I’ve never been one to find time for meditation. Many people have told me how crucial and life-altering it is, however I find it difficult to find free time in the day, and I’m not willing to wake up any earlier! Getting into a meditation studio would take off hours of my day, which would frankly just give me more anxiety. Unplug Meditation has found a solution for people like me, and I was fortunate to speak about it with owner, Suze Yalof Schwartz (who also hadn’t meditated until her mother-in-law told her she needed it!). Suze offers drop in classes and private sessions in her space, but even better, she offers a time-saving Meditation App where you can be guided into a meditation at any time, any day, with her expert coaches. I met with Camilla Sacre Dallerup for a mini session of crystal reading and aromatherapy. Her abbreviated 20 minute session helped alleviate my high anxiety with a full day of work shoots ahead of me, and was the perfect start to my day, leaving me with a clear, positive outlook. Camilla also gave me a few meditation tips and tricks to do with my children at home to keep them calm and ease tantrums. They worked!
How many years have you been in business in LA?
We have been in business in LA for 4 years, Our doors opened April 14, 2014.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I worked in fashion in NYC for decades (Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Glamour Magazine) and on one trip I felt so stressed and my mother in law told me to, close my eyes, slow down, deepen my breath and imagine myself in a place where I felt peaceful. In three minutes I completely shifted. I realized in that moment that stress is optional. When she suggested that I should learn to meditate, I researched and found that there was no place to quickly learn. I said to my husband, "I should quit my job and open up a meditation studio". He said, "You should learn how to meditate first before you do it." In 2012, I did a total emersion and fell in love with so many practices and teachers. In my prior life I specialized in makeovers (14 years on every tv show etc.) and I used that same eye to makeover the way that meditation was being presented, in order to inspire people to do it. I have seen meditation change so many lives and I love that I get to be part of making the world's greatest life hack accessible. I am on a mission to help people Unplug and feel good everyday.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
Unplug is the original and first meditation studio, and we have definitely inspired a lot of people to create similar concepts. It is so interesting to see how they tweek and change it to make it their own. But what makes us different is the feeling you get the second you step into the studio. There is nothing like it. Our studio feels like you are checking into heaven when you walk in, it smells good, it's spotless and everyone is happy and friendly - it is a blank canvas. The client is the art. The gift shop is highly curated but so are the classes and teachers. Our teachers are world renowned and we work with them to simplify the content so that every student walks out of our studio feeling amazing and much better than they did walking in. Plus, we have an incredible app so you can take our teachers anywhere in your pocket.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
There is no place like Unplug, Just walking through the door and handing the front desk your phone makes you feel good but it is the powerful experience that you have in the room and the easy and unintimidating approach that keeps people coming back.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
Meditation truly is one size fits all, and has a positive impact on everyone willing to commit to it. If you can breathe, you can meditate , it's not hard and we meet clients where they are and inspire them to fall in love with the practice that they make for themselves.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The people! I love the staff, the teachers and the clients. I feel so lucky to meet so many amazing people every day. It's the people person's dream!
What is your favorite secret LA spot?
The rooftop at Restoration Hardware on Melrose - it is a public space, stunning and you can sit there forever.
How do you benefit mamas?
Imagine being given the gift of calm. That ripple changes everyone in your home. I remember before I meditated I used to rush my kids and yell at them all the time to get them out the door for school. Now I breathe, remain calm and we have never been late. It changes everything. If you are a stressed out mommy this is the best thing you can do not just for yourself but for everyone around you.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
There are too many but my absolute favorite is from Emily who credits her baby to Unplug. Can you imagine? She was on her 4th IVF and her doctor said if you do not manage your stress you will not get pregnant and this was her last shot. So she took two weeks off of her job as a producer, and came to Unplug twice a day. It worked.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field.
Susan Kaiser Greenland: Founder of Inner Kids and Kid's Mindfulness teacher's teacher. David Elliot: Breathwork Teacher's teacher, Olivia Rosewood, meditation teacher to the stars and an incredible mom, writer and human being!
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
"Don't worry, you will learn as you go!" You can do anything just jump in.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Meditation first thing in the morning and setting intentions. Meditation makes time slow down. I love the Morning Intention meditation by Lauren Eckstrom on the Unplug Meditation App.