Meditation, Matcha among top 15 Wellness Trends of 2016 August 13, 2016 11:43

If this weekend finds you heading to meditation class in your athleisure wear and perhaps ducking into a café for a matcha latte and a grain bowl afterward, you are ahead of the game for 2016.

Take a look at the 15 trends, and what their analysts on the panel had to add about them.

Eating out of a bowl— It turns out, bowls are not just for cereal anymore. We’re talking about health-infused breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings served in a single vessel, such as grain bowls, smoothie bowls, poke (sushi-style) bowls and more. Among the companies offering bowls is Washington, D.C.-based salad chain Sweetgreen, whose investors include New York chef-restaurateurs Danny Meyes and Daniel Boulud. Serving salads and grain bowls the company has expanded from D.C., where it has 11 locations, to seven locations in New York City, its second biggest market so far. There are also restaurants in California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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Meditation as a social event — Meditation can be and often is a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Its move from fringe to mainstream has already led to the launch of new businesses such as the meditation studio MNDFL, which opened in November in Greenwich Village. One advocate of meditation is broadcast journalist Dan Harris, now the anchor of ABC News’ Nightline, who found his way into meditation after he had a panic attack on-air while filling in as a news reader on Good Morning America 11 years ago. Initially a big skeptic of the “ooey-gooey” associations of meditation, Harris said that he learned that the science behind it was solid and that meditation had the ability to do things like lower your blood pressure and even rewire good parts of your brain. Ultimately, he wrote a bestselling book, "10% Happier," about the transformation he went through thanks to the practice. “It is at its core, an exercise for your brain,” Harris said.

Exercise for fitness, not skinniness— Spurred by "Girls" producer and actress Lena Dunham’s Instagram quote, “it’s about the brain, not the a$$,” the fitness focus has been redirected from staring at a number on the scale in alarm towards getting healthy, feeling strong, and easing anxiety.

Uber-ized beauty and spa services— Getting your hair done or snagging a massage on demand, a la Uber, is now possible via apps. Among the on-demand beauty services apps out there is GlamSquad, which was cofounded by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, who also cofounded Gilt Groupe. It just landed $15 million in funding. Busy women are using them twice a week to get $50 blow outs in the convenience of their own homes (manicures and pedicures are $75). “We’re creating a habit changing routine for a lot of women,” she said. They’re in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, and Washington, D.C. is the next market.

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