Siempo City Guide: Manhattan

The concrete jungle. How does one escape New York’s notorious, 24/7 cacophony? Despite being surrounded by water and boasting over 1,500 parks, it can be extremely challenging to catch a breath or moment of calm, for mindful hipsters and workaholic alike. So you may be surprised as we were to learn how much the city is embracing wellness trends, from clubs offering 3,000 person meditation sessions to conferences that bring together leading Eastern medicine practitioners. New Yorkers don’t just dip their feet into something they like–they do it big. And when the need to counteract overstimulation is as gnawing as walking through Midtown during the holidays, you know we can expect an explosion of new services on the horizon.

Meditation

Medi Club NYC

Once a month, Medi Club welcomes modern meditators to come together for meditation and discussion. To combat a lifestyle of ‘doing it all’ and often at the expense of tapping into the present moment, Medi Club provides a community of familiar faces with a shared goal of harnessing creativity through presence. Following each group meditation session, facilitators engage a discussion on how mindfulness relates to modern issues such as relationships, creativity, work-life balance and more. Medi Club is also the brains behind The Big Quiet, a mass meditation with thousands of attendees.

INSCAPE

Located in the heart of the bustling Flatiron district, INSCAPE delivers immersive meditation and relaxation experiences both in their studio and through an iOS app. Integrating meditation seamlessly through technology and community, the INSCAPE experience is centered in guided meditation to inspire and empower you to connect with your best self, find balance and live life to your fullest potential. Practice at home with the app, or bring it to the studio to take advantage of INSCAPE’s eclectic space juxtaposing interactive art installations with bustling cafe culture.

Events

East Meets West Fest

Redefining the festival and conference scene, East Meets West curates an annual experience in both New York and San Francisco for wellness practitioners and cultural creatives to share and catalyze conversation around human potential, well-being and transformative ideas. Listen to talks from remarkable influencers and participate in interactive sessions exploring creative culture, global entrepreneurial leadership, and social impact in order to bring about lasting human health and happiness. Keep an eye out for their spring event in NY, fall festival in SF, and magical community gatherings in between!

Movement

Om Factory

Step away from your desk and into Om Factory. A little different than your neighborhood yoga studio, Om Factory offers traditional restorative and vinyasa classes as well as some unique aerial yoga, acroyoga, circus conditioning, and aerial circus classes. With two locations in New York and a few popping up across Asia, OM Factory welcomes students of all levels to come practice and learn new skills. Check out their teacher trainings, immersion courses or plan your next birthday party with a private course.

Daybreaker

Take back your morning and join your friends at Daybreaker, a morning dance movement taking place across the world. Started in NYC, this event begins with one hour of yoga or fitness and finishes with two hours of dancing the morning away with hundreds of beautiful humans. A sober dance party focused on connecting, sweating and dancing, Daybreaker keeps you on your toes by moving locations each month. Mindfulness, wellness, mischief, self expression, and camaraderie: this is what you can expect to experience when you wake up on the right side of the dance floor.

Spaces

The Open Center

If the wellness world seems like an infinite realm of possibility (it is) and you are unsure where to begin or are looking to dive deeper, start with a visit to the Open Center on 30th and Madison for a wide range of offerings in exploration, fulfillment and transformation. From spiritual inquiry and practice to holistic health and bodywork, licensed professionals offer courses both online or during nights and weekends in a calm and peaceful oasis. Open Center also features a bookstore cafe with a wealth of educational material on wellness and self improvement.

Woom Center

Enter the self-described “holistic lovechild of east and west” and discover a sanctuary for practicing yoga, meditation, movement and sound healing. Focused on helping fellow humans (especially the high vibrational people of NYC) raise their level of consciousness, Woom supports students on their journey of self discovery by combining the perfect physical environment with love-driven programming. Reward your mind, body and spirit with a gong meditation or blindfolded vinyasa class, then trade stories over tea in the cafe before returning to the regular world.

Communities & Meetups

Balanced NYC

Discover your home away from home at Balanced. Part co-working space, part meditation community, Balanced brings together people who care about mindfulness, self care, and doing interesting work. Every Tuesday night the community gathers at 7pm in the heart of SoHo for meditation and discussion, with topics ranging from love and fear to imposter syndrome and true happiness. If you are looking for an environment conducive to true work-life balance, be sure to check out this community-first space.

Escape the City

Finding your tribe in a big and fast city can be difficult. London-based Escape the City has just launched in NY to connect likeminded, motivated and passionate people keen on making proactive career changes. In addition curating an extensive database of meaningful work opportunities, ETC runs events, retreats and programs like ‘The Escape Accelerator’ to guide a 12 week part-time program to help participants make their career change through workshops, mentoring and community. “Because life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter.”

Solitude

Governors Island — Hammock Grove

When the summer heats up in the city, be sure to catch a ferry to Governors Island for an afternoon of nature and views. Home to the longest slide in NYC, the historic island is filled with tons of activities and events for all New Yorkers. Between 10-acres of hills with views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan, you can ride bikes, barbecue, or head over to hammock grove to relax in a sea of hammocks. The island is a great place to enjoy the weekend with friends or take a solo trip and walk amongst the art. If gardening is your form of meditation, the island organizes volunteer days to tend to the park and its historic landscapes.

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

If you are looking for a public space on the UWS to take a break and read a book, look no further than Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Filled with beautiful indoor and outdoor spots to relax and take in the city, the library also holds weekly exhibits and events ranging from jazz performances and film screenings. What more do you need besides free WiFi, stunning architecture and people to watch?

Travel

East River Ferry

Connecting some of our favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, the East River Ferry offers a wonderfully refreshing and scenic transportation option for only a buck more than the subway. Operating seven days a week, the ferry has indoor and outdoor seating plus a bike rack. As a Williamsburg-based friend once proudly exclaimed, “my commute isn’t just better than yours. It’s better than not commuting at all!” Make the ferry a habit before the L train shuts down in 2019.

Make it a day

Start your day with a dance party. No, you are not still awake from the night before, you are at Daybreaker, a morning dance movement taking over NYC. Bring a friend or meet new friends while you get your fitness on, dance and sweat, and get energized even before your morning latte.

Cool down by walking or taking the subway to the New York City Library. Here you can walk around and admire the architecture or grab a bite to eat, sit in one of the public spaces, or read a book.

While you still have the day ahead of you, make your way downtown to take the East River Ferry to Governors Island. Enjoy the views of Brooklyn and Manhattan and say goodbye to the concrete jungle while you explore the hills of Governors Island. Check out hammock hill for an afternoon chill sesh or grab some groceries and barbeque with Lady Liberty watching over.

As your afternoon adventure comes to an end, head back to Manhattan and wind down your day at the Woom Center with a blindfolded vinyasa class or gong meditation. Stick around for tea classmates and make plans for the evening ahead.

More about Siempo

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Cameron Cler is a traveler at heart, obsessed with seeing the world and discovering ways to contribute to positive global change. As a registered yoga teacher, she balances her constant travel and work in the startup world by channeling her inner yogi and welcoming peace in chaotic moments. Her passion is cultivating creativity and inspiration while sharing travel stories, yoga classes, wellness tips, and smiles with her friends, family, and students. Follow her latest adventures @ccler.