Mainstream meditation: could it work for you?

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Edmonton gets its first mainstream meditation studio
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton now has its first mainstream meditation studio and some say the age-old techniques can help in today's economy. Su-Ling Goh explains – Nov 16, 2016

If there’s any question about whether meditation has gone mainstream, just Google it. From how-to videos to apps to corporate sessions (even Google employees get lessons), the ancient practice is undeniably trendy.

Now, following the success of similar businesses in New York and Los Angeles, Edmonton has its own mainstream meditation studio. Lifestyle Meditation offers individual or group classes in a non-denominational setting. And it’s all in the name of mental health.

“It’s a place to step out of the everyday,” co-founder John Trapp said. “Come have a break, some resiliency, a timeout, and then step back out into your normal life.”

John sold his successful construction business to open the studio with his wife, Mandy. The couple has been practising meditation for 14 years and has travelled the world to learn about it. When Mandy started teaching meditation, she says the demand was so high, she decided to train other teachers.

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Then came the need for a dedicated space for classes – away from technological distractions. Clients leave their devices at the door.

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“I had that stereotype in my head of … levitating and chanting,” client Nathan Isbister laughed.

After a rocky couple of years juggling five businesses, the entrepreneur needed to do something to deal with his daily anxiety.

“The busier I was, the more comfortable I was, on some level,” Isbister explained. “When things got quiet, I was uncomfortable with some of the emotions that I felt.”

Now he meditates every day and credits the practice with changing his life for the better.

“There’s a good deal of research proving the benefits of mindfulness meditation,” Dr. Mark Simmonds said .

The medical director of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Chronic Pain Clinic practises meditation himself and recommends it to patients.

Studies have shown meditating can produce changes in the brain which help with depression, sleep issues and even pain.

“(It works for) just reducing a lot of the stress and anxiety that goes with living with chronic pain and reducing some of the pain experience itself,” Simmonds said.

Mandy says anyone can meditate but quieting the mind takes practice.

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“The first thing that happens is you become aware of how many thoughts you really do have … which can feel a little bit overwhelming for people.”



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