If the Toronto grind has you stressed out, you now have options when it comes to taking some time out and clearing that overworked mind – if even for half an hour.
Drop-in meditation spots have become a thing in Toronto as of late – and, at a time when life in the city seems more chaotic than ever, and ‘wellness’ is now more than a buzzword – we’ll likely see more spring up in the near future.
Last month, The Quiet Company meditation studio – conveniently located in the always-moving King West tech and advertising hub – opened its doors to offer drop-in guided meditation and movement classes. Classes range from 15-minutes to one hour, with a class schedule designed with the typical workday in mind. Attending a class doesn’t require a wardrobe change; you can wear anything from workout gear to business attire.
The bright, clean studio offers a low-key, down-to-earth vibe, and is complete with unique ink art from Jason Logan of the Toronto Ink Company and a vintage Moroccan rug from Dufferin Grove’s Moroccan hug haven Mellah. While the new space marks The Quiet Company’s first physical location, its founder Emily Thring – a former 9-5 pavement-pounder herself – has offered meditation classes as a rotating pop-up concept for over a year at places like The Gladstone Hotel, Lululemon Queen West, and Health Hut.
“I started The Quiet Company because I wanted something like it myself. As a busy, young professional looking to manage my day to day stress, I searched for a space to reset with meditation to no avail,” said Thring. ““We live in a big hectic city where it’s hard to maintain balance of healthy mind, body and spirit. Meditation has been proven to generate more focused energy and creativity, so it’s not only calming but increases your ability to be the best version of yourself in all areas of your life – at home, at the office, in your relationships. It’s exercise for your brain.”
Becoming more mindful won’t break the bank at The Quiet Company; fifteen-minute classes cost only $10. Completing the new spot’s grounding and spiritual vibe, ritual kits are available at The Quiet Company, and feature things like sage, smudge sticks, rose quartz crystal, and clear quartz stones.
Meanwhile in Yorkville, a more tech-focused meditation spot, Mindset Brain Gym opened its doors earlier this month. In this sleek, large spot, you can monitor your meditation process with brainwave sensing technology via a headband worn during class that uses EEG technology to track your brainwaves and breath. With meditation zones bathed in soothing, colour-changing light installations, Mindset offers a more futuristic approach to the ancient practice of meditation.
At Mindset, talking points include phone-charging lockers, ergonomic seating, a signature blend of diffused essential oils, complimentary kombucha on-tap, and a library of wellness-focused books to enjoy from a peaceful living room. Participants can opt for a group class, or a private session in the studio’s zero gravity Stillness Pod, complete with immersive 3-D audio recordings.
“Mindfulness meditation adoption is at a tipping point in the mental fitness revolution, and we’re positioning Mindset Brain Gym at the forefront of this movement,” says Mindset co-founder Sean Finnell. “We’ve designed simple, guided sessions that yield high-performance results – in an environment where every element has been carefully thought out for the best possible meditation experience.”
Clients can choose from six different intention-oriented classes based on their mental fitness goals. These include 101, to cover the basic foundations of meditation practice; Performance, to sharpen concentration and cognitive function; Resilience, to minimize the negative impact of stress and anxiety; Human, to increase empathy, self-compassion, and emotional intelligence; Sleep, to boost melatonin under calming soundscapes; and Family, for parents to introduce their children to mindfulness (you’re never too young to start). Classes are available at Mindset as either drop-in/pay-as-you-go at $25 per class and $100 for a 5-class package, or through unlimited memberships that start at $150 per month.
The best thing about both studios is that you don’t have to be a seasoned meditator to drop in – you don’t need any meditation experience at all. While many of us with perpetually moving minds may reside ourselves to the fact that meditation is simply not something we were cut out for, I would recommend checking out at least two classes at one of these studios (you have to try most things twice before you swear yourself off of them, in my opinion). By now, I don’t need to tell you that the benefits of meditation are numerous, and include everything from stress and anxiety reduction, to improving your focus and mood – all things that can get us ahead in both our professional and personal lives.
Learning to train your mind like you train your body could become the new addition to your routine you didn’t know you were missing.