Austin’s first mobile meditation center opens

Peace Box located at 1107 S. 8th St. in Austin (KXAN Photo/Alicia Inns)
Peace Box located at 1107 S. 8th St. in Austin (KXAN Photo/Alicia Inns)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — We all know how much Austinites love their food trucks. But how about a food truck for the brain? Enter Peace Box.

The shipping container turned meditation studio just south of downtown Austin hosted its grand opening Saturday. The pop-up mobile center was born from an idea and a bit of intention from Stacy Thrash.

“I was 30 years working in the corporate world as a sales manager for a major publishing company. My company had a downsizing in June of last year and it was a great opportunity because I had planted the seed of doing something else in my career.” Thrash said.

Thrash got certified to teach meditation in 2014 and decided this year, she wanted to not only practice meditation but teach it to fellow Austinites.

“I have a friend who builds these boxes for a living, making food trucks and various things for vendors, and I thought what a great way to offer meditation, not only for people in the community but also bring it to the work place,” Thrash said.

The center seats eight people and is designed to guide meditation practices though classes and workshops.

For eager participants, the space is perfect for a lunch break relaxation session.

People meditating at the Peace Box on S. 8th Street in Austin. (KXAN Photo/Alicia Inns)
People meditating at the Peace Box on S. 8th Street in Austin. (KXAN Photo/Alicia Inns)

“This place makes me smile. It’s incredible,” said Daniel Potter. “You can be at work and come over here and clear your mind, clear your thoughts, get your head on right.”

Meditation has been around for thousands of years and is defined as engaging in thought or contemplation; reflect. Some have criticized the practice, calling it hoaky, false and magical. But there’s science behind it.

Studies show that by simply focusing on your breathing and meditating for 30 minutes over an 8-week period, you can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, even improve your sleep and memory.

“I had trouble sleeping and when I started meditating, over time, I can now my head hits the pillow and I’m asleep in less than 10 minutes,” Thrash said.

Potter says he likes the idea of the box because practicing at home can sometimes come with unwanted distractions. “There’s still your cellphone and your tablet and dogs and people and everything. You come here and this is it,” he said.

“Until you start seeing the benefits, you don’t really prioritize it as a practice,” said Thrash. “So my hope is people will come here and learn how to meditate, get into a practice that’s a routine and then we can give them tools to take home with them.”

Classes at Peace Box usually run 30-45 minutes with an indoor/outdoor mix. The price for one guided meditation is $15, five-packs are $60, and 10-packs will cost $100.

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