Your members want variety. Chances are you give them cardio, strength, yoga and Zumba, but what about a meditation class that caters to their emotional and spiritual wellness? Meditation is becoming more popular among fitness enthusiasts, so does your gym offer a well-rounded, holistic approach to health?
If you are looking for a little inspiration, consider MNDFL, New York City’s premier meditation studio. MNDFL was founded by Ellie Burrows and Lodro Rinzler, who opened the studio in November 2015. Burrows had been struggling with her own meditation practice and reached out to Rinzler for help.
“Lodro and I were having tea, it was a really casual conversation, and I asked why there wasn’t anywhere in the city that is not religious, brings all of these wonderful teacher together and offers traditional meditation in an accessible way,” said Burrows, who is the chief executive officer at MNDFUL. “Lodro said it is only a matter of time before they are going to be on every corner. I felt like we could do this together. It was so casual, but 16 months later we opened our doors.”
The studio name came from mindful, a word that is ubiquitous with medication. “It is something that everyone identifies with the practice,” said Burrows. “The second piece is that we removed the vowels. We created space in the word, just like we created space for you to breath with mediation.”
MNDFL offers a wide variety of classes that range between 30 and 45 minutes in length. “They are all structured very similarly,” explained Burrows. “There is a little bit of an intro, then there is some practice time and then some question and answer time at the end. We have 20 expert teachers and they are all certified in various traditions and lineages — we sort of let them bring their own flavor to the class. It is hard for me to say that MINDFL Heart always looks like this, because it really depends on who is teaching that class.”
According to Burrows, some of the most popular classes right now include MNDFL Breath, MNDFL Heart, MNDFL Sound MNDFL Emotions, and MNDFL Mantra. “All of our classes our thematic so community members can decide whatever they need for that day,” she added. “For example, maybe they are going through a break up and so they want to take MNDFL Emotions, or they are dealing with something that has them in a heightened emotional state, or they want to cultivate more love for themselves, so they might choose MNDFL Heart.”
If you are considering launching a meditation class at your health club, why not? Similar to exercise, the benefits of meditation are countless. Research has shown that regular practice of meditation reduces anxiety, improves concentration and attention, helps to manage depression and much more. “I know personally for me, it makes me less reactive in my own life,” said Burrows. “I really mostly speak of the benefits I have seen in my own life first hand, and there is a lot more space between me and whatever I am reacting to. It allows me to be a more open hearted and compassionate person in my daily life.”