This ancient healing practice involves immersing yourself in resonating, overtone-emitting sounds designed to bring you into a deep meditative state. For those who don’t meditate, a sound bath is the perfect introduction to the practice, thanks to its simplicity and appeal to the instincts. Try this at Woom Center, where soothing vibrations from gongs, Himalayan singing bowls, tuning forks, bells and chimes help you focus and relax. The Woom Gong meditation experience, in particular, is designed to help improve sleep, circulation and the ability to cope with stress – an excellent way to begin or end a long week on your feet.
Designed to provide relaxing bathing experiences inspired by ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman traditions, the Aire baths are located in a restored 19th-century industrial building in Tribeca. In 2012, the space was transformed into the aquatic oasis it is today, where guests can soak in different kinds of baths, from ice cold or steaming hot to a jet spa for weary muscles and a saltwater floating pool. Each bathing session lasts 90 minutes, but you can prolong the relaxation by adding on massages and spa treatments.
Aerial yoga is said to have originated in New York and encourages deeper stretches than traditional yoga practices to help release muscle tension and improve circulation. Combining elements of Pilates, dance and acrobatics with yoga poses, aerial yoga can be more exhilarating but also more meditative than a typical yoga class. The Om Factory elevates this experience, teaching students how to stretch, flow and flip from hanging fabric.
Unlike a standard facial which tends to focus on cleansing the skin, the facials at FaceLove emphasise the power of touch, mixing facial massage techniques with exercise and acupressure to reduce inflammation and tension. Each facial is designed to increase circulation in the face and neck to ultimately make one feel more relaxed and centred. The treatments also claim to boost the complexion and strengthen face muscles.
Floating Mountain is a teahouse in Manhattan that delivers a little touch of zen to the busy city through its curated selection of teas and minimalist-style space. There are over 50 types of Chinese tea to choose from by the pot along with special hosted tea tastings and regular meditation sessions. Book the Chadao Ceremony, which teaches how the simple act of serving and receiving tea is based in gratitude. The hour-long experience recalls tea drinking cultures in China and Japan, and promotes feelings of tranquillity.
It’s scientifically proven that spending time with nature helps to relieve stress and improve one’s mood. A recent study from the University of British Columbia notes that just being among trees, grass and water boosts a person’s wellbeing, happiness and even the ability to connect with other people. Even in an urban jungle like New York, be sure to take a timeout in a place like Central Park, with a book or with your own thoughts.