Relax, Man: How to (Really) Chill Out in Montreal

City living can tend to lend itself more to migraines and meltdowns than inner peace. Switch off your cell and retreat to one of these local sanctuaries.

Master Zen
ADD begone! Learn to focus, channel your creativity and improve your coordination, at the Montreal Zen Centre’s half-day introductory Zen workshop ($50). The peaceful gardens’ leafy trees combine with the sounds of the Back River streaming by the centre to erase urban anxieties. Sitting and walking meditations are on the agenda, as are talks on Zen practises and a nice cuppa tea. The Montreal Zen Centre, 824 Stanley Park, Montreal, 514-388-4518.

Float Away
The Revelation ($130) is the ultimate mellow-out experience. It all begins with a Pulsar session, in which light-beam emitting glasses will make you feel like a space-age villain; the specs calm your brainwaves, priming you for a soothing massage. Finally, float your way to nirvana in an egg-shaped floatation tank filled with warm, salt-saturated water – kinda like having the Dead Sea all to yourself. The Ovarium, 400 Beaubien East, Montreal, 1-877-FLOTTER (356-8837).

The Un-Party
What do you mean you don’t want to get up at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday? Two days of sun salutations, silent meditation and “selfless service” at the Ashram Yoga Camp in the Laurentians (an hour away) is the yin to your hard-boozing yang. Bonus: Strictly veggie meals will cleanse you of accumulated urban toxins. Prices vary. Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, 673 8th Avenue, Val Morin, 800-263-9642.

Image courtesy of lint machine on Flickr.

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