A few years ago we asked Suze Yalof Schwartz to speak at one of our local events, to share the healing powers of meditation with our busy moms. It was a small gathering at Cardio Barre in Venice and we were all just wrapping up our workout. Suze arrived and with her arrived her warmth and laughter, her sense of self-awareness and her passion for looking within. Her own personal journey into meditation is what prompted her to launch Unplug Meditation. Its a gift that keeps on giving, for herself, her clients and now anyone who reads her new book.
1.Tell us a little about Unplug Meditation.
Unplug Meditation Studio is the world’s first drop in meditation studio. I am on a mission to teach everyone how easy it is to meditate and to turn them on to the incredible benefits that happen when you do it for 10 minutes a day. It was initially created to calm me down and now we have people coming to visit from all over the world and meditating with us via our new online classes.
2. What made you want to start this company?
Unplug Meditation came to me when I went on a google search for a place to learn how to meditate and realize that all of the options were either too long, too expensive and did not work with my schedule. I am a mother of 3 so I was looking for the “DryBar” experience – walk in feeling icky walk out feeling great in 30 minutes. I ended up designing the perfect experience for me and I am so lucky that so many other people have fallen in love with the studio. Reading the Yelp reviews makes me cry because I had no idea when I opened this that it would change so many lives. I am still a little in shock over how this happened and so grateful everyday to be a part of the movement to spread peace and calm globally.
3. What is it about LA that benefits your business or initiative most?
Definitely the talent. There are so many incredible teachers here and I am discovering them everyday!
Our studio is in LA, but I wanted to share our knowledge with everyone everywhere. The book helps me do that. Here’s the official description – “Whether you’re a Fortune 500 CEO or someone bogged down with a never-ending to-do list, the proven secret to being more effective and living a happier, healthier life is to hurry up and slow down, to unplug. Studies show that you can get more done – and do it better- by doing less, just by consciously unplugging for a few minutes each day and meditating. This revolutionary book by the founder and CEO of the groundbreaking LA-based studio Unplug Meditation brilliantly simplifies this powerful practice and shows the overwhelmed and overworked how easy it is to unplug in order to relieve stress, regain focus, and recharge.
This modernized approach to meditation will appeal to anyone, even if – especially if – you believe you have no time, you can’t sit still, or that “it’s just not you.” Schwartz debunks the common misperceptions about meditation, including the notion that you need to sit still for long periods of time, or that you need to “turn off your brain.” She also shares the life-changing benefits you will experience, the proven science of how meditation literally changes your brain, as well as easy techniques and tips to easily incorporate meditation into your daily life.”
5. Tell us a little about yourself. Are you an LA native? Where did you grow up? How did you end up in LA?
I came to LA for my husband’s job. I had been here a couple times but so did not have a clue how incredible it was. I do not take enough advantage of the beaches and the hikes but love knowing that they are there for me always. I was a fashion editor in NYC with my family and dream job at Glamour Magazine so leaving was really hard. BUT I am so thrilled I went for it because I found my soul in Los Angeles.
6. What your favorite local spot to meet up with friends? Would you consider it “Best of LA?
My favorite spot is the private room of Unplug Meditation and it already was Best of LA. My second to meet friends is Milo and Olive, I love the food, vibe and location! Yes to best of LA for Milo.
7. What’s you favorite local spot for a cup of coffee or a fresh juice or smoothie? Would you consider it “Best of LA?
Definitely Le Pain Quotidien on San Vicente. It is easy, they have wifi and I just love it there,
8. Where is your favorite SoCal weekend getaway and why?
Rancho Vallencia – they have the best meditation room ever and I love everything about that place.
About Unplug Meditation:
Unplug meditation, the world’s first drop-in, secular meditation studio, opened its doors in April of 2014. Our wide variety of simple and eclectic classes are led by the top experts and some of the best meditation teachers in the country. We edited the practice of meditation to make it interesting, inspirational and easy for everyone from busy skeptics to modern soul-seekers. Our mission is to make it effortless to learn, and to inspire you to pause,breathe and unplug daily. When you experience the powerful effects, including deleting stress, increasing productivity, finding your purpose in life and becoming calmer, healthier and happier you get hooked!
Our clients range from ages 6 to 96, from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to the everyday stressed-out. Our method works on anyone and everyone willing to commit. Scientific studies have shown that meditation can literally change your brain in eight weeks with consistent practice, though we have seen our clients’ lives change in as little as two weeks. Again and again we hear stories from clients whose blood pressure has dropped, chronic pain subsided, panic attacks vanished and happiness greatly amplified. And the benefits go on and on.
Unplug’s clean, modern design calms you the instant you walk through the door or log on to our website. Whether you choose to come to a class in person or online, our inspirational and highly trained teachers expertly guide you through the unplug experience.
LAURA NIX GERSON is the CEO of Nix|Gerson Media and the Founder of MomAngeles a site she launched because she was planning a lot of playdates and her friends kept asking her where to go and what to do. So it seemed easier just to put it all online in one place. In a past life Laura was a publicist, event marketer and web producer….oh wait, she still is. Laura has contributed to Modern Mom, CBS Local and Babble. Her greatest joy is story telling, sharing local finds and connecting people. Follow her @MomAngeles.