Warm, kind, and calming – Adreanna Limbach is the head meditation instructor at MNDFL studios in NYC, as well as a personal development coach. She recently led a guided meditation class at sundays studios, and we were fortunate enough to chat at length about using meditation as a tool for a happier, more fulfilling life. We could talk for hours to Adreanna! Catch up on what we spoke about below, and absorb some of her sparkling wisdom.
Tell us about yourself! Where do you come from, and how did you end up here, doing what you do?
I’m originally from Wisconsin, Midwestern raised. I went to the largest high school in the state, and there was a teacher there who was just a total weirdo and I knew I wanted to take a class with him. That class turned out to be a course on Eastern Philosophy. Back then meditation was such a weird, fringe thing. But I just absolutely fell in love with the whole view behind it. Then, I moved to New York when I was 20 and my meditation practice just completely fell off. I didn’t pick it back up again until I was 25.
What prompted you to start meditating again?
When I first moved here, I was doing a million different things: waiting tables, bartending, I went to Parsons for costume design. I just bounced around. Then I began experiencing what is now called the “quarter life crisis”. No idea what I wanted to do with my life, feeling like I should be farther along than I am, feeling like a total failure, essentially. My roommate at the time had been taking meditation classes and she said, you know, that meditation thing might be helpful right now. So I picked up my practice again – it gave me stability amongst so much uncertainty.
At what point did meditation become a profession for you?
That’s a really great question. You know, it was one of those really organic things. I certainly didn’t anticipate meditation becoming as widespread as it’s become. I did a year-long training in 2012 and then people started reaching out. People saying they’re super anxious, super stressed out, not sleeping well, having panic attacks. All things that I could relate to – having had like a total meltdown when I was 25. So, I just started showing up and sharing, and the invitations kept coming in.
You coach women in particular. What do you think are the main challenges facing women these days?
I find the main challenges that women bring to the table is that they’re generally experiencing a crisis of clarity, or a crisis of confidence – of self-worth and deservability. We swallow the water that we swim in, and by the time women in my coaching practice come to me, they’ve swallowed so much inherited narratives around what it means to be a woman. What our value and our worth is.
Do you have any advice for women trying to work their way through those issues?
I think that’s where meditation can be really helpful, because when we sit down and meditate, we’re giving ourselves the grace of our own attention. How am I feeling, what are some of these repetitive thoughts that I’m having? I think that there’s something that’s so beautiful about giving ourselves that type of attention and care.
Do you have other practices to help you feel balanced?
Yes. I do pilates and barre. I find that anytime I’m physically active, I’m very much so present in my body. I journal too, it helps me to notice what exists in my interior world. And as we’re talking about self care, I think that one of the primary foundational items of self care is just making friends with ourselves. We’re our own life partners. So, it’s a great time to start making friends.
Do you have any resources that you would recommend for people who are trying to get into meditation?
I’m the head teacher at MNDFL Meditation Centers, I love how accessible the studio is and how many different types of meditation are available there. It’s a great place to kind of taste-test what meditation is, and what works for us. Susan Piper, who is one of my absolute favorite teachers, has a number of different books out which are really helpful. And then of course my website! I have a ton of different resources on their medication, programs, readings, etc.
I saw a post on your Instagram feed saying “friends don’t let friends live on autopilot”. How do you combat living mindlessly like that, especially in a city like NYC?
I think there’s something really powerful about just taking a minute throughout the day, and truly feeling where we are. Soles of our feet against the floor, the weight of the body, temperature of the air on our skin. It sounds so simple, and it is! It’s exceedingly simple, but it’s not at all easy because there are a million reasons why we wouldn’t take 60-seconds to pay attention to ourselves.
One last question before we wrap up. What are you most hopeful for at the moment?
A really great question. Thank you. Something that makes me really hopeful is that the more divisive our society is feeling, the more that I think many of us are beginning to question how we want to participate in the world. We’re beginning to ask how we can take better care of ourselves and how we can take better care of each other. That makes me really hopeful right now.