Life can be overwhelming. Sometimes, you just need to slow down. Easier said that done, though, right?
That’s where Unplug Meditation comes in.
Unplug, located on the eastern edge of Santa Monica in West Los Angeles, is a studio dedicated to the art of meditation with 30- and 45-minute drop-in classes that focus on everything from simple mindfulness to stress reduction while driving in traffic. Many of the studio’s guides have advanced degrees and are trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques. Unplug Meditation’s founder, Suze Yalof Schwartz, is a former fashion editor who opened the studio as part of her own spiritual journey.
I recently took one of these classes. I was curious to see how the guiding process would go, considering my idea of stress reduction has been yelling, “Serenity, now!” Rest assured, there is no yelling at Unplug Meditation. My guide was Natalie Bell, who calmly and gently guided my small group to be present in the moment. She didn’t tell us that we had to put all thoughts out of our minds, but that we should allow our thoughts to come and go as they please. We sat on the floor on comfy pads that could be flattened or folded up like chairs in a darkened room with soft, soothing music. Interestingly, my classes consisted of three men and me. For whatever reason, I thought there would be more women, but maybe it was just my particular class that day.
I left Unplug Meditation feeling relaxed — maybe too relaxed. It took me a while to kind of snap out of it. Luckily, there are 15 minutes between classes, so you can take your time leaving. And the first class is free, with no obligation to sign up for more. No stress here. (Pro-tip: LivingSocial is currently offering a deal on classes, for when you decide it’s for you.)
Note: This class was complimentary, as are all first classes.