There’s no question that being able to travel the world freely, to your little hearts content is a gift. To wake up each morning and have 24 hours of new opportunities, any freakin’ where in the world you feel like, is pretty damn cool. It’s something that we’ve worked hard towards, and it’s something that we love. And though, whilst our agenda is free to write, full of new and exciting adventures – everyday, the truth is, that sometimes, the days are a little grey, life happens, and being far away from any familiar, is actually just tough.
Which brings me to this entry – a review. Because on those days or occasions, when there rides a heavy feeling that is constantly off balance, there are so many saving grace’s, ever so perfectly placed to bring us home. For me, Hoame (pronounced ‘home’); a dreamy mediation haven in Toronto’s inner west, was exactly the space that I needed.
I came across Hoame whilst researching free things to do in Toronto on World Stress Awareness Day earlier this week, – which, FYR is November 8. Then, because this place is clearly adept in maximising its marketing efforts with worldly events that scream ‘meditate’, Hoame was offering free entry to its variety of sessions throughout the entire day. And who doesn’t love free things? Seemingly Toronto does, as all the classes had filled by the time I arrived to the website mid-morning. Which is a good sign, – great things create demand. Therefore, prompting me to explore further options for the following day.
As you arrive to the Hoame website, a popup banner to encourage download of the app immediately fills the screen. Which was a little annoying at first (given my state of being), as I really just wanted to have a browse at that point, rather than commit to downloading yet another app that absorbs more space on my forever slowing down, out of date iPhone. Anyway, after getting past my intermittent whinge, I downloaded the app (which, actually took no time at all) and created my profile, inserted payment details, etc., and was well on my way to securing a session that would help me feel ‘me’ again.
On reviewing the captions that explain the focus for each class, I chose the half-hour ‘dark’ experience because it had me sold the moment it said ‘restore and relax’. As well, it was cheaper than the hour sessions (naturally) and sounded exciting and of better value with its inclusion of ‘special designed lighting themes’, ‘premium elixir shots’ (which I’ve later learned are a shot of green-like smoothie) and ‘oils and towels’.
So as I clicked through the prompts to arrive at the checkout, and expecting to pay $23 CAD, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a ‘first-timer’ 50% discount. Winning! Again, who doesn’t love free things – or almost free :). My mood had somewhat lifted.
On arriving to the studio for the session, the initial presentation and aura of Hoame was warm, calm and inviting. Floor to ceiling windows that gave view to the bustle of the outside were impressive, as were the muted colour palettes, fine furnishings, the wide open space with access to free-flowing water (still or sparkling), herbal tea and chakra lemonade (hmmm, I’m more a Schwepps kinda customer) beautiful sale items (comfy sweats, oils, etc.), sparkling bathrooms and the friendly lady at the front desk, who gave us a welcome tour of the space. Completely serene.
Firstly, not to discredit myself, though I’m no meditation expert by any means. This was my first paid mindfulness experience, and therefore, I do not have a benchmark for comparison. But the experience was effortless and gratifying; and I felt… dare I say it, at Hoame.
The dark room was a beautiful space – dark, as one would expect, with a twinkling star-like installation on the high ceiling. The room accommodates for around 20 participants, with each station consisting of 3 cushions/pillows and a thick, soft quality blanket. It was cozy. Patricia was our guide for the session and she was gentle and informative in explaining how the session would proceed, – her voice restful as she led us through. On end of the session, I particularly liked the way she closed with a soft ‘welcome Hoame’. Again, very clever on the marketing front.
On leaving the room (encouraged to do so in our own time), we were presented with the elixir shots and soothing warm towels. You couldn’t not feel ‘healthy’ and as though you were ‘doing good’ for your body on sipping the green concoction, which was surprisingly tasty if your tastebuds are so inclined to the flavours of ‘earthiness’. As well, having just spent the last thirty minutes doing non-other than concentrating on your breathing and pretending that you’re a tree. 🙂
To postpone our return to the iciness of the outside just that little bit more, (or take full advantage of the warmth and quiet of this beautiful space for better word), we spent some further moments in the common area, chilling in the gorgeous chairs that suspended from the ceiling. There was no rush to be elsewhere, and it was really just refreshing to be still.
And so, this year is committed to new learnings and experiences, of which challenges are sure to arise (and they do). To quote Paul Theroux, – ‘travel is only glamorous in retrospect’, which I completely agree with in part. But places like Hoame have our backs. They’re like a warm hug and a reminder to slow down; a home away from home. And if I weren’t fleeting Toronto for the next adventure, I would definitely revisit this beautiful centre, and highly recommend others to do the same. My first paid meditation experience – thank you Hoame; it most definitely will not be my last.
Please note, this is not a sponsored post. Just a beautiful space to ‘live life lighter’ that should be shared.
Web | https://hoame.ca
Address | 430 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON. M5V 1S7