THE IN­SID­ERS NEW YORK UR­BAN ZEN

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - PHOEBE JOEL SOUND HEALER

EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Sur­pris­ingly, New York can be one of the most peace­ful and re­lax­ing cities in the world. In con­trast to its high-oc­tane rep­u­ta­tion, the Big Ap­ple of­fers a vast ar­ray of quiet, life-en­hanc­ing ex­pe­ri­ences if you know where to look. Here’s a one-day itin­er­ary to tap into an em­pire state of body, mind and soul.

LEARN TO DO NOTH­ING: Start your day at ISHTA Yoga, on East 11th Street, with a med­i­ta­tion class led by em­i­nent Yo­gi­raj Alan Fin­ger, who uses sim­ple tech­niques to quickly achieve a state of deep bliss. Af­ter­wards, main­tain your mood by pop­ping into the Ma­gen H Gallery next door and mar­vel at orig­i­nal mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture by the likes of Le Cor­bus­ier, Charlotte Per­riand and Jean Prouve; ish­tayoga.com; ma­genxxcen­tury.com.

UN­BOUND PO­TEN­TIAL: Book the same guru at ISHTA for a Dharma ses­sion. For me, it’s like be­ing with a psy­chi­a­trist who, in­stead of med­i­ca­tion, pre­scribes a per­son­alised mantra. Also try a Marma ses­sion, an an­cient In­dian prac­tice that ma­nip­u­lates the flow of energy to op­ti­mise health. If you can’t get to New York, Alan and his celebrity yoga teacher wife, Sarah, will be shar­ing their learn­ings on a first visit to Aus­tralian in Fe­bru­ary.

ALONE TIME: Spend a tran­quil af­ter­noon solo by jump­ing on a scenic train for a ride up the Hud­son River Val­ley from Grand Cen­tral Sta­tion. Stop at Cold Spring for a pic­turesque hike and visit Magazz­ino, a new art space, or travel a lit­tle fur­ther up to Bea­con and visit DIA Art Foun­da­tion, fol­lowed by a short cab ride to Ella Bella’s for the best gluten-free bread in the world. On your re­turn to Man­hat­tan, up your zinc in­take with a stop at Grand Cen­tral Oys­ter Bar for a de­lec­ta­ble as­sort­ment of mol­luscs; magazz­ino.art; di­aart.org; el­las­bel­las­bea­con.com; oys­ter­barny.com.

DINE: A de­light for all the senses, sam­ple kaiseki (a sea­sonal multi-course meal) in an el­e­gant tatami­lined room at EN Ja­panese Brasserie in the West Vil­lage. For tighter bud­gets, try Korean veg­e­tar­ian favourite Han­gawi on East 32nd Street. Then float through the evening over a cock­tail or two at the op­u­lent res­tau­rant, Le Coucou, on Lafayette Street in Lower Man­hat­tan; enjb.com; hangawirestau­rant.com; lecoucou.com.

Phoebe Joel is an ex­pert in Ti­betan Sound Heal­ing, a ther­apy that dates back to pre-Bud­dhist Ti­betan Bon times. She is also a yoga in­struc­tor and jew­ellery de­signer, and di­vides her time be­tween Sydney and New York. She will hold a one-day Ur­ban Re­treat at Yoga Vil­lage in Potts Point, Sydney, on Au­gust 20 fol­lowed by a res­i­dency with LUX Re­sorts in The Mal­dives and Mau­ri­tius. More: ti­betan­sound­heal­ing.com; phoe­be­joel.com; luxre­sorts.com.

In­sid­ers edi­tor:

Gra­ham Erbacher Gra­ham.Erbacher@news.com.au

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