You know meditation is mainstream when luxury brands like Amanresorts, Bulgari and Four Seasons introduce complimentary meditation for their guests. In a world where many of us have become addicted to our smartphones and social media, perhaps there’s never been a more crucial time to cultivate the discipline of being still. More and more we need to switch-off in order to switch on. Here's a round-up of urban hotels featuring meditation on the menu.
It’s 7.30pm on a Monday evening and there are several guests sitting in silence during the Urban Zen Meditation session at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing. Introduced earlier this year, Urban Zen Meditation is a 30-minute session consisting of gentle movements and restorative breathing practices. Says Cassandra Forrest, Director of Spa: “Traditionally yoga and meditation were much more common in a resort environment, however, these days, more and more people living in urban environments seek to ground themselves.”
Meanwhile on a Monday morning at the Bulgari Spa at The Bulgari Hotel & Residences in London, it’s Yin Meditation time. Newly launched and already a great success, the meditation classes are led by Seda Goodwin, who combines her love for slow yoga with calming techniques and breath work. Yin Meditation teaches one to turn down the volume of the mind in order to give our body the opportunity to deeply rest.
We can’t think of a better place to escape the chaos (or your mind) than at the amazing Aman Spa at The Connaught Hotel in London. In April this year they launched the Aman Spa Meditation Class initiative held every weekday at 1pm. These 20-minute lunchtime meditation sessions are Buddhist-inspired and are complimentary for – everyone! Led by the expert Aman spa therapist team, who themselves regular meditators, guests are offered lemongrass or ginger tea before the mindfulness session.
Earlier this year, W New York – Union Square launched a series of candle-lit meditation events that were so successful, there are talks of future series being held later this year. The concept was a collaboration with The Path, a foundation whose mission is to bring meditation to the mainstream. Says a spokesperson for W New York – Union Square: “Guests loved it and every class was fully booked. At W, we strive to provide our guests and our communities with what is new and next, and meditation has definitely become a new trend in New York city, especially with young professionals.”
Escape the world for twenty-minutes and emerge regenerated. The Cornelia Spa at The Surrey Hotel is the first spa on the East Coast to introduce the Somadome, a cocoon-shaped meditation pod for stressed-out guests. The machine-based modality offers a choice of sessions such as relax, heal, focus, manifest or recharge. As well, varying frequencies such as Alpha, Theta and Beta with color therapy to help unblock stagnate energy and enhance positive thoughts. Emerge feeling restored in mind and body.
And at the Refinery Rooftop at the Refinery Hotel New York, you may well find meditation guru, Dr. Deepak Chopra, leading guests through a guided meditation as part of the hotel’s Wellth Series initiative. Launched earlier this year, Wellth Series is an innovative way to incorporate health and wellness into the travel space – providing NYC locals and hotel guests with high quality yoga and meditation experiences. Check out their calendar for group zen meditation sessions held throughout the year.
Do we need any evidence that meditation can regenerate? There are currently hundreds of medical studies being conducted around the globe on the health benefits of meditation (check out www.wellnessevidence.com that is an excellent portal for the latest in wellness research). A recent series of studies at Harvard University, for example, showed that regular meditation actually creates change in the brain by affecting regions that relate to stress, intelligence and well-being. These studies revealed mediation lowers stress levels and also enhances growth in the brain where serotonin and dompamine levels are produced.
We are a team of tuned-in wellness explorers who love to travel the world, seeking and experiencing high-vibraiton healing, spas and retreats, nourishing foods, yoga, dance and fitness - all of which results in a curation of the best of the best in wellness travel.