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Meet Suze Yalof Schwartz of Unplug Meditation in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suze Yalof Schwartz.

Suze Yalof, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was stressed out on a trip in NYC and my mother in law (who is a therapist) taught me a 3-minute breathing and visualization techniques that made me shift from stressed to calm. It was so simple and powerful and I wanted more! She suggested I learn how to meditate and it was Nov 2012. When I went on a google search for a place to learn I realize that there was no easy way. All of the options were either too long of a time commitment or too expensive or did not work with my schedule. I am a mother of 3, so I was looking a quick fix. Think the “DryBar” (a hair blow out bar) experience – Walk in feeling icky walk out feeling great in 30 minutes. It turned out that not only was there no place to easily learn to meditate in Los Angeles but there was not one drop in exclusive meditation studio in the world. I couldn’t believe it! I told my husband that I was going to quit my job as a fashion editor and open up a drop in meditation studio. He suggested that I learn to meditate first. That is honestly how it all began. The idea for Unplug came to me in a flash, the look, the concept and the mission was consuming. The more I read about the power of meditation the more I realized that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Not only did I want to bring it to everyone but I mostly wanted to make it easy for myself and study with the best teachers who keep it interesting. People thought that I was crazy and that no one would come but today Unplug Meditation gets over 5000 visits per month and we are blown away daily by effect it is having people, from cancer patients to their surgeons, Writers, Pro Athletes, CEO’s, stressed out lawyers and mothers and kids. I had no idea and the science is just catching up. People have traveled from all over the country and world to experience Unplug. Today we have a physical studio, a book coming out in March called Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers and an App with online videos that will shift you in 3 to 45 minutes.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has been an adventure and since I am the first one to open up a meditation studio there was no road map. I had to create one. I am learning so much every day and I learn as I go along. I have made a ton of mistakes but they have taught me so much and helped me refine my goals. The learning has actually been my favorite part. I jumped in feet first and had faith that I would learn and I did! I have a larger than life vision of where I think Unplug Meditation will go. I am an optimist and my dream/ mission is that meditation becomes as common as brushing your teeth. It is so amazing for everyone and there are no negative side effects. My biggest struggles are when I have to decide between quality and quantity. I will always choose quality so it slows down the speed of growth and that can be frustrating but it is also what makes Unplug special.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Unplug Meditation story. Tell us more about the business.
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.

What sets you apart from others?
What sets us apart is the quality of teachers. The clean design the friendly staff and the feeling that you get when you walk into the space. People have said that it feels like heaven and that was our intention. We specialize in making meditation easy and interesting to learn and modern and fun enough to want to practice every day! I am most proud that Unplug Meditation was the first and that our company has inspired so many people and companies to make meditation a priority. Sometimes I feel like I was the PR Director for meditation and got it into so many magazines that never wrote about it or cared before Unplug – I feel lucky that we changed the image of meditation in a way that makes even the busiest skeptics want to give it a try!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Meditation will be in every k-3rd grade program and the next generation will make unplugging a part of every day. It will also be available to every employee and used in the US Military.

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