Unwind, unplug and tap into mindfulness at these spaces for guided meditation
When it comes to new year’s resolutions, physical fitness is a common priority, but mental health is sometimes forgotten. According to a 2016 report from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto has the highest rate of work stress of any region in the province. Meditation and mindfulness have become increasingly trendy, and meditation studios have sprouted across Toronto. These are places solely dedicated to unwinding and unplugging from the stressful city life. So make some time and relax at these seven spaces around the city.
Address: 511 King West, quietcompany.ca
Target Customer: The cozy contemplator
The Quiet Company started out as a pop-up business hosting classes sporadically at spaces like lululemon until finally moving into their cozy King West location in May 2018 – making them one of the latest meditation studios to open in the city. Their lunchtime meditation classes are extremely popular, and they have a deal where you can get a free lunch bowl after your meditation class ($28). Other drop-in sessions range from $10-$22.
Address: 670 Bloor West, toronto.shambhala.org
Target Customer: The spiritual seeker
From the outside this studio doesn’t look like much, but step inside and enter a tranquil space. The practices in this centre are rooted in Shambhala and Vajrayana Buddhism. Try drop-in classes or dive into one of their retreats or class series, like the five-course Everyday Life series or the six-weekend Sacred Path Series for more advanced training. Be sure to check out one of the three-hour introductory sessions they hold once a month, which are on a donation basis as part of their mission to make sure meditation is accessible to everyone.
Address: 430 Adelaide West, hoame.ca
Target Customer: The aesthetic Instagrammer
The highly Instagrammable Hoame, which opened in September 2018, has two meditation studios: one light and one dark. The light room has real moss on the walls and is a space to recharge, whereas the dark room is completely dark with starry lights on the ceiling and is meant to provide more of a relaxation experience. Chill out in their Himalayan pink sea salt cave with six tonnes of salt, which is believed to help heal ailments like seasonal allergies, eczema and asthma. You can also detox in their infrared sauna with mood lighting and music and refresh with one of their house drinks including an activated charcoal chaga mushroom lemonade.
Address: 1278 St. Clair West, mindfulbodyworks.ca
Target Customer: The cluttered inbox
This mindfulness hub tucked away on St. Clair West is a one-stop shop for everything meditation and yoga. The instructors are extremely welcoming and knowledgeable. Vinyasa flow classes are the most popular, which combine yoga and restorative meditation practices. The $10 classes or free drop-in hatha classes once a week are an affordable way to try the place out. One Sunday a month, they have a half-day meditation retreat in the wellness centre next door. New students can try their first month of unlimited classes for $40.
Address: 889 Yonge, 889community.com
Target Customer: The budding yogi
This spot on Yonge has every kind of meditation class you would need. They have healing meditation classes that incorporates reiki healing, flow meditation featuring vinyasa flow as well as standard meditation classes. The reiki restorative is their most popular. Individual classes start at $30 but various packages and memberships are available. If you’re interested in becoming a yoga and meditation instructor, 889 also offers a yoga teacher training program in-house with the next sessions starting up this spring.
Address: 967 College, octopusgardenyoga.com
Target Customer: The soul searcher
This holistic yoga centre has a community feel to it. With long open tables, the front area acts as a space to socialize, work on your laptop, or grab a bite to eat. Unique to Octopus Garden is their Muse Meditation lounge, which features headbands that sense brain activity and play different soothing sounds based on your waves. Beginners can try one of their meditation 101 classes or take part in one of their retreats like the upcoming Foundations of Meditation. A six-class membership is $79 while an unlimited membership is $118 a month.
Address: 360 Dufferin, goodspacetoronto.ca
Target Customer: The sweet and simple
This Parkdale space has a cozy, neighbourhood vibe. All the instructors are warm and welcoming and teach a plethora of meditation and yoga classes suited to whatever you need. Move + Still classes are the most popular and combine movement with mindfulness. Single classes run for $22 and they offer a variety of reasonable memberships and class packs.