Toronto’s focus on meditation is on the rise. With meditation pop-ups from Mindful AF to Lululemon’s meditation series, meditation is on everyone’s mind. The idea of sitting in a group and meditating together has rapidly caught on with studios dedicated to meditation spread across Los Angeles and New York. In Toronto, nobody is doing it like Emily Thring, founder of The Quiet Company. A simple approach to meditation, and something that makes you wonder, “why didn’t I think of that?”
Known as Mindful Mondays, Meditations happen every Monday at 6.30 p.m. In a room at the Gladstone Hotel, a group sits on cushions or chairs and meditates for 45-minutes led by one of Toronto’s superstar yoga teachers. So far, meditations have been led by Bryonie Wise and Tara Good with more to come.
The Quiet Company started as a sold out Mindfulness and Intention workshop.
Emily wanted The Quiet Company to be as comfortable for people as possible. The 45-minute meditation is broken up into blocks of time. You meditate for 15-minutes, release and pause, and discuss with the class before closing the session with a few minutes of meditation. You can choose to speak or sit still the entire time. The point is the flexibility and freedom to disconnect and unlace your mind.
Emily knew she had something valuable on her hands. The idea and the company will continue to evolve and grow as there’s no indication the art of mindfulness and meditation will go away anytime soon.
“Mindfulness is really about being present,” says Emily. “We live in an increasingly connected and yet disconnected world.” She believes there’s more power in coming together for a group sit, and as a compliment to the solo meditation practice. “It’s practice with an intention,” she says.
Emily wasn’t always a Pilates teacher or arbiter of meditation studios. She resided in the corporate and client side of business. Four years ago she started teaching Pilates, a practice she fell in love with. She now teaches at Muse Movement and Mindful Movement in Yorkville. She became interested in the growing trend of wellness, but when she wanted to learn more about meditation, she couldn’t find anything that really fit for her in the city. It wasn’t readily accessible. “I didn’t want to commit to a Buddhist journey but I wanted to explore the effects of meditation,” she says.
The inspiration for The Quiet Company came from U.S studios like New York’s MNDFL or LA’s Meditation Den. “I had a feeling that Toronto was ready. And I wanted to create a space with mindfulness-based meditation classes that were accessible,” says Emily.
The goal of the 45-minute meditation is to lead you through a mediation that will help reset your mind and ease your anxieties from the day. You’re not walking into total silence for 45-minutes.
My first experience with The Quiet Company was feeling happy and grateful that Emily was bold enough to create this company. Going to a group sit is more intentional. You tend to feel more focused than at a home practice. There’s an energy of gratitude flowing throughout the class.
People are craving that pause more and more. Meditation apps like Headspace are one of the most downloaded apps on iTune. Meditation has been on the cover of TIME magazine multiple times.
Emily’s tip on meditating is not to take it too seriously and to remove the guilt if it isn’t easy to quiet the mind. “We really encourage people not to beat themselves up. Your mind is designed to think and wander.” Come back to your breath with no judgment.
Emily’s personal practice varies. “I’m not always good at sitting, but I do try to perform my tasks mindfully,” she says. “For me, it’s mostly being conscious and paying mindful attention.”
To book your cushion, click here.
First class is $10, first three classes are $25. A regular single class is $15.95, 5 drop-in classes $70 or treat yourself to a 10 class pass at $120.