Paris is beautiful with its wide boulevards lined with quaint cafés, but city life can soon become stressful. One of the best ways to combat stress is to meditate, and joining a class is more fun. Whether you prefer to sit amongst fairy lights or swathes of draping vine, or enjoy the sounds of Himalayan gongs while sipping herbal tea, here’s everything you need to find out about which methods best suit you.
Kshanti | Courtesy of ZippyPass
Kshanti is a brand new studio in the heart of Paris, the famous Saint Germain des Prés neighbourhood. After being greeted by great swathes of draping vines in the courtyard, it feels like a real cocoon of calm once you’re inside its bright, luminous space. After enjoying one of their many types of yoga on offer (Ashtanga, Chromoyoga, Hatha, Iyengar, Kundalini, Nidra, Prenatal, Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga for Runners etc), you can take a well-deserved rest in one of their more meditative classes. The ‘Breathing Rhythm’ class inspired by Ashtanga is one of the best and is open to all levels with a duration of one hour and 15 minutes. It’s usually on offer every other Wednesday at 19:15. What’s special about this place is there are herbal teas on offer.
Le Centre Element is dedicated to well-being with a focus on inner healing. If you sample their ‘Meditation & Yoga’ class, you’ll be working on improving your concentration and awareness, learning to soothe your mind with the tools of yoga (improving breathing techniques and posture). Most of the time will be spent sitting peacefully, enjoying an inner journey that aims to improve sensory perception. But if you feel stifled by silence, and prefer a meditation class with music, then you should sample their ‘Meditation Sonore’ class. It lasts one hour, immersing you in the sounds of Himalayan gongs, tuning forks and other ancestral instruments. It takes place every Sunday at 3pm.
Mirz Yoga – Jourdain is located in the peaceful precinct of an old printing house in the heart of the 19th arrondissement, just a stone’s throw away from the green of Buttes Chaumont. The studio is luminous with a clean design, welcoming you amidst a sprinkling of potted plants and luscious vegetation. Whichever meditation class you sample here, there will be birds singing in the background. There are more than 25 weekly classes in various styles, including Hatha, Jivamukti, and Yin, with meditation taking centre stage in Yoga Détente (relaxing yogs) and Hatha Flow. What’s unique about this place is that there is a shop offering an international selection of socially and environmentally conscious brands (Incausa, Green Barbès, Cha Iracema, Sooishi and even Mirz Yogawear clothing), and often external speakers who come and share their wisdom.
This studio has been inspiring a sense of inner peace since September 2013 in the heart of Boulogne, not too far from the beautiful, expansive forest. The huge 130m² centre offers an impressive 35 sessions per week with a full range of Hatha Yoga classes, paying keen attention to meditation. This studio offers the most regular meditation classes on this list with one taking place almost every lunchtime, sometime between 12-2pm, though exact times vary. There’s water and hot drinks on tap but you must make sure to bring your own towel. As well as the tranquil interior, the classroom overlooks a small, quiet patio where you can find a calm and soothing space to relax and rejuvenate after you’ve finished.
Yoga Time Etoile is tucked in a quiet alley, away from the noise of the traffic, near the famous Etoile area in Paris. With soothing candles and sleepy lamps giving a faint glow amid the elegant interior, each yoga and meditation class on offer here will help you relax and rejuvenate. The timing of classes vary to match the busy schedule of city life, and so you have the option to choose whether you want to attend a 30-minute session (often on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and around lunchtime), or prefer to stay longer for the whole hour-long sessions (often on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and in the evenings). You can check exact up-to-date timings here.
Caelo Yoga is located in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, and welcomes you into a room with warm and bright colours full of charm. This yoga studio pays special attention to meditation, as well as a range of other practices related to the ancestral knowledge of healing. You can choose between 30-minute classes (often on a Tuesday at 13:30pm) or one-hour classes (often on a Saturday at 14:30). If you’re more of a morning bird, then the 10am ‘Yin Yoga & Morning Meditation’ class on a Wednesday will be great, lasting one hour and 15 minutes. It’s the perfect place to escape the stress of the city and find meaningful harmony with your body under the guidance of a range of friendly, experienced teachers.
Women’s Fit, located in the 12th district, lets you brave an intense cardio training and muscle-building program in a relaxed atmosphere and with the encouragement of a coach, before settling down to some relaxing meditation. To really feel the benefit of the meditation classes, you could get your heartbeat racing in one of their Zumba classes, or take it slower in one of their stretching or yoga sessions, so that you’ll notice the difference once you’re sat in the calm. What’s great about this place is that it’s actually open every single day, unlike other venues that offer less regular classes, meaning you can work on both your physical and mental well-being whenever you so decide. Despite the abundance of workout machines, it’s actually a very relaxed place that wants people to have fun above all.
YUJ Yoga Studio is a truly unique gem on this list, the only yoga studio in Paris that offers daily one-hour ‘Yoga Flow’ lessons with lulling music in a heated 27-degree room. Specific to this venue is the meditation classes taking place almost in the dark in order to cultivate a feeling of detox, completely detaching you from the stresses of the outside. There’s nothing more relaxing than gazing at the constellation of fairy lights and candles in this haven of calm. The classes are popular with both men and women, from complete beginners right through to advanced practitioners.
Bar à Meditation offers one of the widest selections of meditation classes in Paris. In a space that spans across three floors, this ‘meditation bar’ invites you to reconnect with yourself in classes that range from the likes of ‘Fundamentals of mindfulness’ (available practically every weekday with a duration of 30 minutes); ‘Meditation on thoughts’ (often on Wednesdays at 1:15 pm lasting a total of 45 minutes); and ‘Breathing meditation’ (often on a Friday at 18:15 lasting 30 min). As well as the usual selection of classes that work on breathing techniques and mindfulness, this venue also offers meditation sessions with a focus on emotional well-being, including the ‘Meditation on emotions’ and ‘Meditation of benevolent love’ classes.
Centre Aquatique de Bois Colombes | Courtesy of ZippyPass
Centre Aquatique de Bois Colombes is a sports centre of about 2500 square miles offering sessions in Weight Training, Cardio training, and with the highlight being the 25-square-mile swimming pool. After going for a dip, you can either head to the spa to relax or you can sample one of their meditation classes. It’s located in the suburbs of Paris and so might not be as convenient to reach as other places on the list. However, it’s the only venue that offers swimming facilities as the prelude to a calming meditation class.
The best way to discover these classes is to buy the ZippyPass as it gives access to more than 200 studios and fitness clubs in Paris – an incredible selection. The website offers up-to-date timetables of classes, and given the lack of commitment, you can simply choose how often you want to make use of your great-value subscription.