To the uninitiated the notion of meditation may seem; well – a little simple. But dig deeper and you will discover that meditation has evolved from a deep inter-cultural history that spans the ages.
While the exact origins are difficult to pinpoint, some believe that evidence of meditation can be found as far back as 5,000 BCE. Indeed, the practice of meditation has numerous religious ties spanning ancient Egypt and China, all the way through to Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
It wasn’t until the 20th century however, that the practice of meditation traversed from a religious notion to something more mainstream. Today, meditation is not only seen as something that is spiritual; it is also society’s go-to antidote to stress.
With everyone from politicians to pre-schoolers dabbling in meditation it is only natural to feel curious. And, with its long list of benefits it is no wonder that many of us are looking for ways to integrate meditation into everyday life.
When it comes to meditation classes, Canberrans are spoiled for choice. With something to suit all styles and levels there are studios and classes across the region to explore. If you’re ready to learn or enhance your practice, read on below for the best meditation classes in the region.
What makes a great meditation class?
A great meditation class calms the mind whilst nourishing the soul. To kick start your meditation journey – and stay motivated – keep an eye out for the following:
- Experienced leaders. The best meditation studios operate classes run by seasoned leaders. These leaders are not only experts at meditation and mindfulness; they are also wonderful instructors. The best come equipped with a qualification in Guiding and Teaching Meditation and practical experience a plenty. Additionally, seek out those who are of the Meditation Association of Australia, for assurance of quality and the highest teaching standards.
- Reflects your style. Much like fitness classes, meditation classes are vast and varied. If you are new to meditation, it might be worth trialling a few classes to see which style best suits you. For those who know exactly what they are after, seek out studios which reflect your meditation style and match accordingly.
- Convenience. To make life easier and give you a better chance of sticking with your goals consider those classes which are most convenient for you. Location is important, be it close to home or work, along with accessibility for parking or transport. Perhaps equally as important is the class timetable, where time of day and frequency comes into play. So, consider your preferences and seek a studio which caters to these easily.
- Sense of community. One of the greatest benefits of regular participation in class-based meditation is the sense of community that it provides. Sharing each meditation with a group of like-minded enthusiasts is a great way to enhance what you get from each session. This is particularly helpful for those who are starting on their meditation journey, along with those who are more likely to keep a class commitment.
- Serene surrounds. Meditation is all about clearing the mind, and when it comes to selecting the right studio serene surrounds are so important. What you want is peace, quiet, and a generally calm ambiance, away from the noise of life. Moreover, consider your connection with the instructors. They shouldn’t be rushed or distracted and should make you feel at ease.
The best meditation classes in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Simply Mindful specialises in the integration of the ancient skills of mindfulness with contemporary Western medical knowledge to produce innovative programs for living well.
The foundational course Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR), an eight-week evidence-based plan for building resilience, health, and overall wellbeing. Simply Mindful offers tailored plans for individuals and groups including organisations, workplaces, and schools.
The team at Simply Mindful are led by Director Megan Layton, who boasts extensive experience in MBSR, yoga, and meditation.
John Wurcker shared his experience on Google, “I did my first mindfulness program (MBSR) with Simply Mindful back in 2009 with the objective of bringing more peace and calm into my stressed-out busy life. As it turned out, the program transformed my life - with the benefit of calmer, more focused and clearer mind….”
InSync Body, Mind, Life was founded in 2001 and has been providing support to a diverse range of individuals and organisations ever since. Whether you are just interested in yoga on the mat or you want to expand your knowledge and learn how to apply yoga and meditation to your daily life, InSync is here to guide you on your journey.
Along with in-person yoga classes and online courses, InSync also offers guided meditation courses to help you relax and reconnect with your mind and body. All courses have been carefully designed to teach the most practical and effective techniques to experience immediate benefits. With a course for beginners and those wishing to enhance their practice InSync makes for an excellent choice.
As Facebook user Skye Shannon writes in this review, “A wonderfully peaceful and welcoming environment - perfect for nurturing and sharing the experience of wellness!”
The Sakya Temple is a haven of peace, meditation and spirituality, and is a fantastic way to learn more about Buddhism. The Tibetan Buddhist Society offers a variety of meditation classes here, from 8-week courses to residential retreats and casual group classes.
Offering in person and online classes, they are suited to everyone from beginners to those who would like to deepen their practice. For those wishing to trial meditation, they also offer a free guided meditation weekly meditation session.
Facebook user Michelle Sandison says, “Had a wonderful time at the recent Calm Abiding Meditation retreat at SIBA. Thoroughly recommend it. Thanks to all who facilitated and participated.”
With over a decade in business, Yoga Pathways have built an enviable reputation for their yoga and meditative services. Principal Lou Nulley is a qualified yoga instructor, meditation teacher, and facilitator of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR).
Yoga Pathways offers separate courses on mindfulness and meditation providing participants with the tools and techniques needed to adopt and practice the discipline. These courses typically run over four weeks in a workshop format.
Meg Wallace shared this great review on Google, “I really enjoy Lou's yoga classes, his instructions are easy to follow, and his meditation leaves you more relaxed than when you entered the class. I highly recommend yoga pathways.”
Run by founder and Principal Practitioner David Heap, Calm Being offers a unique program of mindfulness stretching, which combines relaxation and sensational stretching with guided breathing and meditation.
For many years David has assisted thousands of Canberrans to care for both body and mind, and these classes are a wonderful antidote to tension, stress, and anxiety.
With two convenient locations in Canberra City and Belconnen, Calm Being offers a combination of mid-day and afternoon classes, virtually or in person.
As Nodi K shared on Google, “Great mindfulness stretching and meditation classes in Canberra. Highly recommended.”
For other ways to enhance your state of mind check out our articles on the best counselling services, the best psychologists, and the best doctors in Canberra. To link your state of mind with some physical activity you might also like our articles on the best yoga studios, the best Pilates studios, and the best gyms in Canberra.
Your experience with meditation classes in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the meditation classes or studios listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does meditation offer any benefits?
Advocates believe that both psychological and neurological benefits can be gained from practicing meditation. These include reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, greater self-acceptance, improved feelings of joy and freedom, as well as increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
Are they different types of mediation?
Yes, there are many techniques used in meditation, each evolving from different approaches to life, religions, and philosophies. These techniques can include a focus on breathing, movement, emptying the mind, mindfulness, use of a mantra, or looking at an object.
What is guided meditation?
Guided meditation is a type of meditation invoked and led by another party, in person or via audio or video. In a guided mediation a narrator or teacher typically takes participants on a journey, covering the minds response during meditation, the techniques themselves, and their application in everyday life.
Is guided meditation best for me?
Guided meditation can be a great option for those who are first learning to meditate, those who are particularly anxious or stressed, or those wishing to learn a new meditation technique. Guided meditation sessions can also help retain the practise through scheduled commitments, whilst alleviating the pressure that comes with creating a self-guided session.
How often should I meditate?
Meditation is a very personal practice, so it really comes down to what you need and are comfortable with. If you feel like you need to escape the day and give yourself time to breathe daily, then you should do it daily. If you can get by with just once a week, then that's fine too!