I’ve had a tough time starting a meditation practice, but as soon as UNPLUG MEDITATION opened, I became hooked! I was lucky enough to sit down with the owner, Suze Yalof Schwartz, and speak with her about the studio. Check out my FOCUS MAGAZINE interview below video interview: http://focusmag.us/video/suze-yalof-schwartz/
Suze Yalof Schwartz has taken the mystery, (and the mysticism), out of meditation. She believes that everyone needs a quiet space to unwind for a few minutes, before they rejoin their hectic schedules.
by Kaleigh Walker
You were referred to as “The Fairy Godmother of Makeovers” by the New York Times, and worked for some of the trendiest fashion magazines on newsstands today. How did you get from fashion to owning your own meditation studio? I was doing makeovers for Glamour for about 14 years and I loved my job. My husband wanted to move to California, so he dared me, and I said yes. I was going back and forth to New York doing fashion and I was stressed! My mother-in-law suggested that I meditate. I went to try to find a place to meditate and I could not find one that wasn’t a huge commitment, that fit my schedule, or that was “chic” in a way. So I thought “I need to do this! I need to build this!” I started taking all of these classes, and the more classes I took, the more I realized there was a real need for Unplug Meditation.
How did you come up with the aesthetic of Unplug? I started looking at pictures on Pinterest and through that, I really came up with a game plan and strategy. I went to IKEA and a lot of the stuff that you are seeing is from there. For instance, the front desk is actually a kitchen cabinet but we created the front panel to make it look more like a desk. I was also inspired by James Turrell, an artist who deals with light, so the room has a purple hue that automatically just makes you feel relaxed.
What is a typical class like? It’s always a different experience depending on which class type you take and that’s the beauty of meditation. I’m really fortunate that I have instructors that are holding the bar at a high level. But we’re not bringing Buddhists into the room, we’re not bringing Sanskrit into the room. We’re trying to make it accessible, relatable, and affordable for as many people as possible.
What is something you can share with those people that are skeptical about trying out meditation? Meditation has taught me how to press the pause button internally. A lot of people are living in the future and it stresses them out, or they are living in the past and they get a little bit depressed. But when you are in the present moment, you are in the zone. And getting in the zone is when you are at your best. The truth is, the present is all we have. So meditation has taught me to make the most of right now. And the more you meditate, the more you realize just how limitless you are.
You were so successful in your fashion career, but you didn’t have a lot of experience opening up your own business, right? I had zero experience opening up my own business, all I had was an idea. But someone said to me, the way to learn about business is to just learn as you go along. And opening up your own business is like going to business school and you will learn so much. The more I just went for it and did it, the more I realized it’s really not that hard.
What were some of the difficulties you faced when opening Unplug Meditation? When I filed my LLC, it was “Unplug Meditation,” but the company that filed it for me wrote “Unplug Mediation.” I waited six months to find out that I had to re-file the whole thing. So what I’ve learned, the hard way, is to pay attention to all of the details. Listen to your gut and take the time to stop and focus on what you are doing, because when you glaze over everything, a lot of mistakes can happen.
What are some inspirational words you would give someone who is interested in opening up their own business? Ask yourself, would you rather say “Oh well” or “What if?” Because for me “Oh well” is much better than “What if.” I’m living it, I’m breathing it, I’m doing it. I came up with an idea and I’m executing it. There will be zero regrets. The trick is to not be overwhelmed by everything you have to do, but to say to yourself “I get to do it.” Do not be afraid, put fear away and just go forward.
12401 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90025 T: (310) 826-8899 unplugmeditation.com
About the Author: Kaleigh Walker is a certified Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Nutrition Coach. She teaches regular yoga classes at Maha Yoga and Corepower Yoga and is available for private instruction.