photo by Cori Roberts

Om Em Gee

Written by Savanah Yaghsezian Category: Lifestyle Issue: January 2018
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Arcadia’s Current Meditation studio brings mindfulness to the masses.

Meditation isn’t just for yogis and Buddhist monks – it’s for everyone, from millennials to soccer moms to retirees. At least that’s the message Arcadia “meditation studio” Current Meditation is trying to spread through its group classes.

Meditation, at its most basic a practice of tranquil mindfulness, is something that can be done anytime, anywhere, so it may seem a bit silly to fork over $22 per class (or $89 a month for unlimited sessions) for an hour of learning how to be quiet. Instructor Hamid Jabbar believes there are more benefits to group meditation – and that calming busy minds is actually much more difficult than it sounds.

“Meditating on your own, you’re not around anyone who encourages you. You’re subject to your own devices,” Jabbar says. “[Meditating alone] is very challenging, even for an experienced meditator. It doesn’t work so well for most people.”

At Current Meditation, classes range from 25- to 45-minute sessions and participants can choose to lie on the floor or in a silky hammock. If you’re able to, using the hammocks will create a cocoon-like sensation that will help you relax. Just be wary of falling asleep during class, a common issue. Instructors recommend beginners keep their eyes open and focus on one thing in front of them.

Jabbar says the key to enjoying your first time in a meditation class is to go in with zero expectations. “Unfortunately there’s a lot of expectations of meditation, and meditation is really about surrendering your expectations,” he says.

Some basic things you can expect: a dark and quiet space, breathing exercises and
positive visualization. After class, if you succeeded in meditating, you might feel as if you emerged from a great nap, even though you didn’t get any actual sleep. In terms of what to wear, anything you’re comfortable in is acceptable, but the studio requires you to remove your shoes before entering the meditation room.

Jabbar instructs practitioners to leave stereotypes at the door as well.

“Meditation got a very nuanced tinge in the U.S. that it was associated with a religion or with the yoga world, that it wasn’t for everybody,” Jabbar says. “Meditation isn’t a religion, and it’s not exclusively for people who practice yoga; it’s for everybody. Religious or not religious, it doesn’t matter.”

Current Meditation
4325 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix