“I was so busy building a business, when the most important thing really is your family and your relationships — so being able to really focus on “family,” and slow down has been eye-opening.”
Suze Yalof Schwartz is the CEO and founder of Unplug Meditation. She left the world of NYC high-fashion two decades ago to create the world’s first “drop-in” meditation studio — as well as the Unplug app, which is now easily accessible to anyone across the globe. Unplug Meditation is designed for busy people who are looking for inspiration, calm, inner peace, self discovery — “sprinkled with or surprise and delight.”
Suze created Unplug because she was personally looking for an easy, modern way to meditate with inspirational world renowned experts that she knew she could trust (at a clean studio that felt and smelt like a 5 star Spa…).
Unplug was forced to close its doors for in-person meditation experiences in the midst of the pandemic, but has continued to serve happiness via Zoom and the Unplug App. Suze and her team worked hard to quickly pivot their class experience — essentially overnight — to offer virtual these class sessions. This has expanded the reach of their studio clientele globally since there’s no longer a studio capacity limit. Virtual classes also removed the time constraints for people who previously had to schedule a class beforehand — only to fight through LA traffic and try to reach the studio, find parking, and settle in before their class began.
Read more about Suze and Unplug Meditation’s COVID Chronicle, below:
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during quarantine/the COVID crisis?
“My biggest challenge was to go from a studio-based business to an online business overnight. We literally took our teachers and media trained them so that they could share their message live from peoples living rooms, when people need them the most.
Our clients and our staff are and were experiencing high levels of stress and we wanted to be able to continue to help them keep calm in the chaos anytime anywhere. We also wanted to keep all of our staff employed, and keep all of our members happy!”
Is there anything you feel that this experience has taught you that you’d like to share as inspiration?
“I’m very aware that my ripple has a big impact on everyone I come in contact with — so because of it, I prioritize meditation first thing in the morning and I don’t look at the news. I believe that what we believe can be our reality.”
Has this experience in any way changed the way that you order your priorities in life?
“There’s no question that my priorities were a little bit out of whack… I was so busy building a business, when the most important thing really is your family and your relationships — so being able to really focus on “family,” and slow down has been eye-opening.”
Where are you living right now and who have you been quarantining with?
“I live in Los Angeles with my three kids and my husband and that is who I’ve been quarantining with and honestly I cannot ask for a better group. It’s been hard probably must for my teenagers because this is supposedly “the time of their life” when they are growing and exploring — and now, they’re stuck with her parents — which is really hard, so I feel for them.
But at the same time they really have learned about being patient, and being able to place their awareness on what they do have — as opposed to what they “don’t” have — and for that, I’m truly grateful.”
What has been your general daily routine so far during the pandemic?
“At 5a.m. I rise, and click “meditate.” I usually press the “unplug meditation of the day” on the Unplug app, and then I get out of my bed. I make a cappuccino and a check emails by the time that it’s 7 o’clock, I’m ready to squeeze in some creativity — so I’ll check Instagram and all of our social media channels and see what’s happening.
At 8 o’clock I wake my kids get them ready for school even though it’s online right now — and then by 8:30 I come up to my office — which which is also my bedroom — and and do a corporate zoom class. We usually book our corporate meditation classes in the morning, and we’ve been doing them for large groups of anywhere from 100 – 800 people, which is pretty amazing.
Then, I’ll check on the “Unplug live,” because we’re live streaming now, and make sure that everyone who’s working with me is keeping everything on track. By 12 p.m., I will go and sit with my family and have lunch, and then I’m back at my desk by 1 p.m. working on the Unplug app and Unplug digital strategy.
By 6 o’clock I take a family walk, and then I make dinner which we usually eat by 7:30 and then I’ll hang out and FaceTime with my husband. Sometimes will squeeze put some wine in there 😉 And then, we may play a board game. We love backgammon, paddle tennis and ping pong — and then it’s off to bed!”
What have you been doing to keep your spirits up on a day-to-day basis?
“Honestly I don’t think I would be able to be so positive without meditation, so every morning I wake up and I do a meditations, set intentions, focus on gratitude and think about things that I can do that spark joy.
It’s a hard time financially emotionally for so many people — and to be able to hold space for them — you really need to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. That’s something that is essential in my life.”
Has this travel ban/quarantine situation impacted any important plans you had laid out for the near future?
“Yes, it has seriously impacted a major plan, in which was I was supposed to be in my dream vacation of all time for my 20th wedding anniversary in Santorini Greece — and sadly, we had to cancel. I’ve been dreaming of Santorini for a very long time, and we actually tried to go for our 10 year anniversary, but had to cancel that as well — so hopefully will make it there for the 25th…”
Anything else at all, you’d like to share?
“Yes! I would love to inspire people to try our live classes. It used to be that you’d have to be in Los Angeles to experience these incredible teachers, but now you can actually connect with them from anywhere in the world.
We are also doing a special challenge called the RCM challenge, which is a seven day meditation challenge that’s very easy and designed to help you start the day with a positive mindset.”
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