Book your cushion, grab your tea! It’s time to meditate. No, this is not the type of meditation where you need to be in yoga gear, on a retreat, or studying Buddhism in college for that random credit. This is fully accessible, 30-40 minute sessions you can zip in and out for on your lunch break. And let me tell you: in this city, we all could use a little more “zen equity”.
MNDFL Upper East Side puts detox of the mind into a boutique fitness style model with studios in multiple locations and a full class schedule with tons of time and class type options. Plus, this isn’t just some hippie, granola type of spot where their ultra kindness feels secretly judgmental. At MNDFL, it feels chic and fabulous to pop in for a quick meditation session. With classes ranging from breathing to intentions and even all the feels of the heart, the options for “self-work” are endless. Now, while you’ll be dyyyyying to insta the crap out of their insanely gorgeous spaces, these are tech-free zones. Like a mini-spa experience, you will walk out of MNDFL UES feeling a bit lighter … for about 30 seconds until someone shoulder checks you on the way to the subway.
Forget about leg day. At MNDFL, it’s brain day and damn, that shit is hard. Sitting still for 30 minutes on the floor with your eyes closed, focusing on your breathing, keeping your mind clear-ish, and not falling asleep is a challenge for anyone, not to mention those of us who are epic multi-taskers or hustlers. In NYC, dreams don’t come free, ya know! That’s why they call it a practice. Instead of feeling lost or distant from it and trying to follow a YouTube video or an app, MNDFL has created multiple spaces where you can find zen with the guidance of a teacher. If you want some variety with your meditation, they got you. If straight breathing with no focus sometimes just doesn’t cut it for you, there are plenty of other options: they offer Heart, Intention, Emotion, Sound, Sleep, Mantra, Energy, and Listening classes.
The Intention class was a bit of a doozy as far as personal evaluation goes. At MNDFL, the practice is considered “gentle”; nothing is forced and no thought or quality should be considered “bad”. Each teacher gives a quick intro before they kick off the practice to explain how the class will flow. Essentially they run through a spiel about how meditation is the meeting of mindfulness (connecting with the breath) and acknowledgement (being aware of your thoughts and emotions). Got it? Good, now get comfy, close your eyes, connect to your breath, and listen to the prompts. No, you aren’t going to be left alone in complete silence. You’ll be told to think about a stream running through your mind (there are a TON of water metaphors in all of the classes) or to picture a place, feeling, or person. The prompts given for intention were all about who you are as a person, what you want, what you want to be for your family, and what you bring to your relationships. “Lift the veil, baby, and face yourself” is also what could be said, but that wouldn’t have been the MNDFL way.
Marissa was everything we needed from a meditation teacher – soft-voiced, zen but cool, friendly in a real, not-overly bubbly way. She’s straight chill … what else can we say? Willing to offer her own faults or examples from her own experience, she really put the practice into perspective for us. For Marissa, this wasn’t just a 30-minute deep breathing exercise. She wanted us to walk out of the room having actually considering what we want out of our life and our relationships with others. Being the super chill chick that she was, she explained the mantras in relation to Seinfeld: she was able to point out that, although the characters were faulted (some severely), they were still lovable. With the “George Tip Jar Scene,” she points out how some of the “nice things” we do for others are really just us secretly saying, “Hey I want you to do this same thing for me.” … *Slow clap* *Mic drop*.
To make the most of your visit to MNDFL UES, we STRONGLY suggest that you arrive 15 to 20 minutes early. Regardless of location, MNDFL strives to create an ultra cozy space complete with a “no tech or shoes policy”, tea in mugs perfect for wrapping your hands around, and chairs or couches that you can sink into for a little nap. Taking the time to read or even zone out before class is the part of the MNDFL experience. We don’t know about you, but we pack our days down to the minute, so getting 10 minutes to sit and do nothing is a HUGE treat.
We hate to pit the locations against each other (UES vs. Greenwich Village), but the UES is the clear winner. It hands down has the larger, more plush pre-class space and TONS more natural light in both its studios. All of this light bathes a decor that makes us pine for our cameras. Reclaimed wood boards with beautiful moss or greenery growing through it, woven rugs that we would scatter around our fantasy Hamptons homes, oh and a station for making cups of tea that you can take into the studio with you. The serene vibes and greenhouse meets beach house decor follows you into the studio as you find your “cushion number” and get settled on the floor. Wearing a dress or just cold? They have blankets. Have a bad back or want to take a hard pass on sitting cross legged on the floor? They have backrests you can slide right under your cushion. We told you: super accessible, super accommodating.
239 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022 Upper East Side Meditation $$$
MNDFL Upper East Side
Upper East Side Meditation, $$$
239 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022
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