A Colorado tech company is cashing in on the growing mindfulness movement by creating a new dating app targeting those interested in yoga, personal development and healthy living.
In her Denver yoga studio, Katy Paulson practices mindfulness every day.
"I really feel like I found my people, my community," said Paulson.
In her dating life, though, sites like Match.com or apps like Tinder didn't really... flow.
"I wanted to find someone that had my similar interests, and who was spiritual, and maybe does yoga and is fit and cares about what they eat and put into their body," said Paulson.
So, Paulson started searching a new site -- MeetMindful.com, which states "our community practices personal development, yoga & fitness, conscious diet, environmentalism, spirituality, service to others."
Amy Baglan, CEO and co-founder, said that MeetMindful fills a void in the dating market that she, herself, experienced.
"I had the same problem over and over. I keep hearing (it) from all of our customers, which is that dating was like finding a needle in a haystack and being surrounded by people you knew you didn’t want to talk to," said Baglan.
Turns out, she said, Zen dating is good business.
The tech startup just launched an updated app, was selected for the prestigious Techstars program and helped Baglan meet her boyfriend.
"We've been dating for seven months," said Baglan. "Whether it be like a Tantra workshop or going to energy healing practitioners, one of the coolest things about meeting Joe is he's open to all that stuff."
Baglan said she noticed the need when she had an event planning company called Yoga Dates and noticed people who didn't practice yoga showing up to meet like-minded people.
Shes said only about 15-20% of MeetMindful users practice yoga, and most are interested in personal development and growth work.
"What matters most is that somebody can respect why somebody does something and be open-minded to maybe learning a thing or two," she said.
Just like other dating apps, there are profile pictures and age filters, but unlike other apps, there are mantras and more women than men, which is fine with Pascal Wagner, an entrepreneur who just moved to Denver and wouldn't mind meeting someone mindful.
"What I find is interesting or different about MeetMindful is the emotional intelligence," said Wagner.
For Katy Paulson, scrolling through the app turns up some interesting matches.
"A driven, enlightened, grounded, poet," she reads one man's self-description.
She said MeetMindful led to a few fun dates.
"We went to a yoga studio and then went out to get tacos and tequila," she said with a smile. "That was fun."
MeetMindful is a national app, but Denver and Boulder are the company's largest markets.
"It makes so much sense," said Baglan. " The Colorado lifestyle is the epitome of what we’re going after."
Baglan said MeetMindful is hoping to create a million "conscious power couples" by 2020, with the goal of making the world a better place.
"Not only does it increase the happiness levels and satisfaction of their lives, but there is a ripple effect around the world in the lives of people they touch," said Baglan.