One of the few bright spots of life in lockdown was having no choice but to do nothing – without that voice in your head asking why you weren’t being more productive. But now that many of us have returned to the workplace, finding time after a long week to practise meditation and mindfulness feels more like a luxury than a necessity.
Linda Belli believes it should be both.
She’s the founder of The Cocoon Room, a new “day spa for the mind” in the CBD. From the outside, it looks like yet another Collins Street office building. Inside, though, is a gorgeous, plush space that’s a cross between day spa and luxury hotel lobby.
“We’ve given the ancient practice of meditation a little makeover to incorporate luxury and privacy, ensuring the experience is more chill than chore,” Belli says. “I wanted to create a space where you’re forced to relax, where there’s nothing else you can do.”
First thing’s first, all devices must be left in a locker. Then you’ll be led into the Mindfulness Lounge, where you’ll spend the first part of your session unwinding. You’re free to do whatever you like: pick up a book or magazine, work on a crossword, chat with a mate, do some journalling or even grab some markers and go to town on a colouring book.
After a while your host will come and collect you, directing you to the namesake Cocoon Room. This is a darker, quieter space filled with individual pods that each have a velour chaise lounge, lumbar pillow and semi-sheer curtains that you can draw closed to make yourself feel as though you’re in a cocoon. You’ll be offered a weighted blanket and a headset with three audio choices: a guided meditation, a nature soundscape and another one perfect for experienced meditators (or power snoozers). This is your time to lay back, get comfy and zone out, nap, meditate or escape – it’s completely up to you.
There are two public sessions each Saturday: A Lazy Morning Tea, which includes endless pots of tea and sparkling water alongside treats from Brunetti; and Bliss & Bubbles, with the addition of two glasses of prosecco. Weekdays are reserved for private groups.
“Some people really embrace the sense of community that comes with sitting cross-legged in a circle together in a traditional meditation setting, while others couldn’t think of anything more awkward,” says Belli. “The design of the individual cocoons was paramount, and one of our clients described the meditation experience like floating in the night sky.”