Ellie Burrows, C.E.O.
10 East 8th Street, New York, NY 10003; ph. (212) 477-0487; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
We’ve been open for an exciting 11 months!
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I was struggling with my practice and I was finding it incredibly hard to meditate in my own home. The studio arose from a deep personal need. I wanted to meditate in a space that wasn’t religious and didn’t involve a weekend-long commitment, a space I could drop into with a community that was interested in exploring meditation in a contemporary context. I loved the feeling of group meditations and I personally liked the format of boutique fitness studios—reserving a spot online or dropping in and joining class.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
First, we’re the only studio of its kind in New York City. We brought the city’s best meditation teachers under one roof and we require all of the teachers who teach at the studio to be certified in a long-standing meditation tradition. And our community, of course, our youngest member is 9 and our oldest member is 91. The humans that fill our studio come in all colors, shapes and sizes. It’s a very vibrant place.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Meditation has been around for 5,000 years so I don’t think it’s going anywhere. But, if you’re asking specifically about MNDFL, ask me in ten years.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
MNDFL exists to enable humans to feel good. We do this by helping them, build and/or maintain a meditation practice. We create a warm, inviting and quiet space in which to practice traditional, time-tested techniques in an accessible manner. Half of our studio is community hang space so all of our community members can get to know one another and connect over their desire to explore meditation in a contemporary context.
What is your favorite part of your job?
That I get to open the doors to a business that helps humans become more familiar with who they are and relax.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
I love ABC Carpet and Home and Shuko.
How do you benefit mamas?
We have a teacher, Gala Narezo,that specializes in meditation for moms and children. More generally, we offer quiet all day long.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
“This has changed my life dramatically. Your space has made me a better husband, father, employer you name it. Really it’s truly incredible.”
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Lodro Rinzler, but I’m biased. In all seriousness, in meditation land we have very senior teachers like Sharon Salzberg or Thom Knoles who are just incredible teachers that we owe a great deal to when it comes to meditation in this country. And, they are both still teaching today. Then there are my contemporaries in NYC who are doing very inspiring things in the field: Sara Auster, Emily Fletcher, Jesse Israel, Kate Johnson, Hunter Cressman, Ethan Nichtern, Adreanna Limbach, Ally Bogard, Megan Mook to name a few.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
“True control comes from doing nothing.” I repeat this like a mantra when my emotions are heightened in my personal or professional life. From an evolutionary perspective, our body doesn’t know the difference between a bear that’s attacking us and an angry email from a boss or client. When our bodies fill with adrenaline, we want to act out in various ways by fighting or flying. We do whatever we can to try and get a handle on our emotions and gain control of the situation. But in states like that, we end up making decisions with a total lack of clarity. Sometimes if we just sit with ourselves in the discomfort and let it move through us instead of acting out or responding right away, we start to feel empowered instead of powerless.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
I’m not a mom, but for me it’s definitely meditation! It dramatically changed my relationship to time – I no longer feel like I’m racing against a clock and my relationship to it is much more pleasurable. It’s not this elusive thing that I don’t have enough of – it’s this valuable and finite resource that reminds me of the importance of staying present.