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Finding Your Zen in New York City


Author: Rebecca Perry

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Sometimes you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re looking to relax, unwind or rejuvenate in the Big Apple, there are plenty of places you can find some peace of mind… if you know where to look.
Here’s how to find your Zen in New York City! 

Sebastien Wiertz

New York City Yoga

It’s no surprise that in a city as hectic as NYC yoga is a popular choice for residents seeking serenity. As well as the physical benefits – flexibility, strength, breathing, metabolism – yoga can also help people suffering with stress and anxiety. Yoga is a way of life for many New Yorkers and you’ll find all variations here – from ashtanga to hatha to vinyasa and iyengar. You can try an outdoor yoga class, a one-to-one lesson, a yoga/pilates pairing, or act like a native and make Central Park your own New York yoga retreat!

One thing that’s striking about New York yoga is the sense of community that pervades it: from ‘normal yoga to acro-yoga, there are many groups you can join online to find out what’s going on. There are countless yoga studios scattered throughout the city, be it in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens, so no matter where you are you’ll find a peaceful place to do the downward dog.

New York City Meditation

Just like yoga, there was once a time when meditation was sniffed at as something a bit ‘hippie,’ or a concept too foreign to understand. In recent years New Yorkers have embraced meditation. It might be the 'City That Never Sleeps,' but NYC has a lot of time for mindfulness – just check out this ‘Meditation Flash Mob’ in Times Square.

YOTEL is no stranger to the merits of meditation (see our guide to help travellers become more mindful) and we think it can make a huge difference to your travels. If Times Square isn’t the right setting for you to practice mindfulness, then a visit to one of New York’s meditation retreats can set you up for a day of sightseeing or business.

If you’re looking for a modern meditation class, New York Meditation Center is a good place to start. If you’re someone who prefers the spiritual side to mindfulness, you’re probably more suited to Shambala Meditation.

Buddhism In New York

By now we’re sure you’ve grasped the fact that New York City is far more spiritual than you might expect – but did you know that NYC is also the Buddhist hub of the U.S., and many beautiful Buddhist temples can be found throughout the city?

With its focus on meditation and enlightenment, it’s no surprise that interest in Buddhism is rising so quickly. The hectic, fast-paced lifestyle of New York has led to many residents becoming fascinated by Buddhist teachings. There are numerous places where you can immerse yourself in Buddhist culture, but The Tibet Center, and Diamond Way Buddhist Center are highly recommended.

Sensory Deprivation In New York

New York is like an overload for the senses. From the wail of sirens to the smell of street carts and blasts of hot air, it can be overwhelming – and that’s where sensory deprivation flotation comes in. This unique treatment is currently enjoying a nationwide revival, and NYC is the best place to get your float on.

So what exactly is sensory deprivation flotation therapy? Essentially, it’s a treatment where you enter a ‘float room’, climb inside a tub filled with warm water and Epsom salts, and simply float, silently and weightlessly. Akin to being in space, you’re a world away from stress and can focus on the present like no other situation.


New York City is far more spiritual than its reputation would have you believe, but if you’re staying at YOTEL you don’t even have to leave your room to find your Zen. Our cosy cabins are the ideal place to kick back, relax and enjoy a sense of stillness: you can find out more here.

If you’d like to learn more about mindfulness, check out some of our blogs – and if you think we’ve missed out a peaceful place from this guide, let us know!

Author: Rebecca Perry

Rebecca Perry is YOTEL’s Social Media Manager. She loves photography, traveling, junk food, the NYC music scene, Instagram, and all things digital.

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