At first, we were only referring to it as “mindfulness,” a way to ease skeptics into the ancient practice of meditation without prompting outcries of “ugh that’s too new age for me.” But as we’ve become more comfortable with the simple practice of sitting quietly and breathing, we finally let the practice reveal itself as good old meditation.
While we have seen the quiet growth of the practice as something most of us will admit to starting our day with, what we’re spying on the horizon for the new year is the growth of the group practice or as we like to call it, zen with friends.
But don’t take our word for it. In their report on the biggest trends in wellness for the last year, ClassPass noted that the fastest growing trend (16% growth in 2017) is, you guessed it, the number of users taking meditation, restorative, and recovery classes.
So why meditate with a group? “I believe meditating with a group creates accountability and community, and creates a good habit,” explains Emily Thring, founder of The Quiet Company. “I am more likely to meditate alone if I’m dedicated about dropping into a group class or meditating with friends. Having a solo practice is important as well because it strengthens your connection with yourself. You can also tap into it whenever you need to, like when work gets stressful or you need to reenergize yourself.”
You can currently find your opportunities for zen popping up around the city thanks to companies like The Quiet Company and the Meditation Club, who host group sits at various venues, as well as at places like lululemon’s The Attic, and select yoga studios. Traveling? We recommend visiting ultra-chic group meditation studios in New York like Inscape and MNDFL. In Los Angeles, you can find moments of zen at The Den and Ceremony Meditation, and in Austin, Texas, you can pop into the Meditation Bar.
Locally, you can grab a cushion at more traditional spaces like the Kadampa Meditation Centre or Meditation Toronto. But in 2018, we anticipate the launch of at least one brick-and-mortar studio-chic meditation space where you can get zen with friends – a venue where you can pop in for a morning, mid-day, or after-work sit to take a break from the fast pace of the city.