Where to meditate in Toronto

Whether you’re looking to decompress, bring some more calm into your day or enhance your creative juices, meditation classes in a group sitting may offer the perfect recipe. From a mindfulness centre, a group meditation circle, hybrid classes to the traditional, these are some of the best spots in Toronto to go within.

The Centre for Mindfulness Studies

1
C2-180 Sudbury St, Toronto, ON M6J 0A8

While “mindfulness” may be the catchall phrase of the moment for everything that ails you, you may be surprised how focused you’ll feel after a guided mindfulness meditation group sitting. East meets west at this West Queen West space, and the sessions here are not only practical, but they’re also designed for beginners to learn the basic techniques of incorporating meditation into everyday life. Mindfulness-based therapy and professional development courses are also available.

889 Yoga

2
889 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2H2

889 is housed in an 1800s Victorian that’s been revamped into a modern, luxurious and spa-like yoga studio that provides the perfect backdrop to get tranquil and go within. Several drop-in group meditation circles are offered throughout the week and each one lasts an hour. Don’t fear, you won’t be seated in silence with a numb foot the whole time. The hour is broken into smaller and more manageable components (it even includes a tea break). The circle is suitable for all levels, welcoming everyone from those with no meditation experience to hardcore yogis with a regular seated practice.

Octopus Garden Yoga Center

3
967 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1A6

Embedded within the comprehensive schedule at this College and Dovercourt yoga studio are two weekly drop-in sitting meditation classes, held every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. The practice room is spacious, airy, full of natural light and at once cozy and intimate. Ready to add some more theory or take your seated practice even deeper? Check out a workshop or take your home practice up a notch with the 21-day Virtual Meditation 101 e-course.

Shambhalla Meditation

4
670 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1L2

Stepping into this Koreatown favourite, you’ll immediately feel as though you’re in a sacred space in Tibet or Southeast Asia. Drop in and try a group sitting if you’re looking for a more traditional approach to sitting or walking meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. Several drop-in group classes are offered throughout the week for all levels.

OM Toronto

5
200-55 Spring Garden Ave, Toronto, ON M2N 3G1

For the North York crowd, this meditation, yoga and workshop centre hosts a weekly drop-in group meditation on Monday nights at 7 pm. Suitable for both beginners and advanced students, the hour-long sitting is broken up into three sections: breath work, guided meditation and a silent meditation with music in the background. Tip: this is a great way to check out different meditation styles. Students who have questions or wish to learn more are invited to stay after class for a group discussion led by the instructor.

Union Yoga + Wellness

6
956 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1L6

If you’re looking to ease into a seated meditation practice or prefer meditating for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, a hybrid class may be your ticket. This Bloor West spot offers classes that combine the moving meditation of yoga postures with a guided and/or silent meditation. Try: yoga, Yin, or restorative classes fused with meditation. Classes are set against a background of rich wood floors, clean white walls and bright airy practice space, providing a soothing background for a slow moving asana practice combined with meditation.

Sivananda

7
77 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G4

Not for the faint of heart, weekday group meditation sittings (satsang) begin sharply at 6 am, Monday to Friday. If you’re not a morning person, two evening sittings are offered on Fridays and Sundays. The hour-long classes take place in a vibrant, colourful space and includes a 30-minute silent group meditation and 30 minutes of meditative chanting.

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