Power Down

San Francisco is just as good at disconnecting as connecting, if you know where to go.

San Francisco may very well be one of the most connected cities nationwide. Yet, it is also one of the most Zen, with Buddhist centers, yoga workshops, and meditators teaching the ABCs of how to let go, be present, and relax.

Here are a few ways to be one with the city.

Find your flow, that blissful state where the passage of time is secondary. It generally happens when you are using your right brain. We recommend immersing yourself in hands-on art, like the graffiti class taught by 1AM.


No need to choose between yoga and a hike. The solution is hiking yoga! The 90-minute drop-in class launches from the Ferry Building on the weekends. You’ll get in a little cardio, stretching, and strengthening—all of which should help you refocus. Plus, it never hurts to do a warrior pose with the city in your viewfinder.


Hotel Vitale’s rooftop soaking tubs (a little lavender milk bath?) are relaxing, as are the communal Japanese-style baths at Kabuki Springs & Spa. At Float Matrix, reserve a pod or float tank. The saltwater makes you float without effort, and it’s in the dark.

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No matter how you try to unwind, if you keep a smartphone as companion, your efforts may be in vain. Leave it behind if you can—maybe even abandon it for 24 hours. Tiffany Shlain, a filmmaker in Oakland, observes a tech Shabbat, unplugging Friday night ‘til Saturday night. See her advice on how to get started. Challenge yourself for 24 hours during the National Day of Unplugging March 6-7. Or, get trained at device-free retreats like Camp Grounded, led by Levi Felix and Brooke Dean of Digital Detox.

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