Wellness Guide for the Well New Yorker
Finding the right balance between work and relaxation can be hard, especially if you live in a city like New York. It is stressful to live in this hustling and bustling city and it’s important to have some self care practices in place to promote a healthy mind, body and spirit. While the city is known for its high-end spas, there are many great wellness options available to get your body and mind into a relaxed state without breaking the bank. Here’s our Wellness Guide for New York City with some of our favorite ways to bring you bliss and wellbeing:
Surround yourself with greenery and take a relaxing stroll, have a picnic or read a book and relax outside in one of the city’s parks. Central Park has some really nice areas that almost make you feel like you’re out in the countryside. Bring a book and a bottle of water and walk to The Ramble or relax at the The Lake or chill out at The North Meadow. Brooklyn’s Prospect Park has many areas with lush greenery and lakes that invite for some relaxation. And then there’s many miles of green space along the Waterfront Greenway.
Or visit The Botanical Garden in Brooklyn or the Bronx and enjoy the beautiful gardens with flora of the season.
Meditation is a wonderful practice to help clear the mind, achieve overall relaxation and help with anxiety and depression. If you are not used to meditating on your own, there are many ways to help starting the practice of meditation.
Download one of the free meditation apps and start meditating in the morning and/or evening at home. Or visit one of the many meditation spaces in New York and attend a group meditation. Several locations offer introduction sessions for meditation. Here’s some of our favorite meditation studios:
Immerse Yourself In Healing Sounds
Achieve a deeply relaxed state of mind by attending a Sound Bath meditation session. The ancient practice of sound healing can be experienced in several locations in NYC. With the use of tibetan singing bowls, gongs, tuning forks and vocal chanting the frequency of the sound waves can put the body into deep relaxation, balance chakras and aide to achieve a meditative state:
Float In A Sensory Deprivation Chamber
Emerge yourself in stillness while floating in a sensory deprivation tank. In case you are not familiar with the practice, a session includes floating naked alone in a sound and light proof chamber, tank or room in a body of skin warm water that is mixed with Epsom salt which makes the floating effortless so the body can rest still. It almost feels like being out in space without the feeling of gravity. Floating has shown to increase theta waves, a type of brain waves experienced while transitioning between sleeping and waking. Floating is a wonderful way to achieve a state of deep relaxation, ease muscle tension and experience an introspective meditation all at once.
Here’s our favorite floating spots:
Enjoy A Bath, Sauna And Steamroom Tretament
Go to a bathhouse and rejuvenate with a bath, sauna and steam room treatment. The following listed are the more affordable ones in the city:
Get A Massage
Whether you choose a spa or private massage therapist, getting a massage is a wonderful way to achieve wellbeing in mind and body. The ancient practice of massage has shown to improve sleep, immune response, circulation, energy and range of motion while reducing stress, tension and pain. There are many forms and techniques of massage therapy and many providers within the NYC area. Whether you want a classic Swedish massage, Sports massage, Deep Tissue massage, Hot Stone massage, Ayurvedic massage, Thai massage, Lomilomi, Shiatsu or even Rolfing session, NYC has it all.
To find a spa or practitioner of your choice we recommend the following sites:
Take A Yoga Class
There’s an abundance of yoga studios in NYC from high end to small neighborhood studios. Several yoga studios throughout the three boroughs offer donation-based yoga classes and many of the city’s parks offer free yoga classes during the summer season. Check out the parks websites for classes at Bryant Park, Prospect Park, Washington Square Park and Battery Park.
Go For A Paddle
Relax on the water and paddle around the NYC waters while enjoying some great views. This is a list of free kayaking options around the NYC bay and rivers:
Dance and move to the 5Rhythms
The 5Rhythms is a movement meditation practice established by Gabrielle Roth in the 70s. The practice is described as a soul journey by moving the body, releasing the heart, and freeing the mind and so connecting to the essence of the soul. It is a way to creatively express emotions of fear, anger, sadness, joy and compassion with the body’s movements. This is not a dance class, but rather a meditative practice of letting your body move freely to the 5 different rhythms: Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical and Stillness which reflect the five rhythms of being.
Learn Tai Chi
The ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi is said to bring body, mind and spirit into harmony.
Tai Chi was originally a martial art, it is nowadays mostly practiced as a form of exercise to promote good posture, relaxation, balance, to focus the mind and balance emotions.
During the summer months, there’s the great option to swim laps at one of the city’s public pools. Most of the pools are free and have both early bird and late hours that are reserved for lap swimming. These are our favorite pools:
Nurture Your Body With Plant Healthy Meals
It is no secret that a whole food plant based diet is most nurturing for our bodies and gives us all the micronutrients, minerals and vitamins that we need to thrive and stay healthy. Luckily, New York City has become more and more plant-friendly over the last few years with juice and smoothie stores, vegan, vegetarian and plant-based restaurants popping up all over the three boroughs. But vegan doesn’t necessarily equal healthy. Our Wellness New York guide does not include places to eat vegan comfort foods such as soy nuggets and vegan cheese pizza.
The plant-based restaurants we recommend on our list are focusing on pure and minimally processed plant based foods that are full of flavor and nutrients:
Check out this New York Times Article for more inspiration:
Written by Eliane Baggenstos, owner of bodono, Registered Nurse, and Certified Health Coach with certification in Plant-Based Nutrition by the Cornell University and Evidence-based Health Coaching for Healthcare Providers by the National Society of Health Coaches, Licensed Massage Therapist with certifications in Advanced Sports Massage and Medical Massage.