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'The market is up' is a good mantra

October 3, 2008 |  2:48 pm

Feeling a little anxious about the economic crisis? Hyperventilating as you watch your stock portfolio climb and plummet like the Viper ride at Magic Mountain?

For members of Equinox gyms, some help may be at hand.

MeditationThe high-end national gym chain is rolling out extra meditation classes and sessions in response to the high anxiety levels that some may be experiencing. It is, the company hopes, a healthier alternative to downing a quart or two of Haagen-Dazs Fleur de Sel Caramel Reserve ice cream or burying oneself under massive amounts of blankets.

As the corporate news release says, "Studies have shown that along with a daily exercise routine, adding meditation almost always leads to positive changes in our lives. Practicing meditation leaves you more relaxed and ‘in tune’ throughout the day, and in a better position to handle stress and adversity."

Stress? Check. Adversity? Check.

Scott Rosen, Equinox’s New York-based chief operating officer, says the company added the classes in response to recent events, and began them in New York, home to many financial industry workers.

"Our members look to us as the authority on life maximization," he says (we’re totally going to start using that "life maximization" line). "It seemed a natural, given the anxiety of the past several weeks, to offer this service."

In addition to adding specific meditation classes — just rolled out to all clubs nationwide — 15-minute guided meditation sessions are also being tacked onto the end of yoga classes. Rosen says that the classes don’t specifically mention current events (that might be counterproductive to trying to relax), but do focus on meditation exercises. They’ll continue "as long as our members are responding," he adds.

Given the current state of the world, that could be a while.

-Jeannine Stein

Photo credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times