This Wellness Studio in Brooklyn is Leading the Way Men Are Healing Through Mindful Meditation
It goes without saying that many men, with over decades of casting out their own emotions, have been hurting without repair.
Culturally, there has always been a lack of urgency around the mental and emotional well-being of men in society as a whole. The men-don’t-cry, and if they do, they will rarely show it, culture led to a high wave of uncared for emotions that altered the way men address trauma or any form of unrest. The idea of being openly vulnerable and sharing their emotions is one that most men struggle with, so much that the mere idea of asking for help is seemingly far-fetched. Emotions are usually tucked away in the background of a man’s life. Unsurprisingly, men are systemically trained to believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. However, when a man taps into his emotions, it unravels a phenomenon that allows him to lead a better life — as a friend, husband, boyfriend, co-worker, person.
For HealHaus co-founder, Darian Hall, that breakthrough came in the form of a transitional breakup that empowered him to internalize a void in his life — his father.
At age 36, Darian decided he wanted to finally meet his father. It could have been the need to heal a wound that the fresh breakup opened, or a conscious desire to address a matter that, especially for men of color, has always been brushed under the rug. After doing his due diligence to piece the puzzle together, Darian turned to social media to openly share his unfiltered journey about meeting his father for the first time, which immediately sparked a ripple effect of men sharing their own stories and traumas with him. His vulnerability opened that safe space for his male friends to comfortably share their own battles, which quickly made Darian realize that mental health was well talked about, but unfortunately, was inaccessible to men. Then came HealHaus: a wellness studio that feels inviting and inclusive to everyone.
“Healhaus is essentially a wellness space, a community space, and a cafe all rolled into one. And it basically came out of this need of wanting to fill a void of what was missing — an inviting and accessible healing and wellness space that was inclusive to everyone. There were a lot of these spaces that were not representative of men, and they were very cookie-cutter in the way they were ran. When you first walk in, you’re introduced to the cafe and familiar music which sets the tone and feel rather inviting than being overwhelmed by a wellness and yoga space,” says Darian, while speaking to us inside of one of the private therapy room at HealHaus. The Clinton Hill, Brooklyn located wellness studio offers an expansive list of healing classes, private sessions, and workshops, including: an open dialogue on mental health, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and a variety of yoga and meditation practices.
“The vision was always some type of space that also incorporated therapy. At the time, I had never been to therapy before, I didn’t even really know what it was outside of what I saw on TV but, I knew I wanted to make therapy accessible, cool, and shift the idea of what therapy is. My business partner, Elisa Shankle, has been incorporating therapy, yoga, and meditation in her personal life to cope and heal after losing her younger brother. So we started this whole journey of understanding what the wellness world looks like. We started the conversation about the concept of HealHaus in October 2017, and within six months we were open.”
Vulnerability plays a strong role in getting men to feel comfortable, and open up about their stories and issues that are linked to trauma, so having a male presence like Darian’s , puts HealHaus at the forefront of representation for men in wellness. At a time where mental health is much talked about at large, men have been realizing that certain quick fixes haven’t been working to heal serious life traumas and generational curses. “What is happening right now is that men have been waiting for the opportunity and permission to be real about real issues and not pretend that everything is all good all the time. And to be able to talk to someone who looks like them, isn’t judging, and is able to relate. There is a moment going on right now. We recently hosted a men’s workshop on Superbowl Sunday, and we had about 18 men of all ages present whom were going around sharing their journey, opening up about things they would’ve otherwise felt too uncomfortable talking about, and that to me, was powerful. We are all breaking these fake facades, meditating, and allowing our voices to be heard. Everyone who walked out of that workshop said they have never experienced anything like it.”
Visit HealHaus: 1082 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY 11238