Taking a cue from food trucks and propelled by the stress he was feeling from a day job in the construction sector that was filled with deadlines, Jake Leider launched Meditation Works in Royal Oak last year — think of it as a meditation room on wheels that visits area workplaces once or twice a week.
Leider and seven employees travel to dozens of office buildings and other work locations each month with two, 20-foot-long trailers outfitted with cushioned seats, incense, soothing music, and the soft voice of Justin Barnes, a yoga and mindfulness teacher with Blue Yoga in Birmingham. Leider says a third trailer will be added soon.
“There are some days we circle downtown Detroit and visit offices all day long, but overall we service a 30-mile radius from downtown Royal Oak, “says Leider, founder and CEO of Meditation Works. “We looked at setting up meditation rooms at office buildings, but the clients would need to set aside a dedicated room and we would need to make sure that each employee who wanted a meditation session wouldn’t be interrupted midstream.
“Consistency is key to the sessions, and you need to do it twice a week, every week, to see the results. Our trailers are the best solution.”
The company has some 300 clients. Once a schedule is set, clients enter one of the trailers for a 15-minute meditation session twice a week (15 person maximum).
To get started, the lights dim and Barnes’ soft voice fills the space. “There’s no guessing whether you’re doing the meditation session correctly, because Justin guides you through a professional meditation experience,” Leider says. “After one session, you feel refreshed, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, your overall stress level and anxiety dissipates, and over time you’re much more focused.”
Leider hired his mother, Joanne Leider, a registered nurse, as medical director and educational program director. “One of the things I do is produce small cards that we hand out that provide tips to reduce stress throughout the week,” Joanne says. “We also have an app that helps clients schedule their meditation sessions.”
Price packages are offered based on a client’s size, location, and needs. “For the employer, workers are more focused and productive when they meditate consistently,” Jake says. “For the employee, their work life and family life are more enriching because they’re better able to manage the stress in their lives.”