Posted July 10, 2016

Meditation: The Age-Old Practice Goes Mainstream

Travel Tips

Sitting quietly for a few minutes and being mindful of your thoughts can seem like a luxury you don’t have time for. Although meditation might seem out of place in this fast-paced world, it’s becoming more popular. In fact, 8 percent of US adults meditate these days—just slightly less than the 9.5 percent who do yoga. Meditation helps you be more creative, more resilient, and better able to handle various emotions—all things that can help you succeed. Here are 5 easy ways to try out meditation.

MNDFL Meditation room

Natural light and a living wall create a serene and welcoming space at MNDFL in NYC. (Photo credit: Monica Lee for MNDFL.)

  1. Sneak out at lunchtime. Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Meditation centers like MNDFL in NYC, Mindful Boston in Boston, or Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles offer guided meditations for all levels. Book a cushion and let someone else help guide your thoughts.
  2. Take a legit time-out at the airport. Some airports, including both Orlando and San Francisco, have dedicated reflection rooms. Head to one to sit with your eyes closed, focusing on your inhales and exhales. If something else pops into your head, all you need to do is gently bring your thoughts back to your breathing exercises.
  3. Go on a walk. Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting quietly. Go for a stroll and pay attention to all five senses. Focus on the feeling of the ground under your feet with each step, the sounds around you (even if it’s car horns and sirens instead of birdsongs), and the different smells of greenery and local eateries. Anything that helps take your mind off your to-do list is a plus.
  4. Use an app. If you take public transit, combine meditation with your commute. Just pop in some headphones on your way to the office and hit play on a free meditative app like Headspace or Calm. The programs are usually short, super relaxing and nobody will suspect that you aren’t listening to music.

    Headspace logo large

    Meditation apps are a great (and discreet) way to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle.

  5. Take a class at a gym. Combine physical activity with meditation by taking a class that has a mindfulness component. Two to try: Antigravity Cocooning at New York City’s Crunch Gym locations or Equinox’s HeadStrong classes. And then, of course, there’s the zen-like state that you reach during Shavasana at the end of every yoga class.