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Zen in the City: Places to meditate and relax in Toronto

Living the Toronto life can become quite hectic and stressful at times. With so many things on our to-do lists, it’s easy to forget to take a breath and do something nice for yourself every once in awhile, especially during the holiday season.

If you find you’re getting a little stressed out, or are simply looking for a new way to relax, try meditating! It soothes your mind, body and soul, and in Toronto there are tons of ways to find your Zen.

Visit St. James Cathedral

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The oldest cathedral in downtown Toronto is a great spot to quiet your mind and give meditation a try. The 200-year-old building provides a pleasing aesthetic both inside and out, and sends off vibrations of peace like no other. Open seven days a week, you can stop by and enjoy a little piece of Toronto history while calming the mind. Bonus: wandering into this cathedral might make you feel like Kevin McCallister this holiday season.

Walk the Labyrinth at High Park

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It is said both clarity and peace can be achieved if you walk a labyrinth. Considered as a walking meditation, this spiritual movement has been in use for over 400 years. The circles represent the natural cycles we go through each season and work as a great tool when we need more perspective on an issue. Check out the labyrinth at High Park and see where the path leads you.

True Peace Toronto

Based on the Zen Buddhist teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, True Peace Toronto offers meditation in a group setting. Learn about mindfulness and the power of being in the present moment, allowing you to cultivate a more joyful and relaxed state of mind. Get a taste of three different meditation styles in one class: silent, guided, and walking, plus a reading on Buddhist teachings. The group meets every Monday from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at UoT. Attendance is free and all are welcome.

Moksha Yoga Etobicoke

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Enjoy a full body sweat followed by a guided meditation into blissdom at Moksha Yoga Etobicoke. After a one-hour hot yoga session, students are led into a 15- minute meditation, making this a great introduction for anyone wanting to give this silent practice a try. Soak up all the goodness of hot yoga & meditation in one class. This is especially nice for your body during the cold winter days.
Tuesdays @ 7:45 p.m. & Thursdays at 10 a.m.

The House of Yoga

For a greener alternative check out The House of Yoga, where students enjoy the union of marijuana and yoga. Relax and get the ultimate benefits of the practice through a heightened experience as combining yoga with pot allows you to become more aware of how your body is functioning. It will be a moving meditation like no other, allowing you to escape the noise in your head and enjoy the present moment. Get rid of any bad vibes with the practice of yoga at this ganja-friendly studio.

Whether you want to give meditation a go at a Buddhist centre or a yoga studio, the good news is that it can be done anywhere! So visit one of the options above, head on down to the lakefront or create a Zen space at home and allow your soul to be cleansed. What a wonderful thing that sweet relief is so easy to attain!

Main image via Moksha Yoga Etobicoke / True Peace Toronto image via

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