There is nothing I love more than reading a trend report, scoffing at it, then participating in the trend that I just mocked. Case in point, this story about Inscape, “an intentionally designed 5,000-square foot studio that offers a fully immersive audio-guided group experience for meditation and relaxation”. Finally, a goop-infused place to cool my jets. If Soul Cycle is all about ramping you up with a supportive community, this was a place to find my tribe that would help calm me down.
This is where the experience truly began. I downloaded the app and signed up for 5 free meditations. The sessions were great, similar to headspace but with out the goofy animations. That got me hooked. I wanted to see how this experience translated to the real world. So I signed up for a group meditation, something I’d never done.
The exterior of the building has spare black graphics with the Inscape logo popping off the window in white. It’s simple, clean, and hits all my design buttons. Once inside you are greeted by the friendly staff, sign in on a tablet, then given a quick tour of the studio. Remove your shoes and place them in the provided locker, which can also charge your cell phone (nice trick borrowed from Soul Cycle.) After a quick loop around the gift shop (think coloring books, incense, self help books) take a sip of the fruit infused calming water. Congrats, you are literally drinking the kool-aid. And it tastes delicious. Note to self: start adding fruit and fresh herbs to my water at home.
A few minutes before class is scheduled to start, we gather in front of The Dome. Our guide gives us a preview of what to expect. We can choose to sit wherever or however we want. She encourages us to ‘audition’ a few of the different body pillows to ‘find what’s comfortable for you.’ Before opening the door, she offers a few drops of calming essential oils to put on our wrists and other pressure points. Note to self: pick up a calming lavender oil and incorporate it into my bedtime routine.
Welcome to meditation thunder dome! It was me and eight others in a quest for quiet time. I took my time settling in. I felt like Goldilocks trying different bolsters, boosters, pillows, and blankets until it was juuust right. Once comfy I took a look around; the space felt like something a new age Sylvanian Family might construct: tidy, clean, and will help advance humanity. The domed ceiling has an armature of bamboo poles which support a white silky gauze. The lighting is fantastic with a spectrum that goes from purples to oranges to reds. Note to self: construct a tee-pee in Pennsylvania that can mimic the same effect.
And then she speaks. “She” is your guide for the meditation. With her slight Australian accent, you know you are in good hands because everything lifestyle and coffee that an Australian has blessed is going to improve your world. With soothing music as her back-up band, she tells you to close your eyes and follow her lead. She gives you a mantra to focus on with your breathing. Her tone is so calming, she puts you to sleep. Luckily you only choke on your own saliva a little bit and cover it up w/ a cough. Note to self: try not to feel like a loser for nodding off.
Worth your while?
When the trip was done, I felt calmer, saner, and ready to embrace the world. I met up for dinner with my husband and was in a fantastic mood. But do you need to pay $25 for 33 minutes in a tripped out sound-proof dome to achieve this? Of course not. My advice is to turn off your device, find a quiet place to sit for 5 minutes and relax. You’d be surprised how much saner it makes you. Note to self: try to stay in that mindset – avoiding Soul Cycle might help.