FLAIR WOMAN: SUZE YALOF SCHWARTZ by Jennifer Alfano

These days, I often feel like I am the only person I know who doesn’t meditate. (Even my younger daughter belongs to a meditation club at school.) So I have been thinking about giving it a try; which is why I decided to profile Suze. I know Suze from way back when we were young assistants at Vogue. She then went on to work at ElleMarie Claire and Glamour and became a regular TV presence on all the morning shows with her Glamour makeovers. In 2014, she opened Unplug Mediation in LA. The idea behind her studio is that anyone and everyone can meditate and that meditating should be easily accessible (they now have online classes). Suze is not your quiet, zen type, she is full of energy and has a bright personality. I am sure her approachable demeanor is a key to her success.

Please introduce yourself and describe what you do: I am on a mission to make meditation easy to learn and accessible to everyone. And I am the manifestor and author of the soon to be best seller Unplug: A simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers.

Three words that describe your company: Inspirational, life changing, innovative.

Three words that describe you: Happy, enthusiastic, driven.

What made you go from media and magazines into meditation? Stress

What came easiest for you when you started Unplug? The easiest part was buying and editing merchandise for the boutique; my strategy is to buy everything that I want. Guess who the #1 customer is? Moi.

Hardest part of starting out that no one warned you about? Sales and spreadsheets, I am not interested in either.

One of your attributes that helps you succeed: I love what I do, and I am on a mission to share it. I created Unplug so that I could go myself (I am the one who needs it most). But my biggest skill that I carried over was that I had produced TV segments; I wanted the classes here to be similar in the way that within 5 minutes you would be able to practice and get it.

Role model: Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, founders of SoulCycle.

Best career advice you received: Learn as you go and don’t worry that you know nothing–you will.

Your advice to a new entrepreneur or someone starting out in your field: If you think it, you can make it happen! Trust your intuition.

What has been your biggest success? Finding amazing teachers and convincing them to work with me when this concept was unproven.

What has been your biggest dud? What did you learn from it? No sales strategy in the beginning–I am still working on that. It is my least favorite part.

What motivates you? The idea that everyone in the world can meditate.

How hard would you say you work? How do you keep focused? I wish I could say that I turn it off but I never do–I am always working except for when I am meditating. Meditation actually teaches me how to be present and when I am present I am focused.

When is it an advantage to be a woman in your business? When is it not? Being a woman means nothing–we are all souls with brains.

What’s next for Unplug? We just launched Unplug classes online and the book comes out in March.

What’s missing in your line of work or what is one thing you don’t like in your field that you would change? How would you fix it? That is a tough one. I am constantly changing everything to elevate. And I can’t think of anything I don’t like , weird but true.

What about the future most excites you? The idea that Unplug will go from 1 studio to 100.

Life goals: Be present 24/7.

Daily goals: Get organized.

Favorite inspirational read: Food and The City by Ina Yalof.

Favorite sites/people you follow: My favorite thing is to follow my teachers and staff on Instagram–they post the craziest things. Plus DayTripper 365Photos and Lulu Powers.

Daily rituals: Meditate every morning, give hugs to my three sons (even though two of them are over it), goof around with one of my teachers, drink coffee, regret that I drank coffee, Goop face oil, send 300 emails, pass out.

How do you unplug: I honestly go to the classes at Unplug. I can be in a room with 55 people and feel like I am alone–it is heaven!

Hidden talent/hobby: Waterskiing and taking courses on Udemy.com.

Do you collect anything?  Crystals. It’s a new obsession. I took a course and fell in love with the look, feel and power of them. My three favorites are pyrite for success, manifestation and financial abundance, amethyst to calm and rose quartz to amplify love.

Biggest splurge you don’t regret: My 15,000 Magnetic Book Wall that I had built for Unplug. It is so cool and looks like a piece of art.
Coffee/Tea: Coffee
Morning/Night: Morning
Truth/Dare: Dare
Heels/Flats: Heels
Pastel/Primary: Primary
Manet/Mondrian: Manet
Cats/Dogs: Dogs

For Suze’s Flair Five, click here.

Unplug Meditation 14 Day Challenge with Suze Yalof Schwartz

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Our mission is to get everyone meditating. For the next 14 days we are going to post 5 minute mini meditations from some of our favorite Unplug Teachers. Please feel free to share so that we can change the world one brteath at a time. Video 1 of 14 with Unplug Founder Suze Yalof Schwartz. Suze teaches at 9:30am every Thursday.

Face Your Fear and More Very Cool Things Happening At Unplug

Last Saturday, we did a Meet Your Future Self Meditation and it was so incredible. My future self, 67 year old Suze gave me the best advice and good news, Unplug is going global. I will be retired and still living in the same house with long curly white hair 20 years from now. 
Here are the top 8 coolest things happening at Unplug this week.

1. KTLA is coming to film on Friday for the 12:15pm Class - Steve Ross is going to teach his first day class. Since they will be filming the class it is free so please sign up HERE or just drop in. 

2. Unplug Kids, which is the greatest program ever, is starting this Sunday. It is such a gift when you see your child breathe when they feel stressed and calm themselves down. Thank you Laurie Cousins. We still have a few spots so if you want calm children sign up Click the green button on the home page for Unplug Kids. 

3. This Saturday at 9:30am Face Your Fear and Release It. Johnny blew us away last week and he is going to do it again! Sign up HERE

4. Wake up at 7am and squeeze one in. You asked for a 7am class and now we have it on Tuesdays and Thursdays am. Get up and get centered before you start your crazy day. 

5. Unplug Breath Work - Thursday at 7pm. This is very different for us. It is not classic meditation but more of an out of body experience to the Doobie Brothers and other cool music with Scott Schwenk. 

6. Stay tuned for Unplug TV. Starting with 4 short and great videos of Arianna Huffington. 

7. Guiness Book Of World Records. Our lovely Megan Monhann is with Deepak Chopra helping him break the world record for most meditators at a single time. That means that we will open our doors and have everyone come sit and get quiet at 9am free. We have a 9:30am with Natalie so you are welcome to stay for her class after. 

8. Last thing, our teachers are so wonderful and unique and we want you to try them all so we created a new package for a limited time only for
first timers called One Week Unlimited for $20 - Share it with a friend or two or 5. HERE

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Don't Forget To Breathe & Hope To See You Soon. 

Suze Yalof Schwartz
Founder of Unplug Meditation

Unplug In Giada Weekly

WELLNESS
Fashion guru Suze Yalof Schwartz strives to make over meditation at Unplug, her soon-to-launch recharging and refreshing haven.

The idea of practicing meditation might bring up images of barefoot monks cross-legged on hard, dusty floors accessing a level of nirvana we mere mortals will never achieve. But it doesn’t need to. Unplug, a groundbreaking studio launching in Los Angeles on April 15, makes meditation measured out for the rest of us. We caught up with founder Suze Yalof Schwartz to find out all about spreading the Om.

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Giada: You’ve been involved in the fashion media business for decades. How did this life and career change come about?

Suze Yalof Schwartz: I worked for 14 years as an editor at Glamour magazine and I loved it. But after my husband and I moved from New York City to Los Angeles to pursue his dream job I had a lot of time on my hands, which was amazing because I was able to reflect on everything I had been doing career-wise. I was flying back and forth to NYC and really wanted to learn to meditate. I couldn’t find a place that felt right. There were very expensive options and seminars that required four or more days in a row. I’m a mom of three, so I can’t give up that kind of time. So it was really an aha moment for me to create a drop-in, all-levels-welcome meditation studio for the client who is, well, me. That was it. One second I was a fashion editor, the next a spiritual entrepreneur.

GDL: It’s so inspirational to think about changing things up so passionately at any time.

SYS: At 47 I started over completely on a new path, and I know Unplug will evolve as I evolve. I see this as an unfolding story. I’m really at the beginning stages, and where I am starting out is not where I’ll end up. I accept that and feel good about it—so good that I’m not afraid. I’m too excited!

GDL: What’s been great advice you’ve received for that journey?

SYS: To not worry so much and to learn as I go! I’m aiming for amazing. The more people meditate the better the world will be; but the most important thing for me is that everyone, myself included, doesn’t expect perfection.

GDL: What’s really cool is how it works for average people with daily responsibilities. Unplug doesn’t require the commitment of months-long devotion at a crunchy ashram but seems to fit flexibly into busy schedules.

SYS: We will have guided meditation classes at $20 each in regular intervals throughout the day. It’s like SoulCycle for self-reflection. Every class is a half hour, but we build in an extra 15 minutes for clients to arrive and leave. There are five classes a day, Monday through Friday. And one of those will be a lunchtime quickie with 20 minutes guided meditation and a few minutes at the beginning and end built in. So during a busy workday it’s the perfect respite.

GDL: What about on the weekends?

SYS: We’ll have workshops developed with our teachers—meditation for the anxious traveler, breaking bad habits, and others.

GDL: What about private training for the most shy among us?

SYS: We’re planning for it! I’ve teamed up with Steve Ross from Maha Yoga in LA. I just love the way he talks and teaches. He’s an incredible person, an unbelievable guide. He’s setting up our teacher-training program and will help find ways to address private clients as we grow. I want to help connect him and all of our team members to the widest audience possible. They’re all smart and spiritual and I think a good mix. It’s not all about a certain woo-woo philosophy. Some are educated by way of Harvard or Oxford, some by journeys through India.

GDL: The check-in area of Unplug is also a store. What products are available?

SYS: We have the most divine handmade personalized mugs by Betsy Carter with engraved words like “gratitude,” “imagine,” and “manifest.” She also made super special meditation stones. We have a cool glass bottle curved perfectly to fit in your hand. I’m loving the bright and happy Motto journals with inspirations like “Take Epic Chances” and “Find Your Happy” on them. And, of course, there are books by all of our instructors.

Some of the items available in Unplug’s boutique.

GDL: In this issue I chatted with Hilaria Baldwin about kids and yoga practice. Do you have any plans to include younger clients?

SYS: Yes! I love the book The Mindful Child by Susan Kaiser Greenland and am working with leaders who teach meditation in schools. I’m hoping to have an after-school program and weekend workshops geared specifically to young people.

GDL: Popping into a Zen sanctuary seems so inviting, but what about days when even 45 minutes seems impossible. Do you have any (even quicker) tips for meditation on the run?

SYS: You absolutely do not have to come to a studio to meditate! There are some really worthwhile podcasts out there. I love Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Experience and the app Headspace. They and we hope to teach techniques that you can carry with you. The more you do it the more natural it is and the more you can access it anywhere.
I’d say the easiest and best quick tip is a breathing meditation—a simple focusing on our breath. When we do that we are brought to the present instantly. Anyone and everyone can do this. So if you find yourself freaking out at your kids or stressing out from work, don’t react. Instead, pause, breathe, focus on that breath, and then choose your reaction. That present calm is one of the many, many gifts of meditation. It doesn’t end all stress, but it will make you more aware and help you move forward.

GDL: And what can we do at home to carve out a mini Unplug for ourselves?

SYS: The basic elements are easy. First, you need to digitally detox: no phones, no computer, no TV. Be in a corner where you won’t feel the pull of stimulation. Have a comfortable place to sit. The bathtub is a great place to meditate! Tom Ford and Donna Karan have quiet time in the bathtub. They might not call it meditation, but it is.

Unplug
12401 Wilshire Boulevard, Studio 101
Los Angeles, CA 90025
unplugmeditation.com
facebook.com/unplugmeditation
@UnplugMeditati