-centric for now, but it’s easy to see how it could spread its wings and reach any shores where the pace of life threatens to overwhelm people.

We speak to the people behind a number of the trailblazing brands that are beginning to occupy this space.

Suze Yalof,

Founder,

Unplug Meditation, Los Angeles, US

Yalof wanted to offer ‘drive-by’ meditation to consumers
Yalof wanted to offer ‘drive-by’ meditation to consumers

Launched in 2012, we believe Unplug Meditation to have been the first standalone meditation studio in the world. We’ve driven the trend. No-one was writing about meditation in 2012, but we hit all the media – Vogue, New York Times, Glamour – which was the start of meditation going into the mainstream. Now we get visitors from all over the world, who come to see what we’re doing so they can open a studio elsewhere.

When I was a fashion editor, my mother-in-law taught me a three-minute breathing technique to go from stressed to calm. I was impressed and wanted to find out more, but the only options to learn meditation were to take a Transcendental Meditation course for US$1,400 over four days, to go to Buddhist temples for two hours at a time or to do a six-week programme at a hospital. None were practical – I wanted ‘drive-by meditation’, but it didn’t exist.

I told my husband I was going to quit my job and open a meditation studio and he said I should probably learn to meditate first! So I did hundreds of courses and downloaded every podcast. I realised meditation is very simple, but it’s often made complicated.

We’re different because my approach is as a consumer, not a teacher. I want every class to be suitable for my husband, who is not a meditator.

We were instantly busy as soon as we opened our doors, and we’re growing month-on-month. We now have 50 classes a week and the only marketing we do is word-of-mouth. Last night we maxed out with 75 people in our evening class. Classes cost US$24 each, or unlimited membership costs US$150 a month.

Most of our teachers have been re-trained to be relevant and modern and we keep the content fresh, with talks from writers on the circuit such as Ariana Huffington, Deepak Chopra and Dan Siegel.

In the next five years, we want to expand not only nationally but also globally. We’ve just launched the Unplug app, which will make us global.

Unplug Meditation in LA now offers 50 classes a week
Unplug Meditation in LA now offers 50 classes a week

Tal Rabinowitz,

Founder,

Den Meditation, Los Angeles, US

Rabinowitz’s Den: A place where everyone feels they belong
Rabinowitz’s Den: A place where everyone feels they belong

After a long career in entertainment, I was ready for a change but unsure of my next move. Seeking clarity, I turned to meditation, but struggled to establish a daily practice. I was frustrated that the type of meditation studio I was looking for didn’t exist. I didn’t have the time to go somewhere for two hours – I wanted a drop-in place to go after work, like the boutique yoga and pilates studios.

The idea crystallised to open my own meditation studio. I wanted it to feel accessible: you don’t have to be vegetarian or teetotal to join, but equally you can be. Ultimately I wanted to create a place where everyone felt they belonged – where you could come after work in a suit, or from picking berries on a farm. Somewhere that was aspirational without being alienating.

Den Meditation opened in February 2016, offering classes before and after work, as well as during the day to help people establish a regular meditation practice. Classes vary from 30 to 45 minutes and there are also retreats and workshops. We offer memberships or pay as you go. It has a casual vibe – a bit like a hip, cool living room, where people feel comfortable hanging out. During the day we have tea and coffee, and wine in the evening.

With a good location and hitting the market at the right time, the studio was busy straight away. Meditation can be hard initially, but no matter how people find their first attempt, they all leave feeling more relaxed. This is enough to bring them back.

We’re just about to start construction on our second studio, in the Los Angeles Valley, and I believe more meditation studios will open up besides our own. There’s a trend towards wellness and taking care of yourself, plus people are burning out before they get to the end of their careers. We’re constantly hooked up to email, life is moving too fast and we need to slow down.

"More meditation studios will open. Life is moving too fast and we need to slow down" – Tal Rabinowitz

Den Meditation in LA has a casual vibe, like a ‘hip, cool living room’ where people like to hang out
Den Meditation in LA has a casual vibe, like a ‘hip, cool living room’ where people like to hang out

Lodro Rinzler,

CEO,

MNDFL, New York, US

MNDFL CEO Lodro Rinzler
MNDFL CEO Lodro Rinzler

About two and a half years ago, my business partner Ellie Burrows approached me about opening a studio which embraced all types of meditation techniques. She wanted to try out different practices under one roof without it involving too big a time commitment, and proposed that if I could sort out the content and teachers, she could design the look and feel of the place.

Run along the lines of the yoga studio model, MNDFL has drop-in sessions of 30 to 45 minutes, with around eight or nine classes offered each day starting at 7.00am. It’s a very calming space: the full plant walls immediately inspire people to breathe more deeply.

We attract a real mix of people: all ages, races, genders and socio-economic backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of New York City. Some come once a week, some come every day. Most are brand new to meditation, but for those who have been coming since the start, we now run advanced classes.

As an introduction, we offer unlimited usage for US$75 for one month, after which people tend to buy a package of their favourite classes. Classes range in price from US$10 to US$25, depending on the length of the class and the experience of the teacher.

This trend is definitely here to stay. Meditation is more mainstream now and there’s a lot of scientific research to show how beneficial it is to the mind and body, helping people sleep and boosting the immune system.

We’re getting enquiries from across the US, the UK and Australia, so it won’t be long before studios open internationally. Within a few years, I predict meditation studios will be as mainstream as gyms.

However, while we now have two studios in New York and are launching a third, we aren’t planning a mass rollout. Instead, we’ll be supporting the existing studios with online content.

"Within a few years, I predict meditation studios will be as mainstream as gyms" – Lodro Rinzler

MNDFL in New York will soon start to offer online content / PHOTO: NATALIE BAXTER
MNDFL in New York will soon start to offer online content/ PHOTO: NATALIE BAXTER

Lionela Torreiro,

Founder,

Infinite You, Costa Mesa, California, US

Torreiro sees meditation 
growing rapidly
Torreiro sees meditation growing rapidly

Shortly after moving to the US from the Ukraine in 2001, my body collapsed through the stress of putting myself through college, learning a new language and being a single parent. To say meditation changed my life would be an understatement: it helped me deal with the tremendous everyday stress and restored my physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing.

This gave me the idea of opening a centre to help others. After a few months searching, I found a beautiful place with a special vibe in a small town of Costa Mesa. Open to people from all cultural and religious backgrounds, the centre offers individual sessions and group meditation classes.

My experience suggests meditation studios are currently still an urban trend. People in smaller towns like Costa Mesa don’t embrace it as readily as those in larger metropolitan areas – they still see meditation as an individual practice.

However, I’m sure this will change in the future, with meditation becoming a daily practice for many people in my community. A variety of educational programmes will emerge online, targeting a wide spectrum of the population. Our society is also slowly transforming from one that values material achievements to one with a larger emphasis on balanced lifestyle, eco-friendly environments and broader education.

I expect meditation studios to grow in the same way yoga studios have: in 2001, there were good yoga teachers, not great studios. Now we have beautiful, specialist yoga studios. The same will happen with meditation – I expect it to be huge in 10 years’ time. It will also become more specialised, people will do meditation for specific issues, such as to help with cancer, their creativity or concentration.

"Meditation will become specialised: people will do it to help with cancer, their creativity or concentration" – Lionela Torreiro

Infinite You is open to people of all backgrounds
Infinite You is open to people of all backgrounds
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2017_3brain.jpg
A new breed of meditation studio in the US is offering drop-in sessions for people wanting to take time out from their stressful lives. We take a look at this new trend...
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Featured supplier news
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In the last few years, the rise in popularity of functional training has been significant and operators are providing more space for functional training, both on the gym floor and in group training and studio settings.
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promotion
An ever-increasing number of Brits are engaging in sporting events, setting themselves goals and looking to increase their fitness levels....
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Fisikal: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
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Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
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Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-22 Nov 2019
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort, Aventura,
Diary dates
29 Nov 2019
The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
10-12 Dec 2019
tbc, Fort Lauderdale, United States
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
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Diary dates
10-27 Jun 2020
tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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