I’m always obnoxiously curious about where people are rushing off to during the NYC rush hour… Is it the gym? Dinner with their girlfriends? Going to acting class? Nope. This time, it’s boutique meditation. Think MNDFL or NYC’s newest meditation studio, Inscape. Here’s my experience of what it’s like actually going to a meditation studio. Plus, I share how you can easily create your own meditation studio in your own home!
The Boutique Meditation Studio Experience
I recently took a 44-minute “Deep Rest” meditation at Inscape (I’m really not sure why they made it 44 minutes instead of 45, but maybe it’s some sort of number psychology?!). Inscape uses traditional meditation techniques that include “deep sound, deep breath, and deep rest.” Prior to entering, the facilitator made a point to connect with each student to ensure that they were familiar and comfortable with the meditation process. Since she introduced herself as the facilitator, I naturally thought she was going to be the one guiding us through the meditation.
Upon entering the meditation room, the mood lighting and instrumental music made it feel as if I had stepped into Universal Studios and was about to start one of those really fun simulator rides (remember those?!). I quickly made myself comfortable and snuggled up in a blanket while resting my head and knees on cushions.
Once everyone was in the room and the lights were dimmed, a loud voice came through the speakers. To my surprise, the voice was our meditation guide. Unlike having a live teacher (the facilitator as I originally thought), we were led into meditation and deep rest by the audio recording. I left the session in a dreamy trance, like waking up from a really good nap (you know, the type that doesn’t leave you feeling groggy but actually makes you feel more awake).
The action of taking that time for yourself and being in an open environment makes it easy to understand why people are falling hard for meditation studios, but you can also re-create the process in the comfort of your own home without paying the big bucks ($25 for a 44-minute single session at Inscape).
DIY: How to Re-Create Boutique Meditation in Your Home
- Schedule the time. Having a time and space cut out for you is the key to having a routine meditation practice. Meditation studios are popular because the class is scheduled and you can’t leave the room once you’re there (well, you could, but that would kind of disrupt the class and defeat the purpose of going!).
- Set the mood. Zen your space. Turn down the lights and light that soy candle you have in your living room. Set yourself up for success by leaving your cell phone, laptop, and other distractions outside. At Inscape, they actually had lockers so nobody needed to bring their possessions to the meditation room, creating a “leave your crap at the door” mentality!
- Get comfy. Pillows and blankets are key to enhancing your meditation. If you’re practicing a deep rest / yoga nidra style of meditation where you are lying down, you will need two pillows (one underneath your head and one underneath your knees). If sitting, you can use a cushion or blanket to place underneath your bum. This allows more space for the hips and can make it easier to hold a lengthened spine.
- Choose your meditation. You don’t always need a meditation teacher physically right in front of you. There are thousands of meditation videos online. Even at Inscape, they had an audio recording that we listened to (and they also have an app) you can purchase. Set your laptop or phone near you, and choose your preferred meditation recording.
- Invite a friend. What makes going to a meditation studio unique (and worth the price) is being surrounded by such receptive and welcoming people. Practicing yoga or meditation with another person has the ability to create strong connections. Invite a friend to meditate with you, or have a meditation friend that you can help hold you accountable.
That’s it! Meditation is simple and doesn’t require too many props. The hardest requirement is the time commitment to allow yourself to practice in silence without checking your Instagram every five minutes. Namaste!
Have you tried any of these DIY boutique meditation studio tips?
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Photo: Lilia Karimi