Achieve enlightenment–or just chill out–within city limits.
Tue Jun 14 2011
Meditation for Beginners
Sitting and thinking of nothing but your breath for five or more minutes is a lot harder than it sounds. Find a path to nirvana—or just clear your head—at this meditation session, guided by instructor Ralph De La Rosa. Meditation novices, skeptics and inquisitors will learn the basics of the Buddhist practice in a secular class. Through techniques like walking meditation and maitri (radiating care and concern for others), De La Rosa hopes to impart urbanites with the knowledge needed "to be fully present and much more relaxed at the same time." Go Yoga, 112 North 6th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-5602, yoga.ws). Thu 16, 23, 30 at 8:15pm; suggested donation $5--$15; reservations recommended.
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Those lakeside yoga retreats are pricey and intense, so choose the cheap, quickie yogi path to enlightenment in the heart of Manhattan: You'll channel some serious cosmic energy with hundreds of strangers on Tuesday 21, as Times Square celebrates the longest day of the year. Arrive early to grab a provided mat, then join the sea of downward dogs as instructors from across the city lead lessons for all skill levels. Broadway and Seventh Ave between 45th and 47th Sts (timessquarenyc.org). Tue 21 7:30am--sunset; free.
Cha-An Tea House
Take your pick from nearly 30 soul-warming brews at this traditional Japanese tea emporium. While you can sip at your leisure in the main dining room seven days a week (Mon--Thu 2--11pm; Fri, Sat noon--midnight; Sun noon--10pm), it's the private tea ceremonies in the dimly lit back parlor that provide a truly tranquil experience. As you sample Japanese cookies and green matcha tea, your server will explain the history and customs involving the therapeutic beverage. 230 E 9th St between Second and Third Ave, second floor (212-228-8030, chaanteahouse.com). Tue 5:30pm, Fri 5pm, Sun 4pm; $15 per person, maximum four people.
Reward yourself for coming to all sorts of spiritual conclusions by spending the day on the rooftop sundeck of this spa and health club. You don't have to be a member of the gym to partake in the soothing services, including the East Meets West Massage (a combination of Swedish technique, shiatsu, steamed towels and aromatherapy oils; 60 minutes $115), which can be performed in a private cabana complete with flowing curtains and bamboo at no extra charge. If you haven't yet experienced a higher state of consciousness, this will take you there. 25 W 14th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-206-9200, insideclay.com). Daily 9am--9pm.
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