Go Now: Unplug Meditation

(Plus, Great Meditation Apps)


Photo by Mark Leibowitz

Former fashion editor, Suze Yalof Schwartz, is the first person to admit that she’s the unlikely owner of a soon-to-launch, L.A.-based meditation studio: After all, a few short years ago, she was dubbed “The Fairy Godmother of Makeovers,” by The New York Times. But, after a relocation West, she decided she wanted to learn to meditate—and in the process, she just happens to be making over the Los Angeles meditation scene. It all came about because Yalof Schwartz couldn’t find a studio that fit her schedule, her budget, or her aesthetic. As a busy mom, she wanted to be able to drop in during the day, and she wanted it to be in a transportingly clean, streamlined, and beautiful room. This didn’t exist. And so she manifested it in a quick 12 months: It’s called Unplug Meditation, and it’s a sparely turned out, white-washed space where you’ll find a sea of black meditation chairs, an exquisite little store, and a stellar roster of instructors who teach 20 minute sessions throughout the day. Undoubtedly, it’s just the first Unplug Meditation of many.

Six Great Meditation Apps

We’ve long harbored desires to make meditation a significant part of every day—after all, it’s easy, it takes only 5-20 minutes, can be done anywhere, and requires no equipment. The results are pretty amazing, too, including feelings of peace and contentment. If you don’t know where to start—and aren’t within striking distance of Unplug Meditation—here are some excellent apps to get you going.

1. Dr. Junger’s 5-Minute Guided Meditation

This free, five-minute meditation—set to Dr. Junger’s lilting voice—is perfect for a quick break at the office, or those spare moments when you’re killing time on the go.

2. Oprah & Deepak

These 21-day programs revolve around different themes (Abundance; Desire & Destiny; Finding Your Flow; Purpose & Passion): In short, you pick the program that’s appropriate to your intentions, and then log in for your personalized mantras.

3. UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

These are free meditations that range from five to 19 minutes, focusing on everything from lulling yourself to sleep to Loving Kindness. You can stream online, or download to iTunes.

4. Headspace

We’re big fans of Andy Puddicombe and the Headspace team: In an effort to “demystify meditation,” Headspace will teach you the basics of the practice for free, and then serve up unique daily content for under £4 a month.

5. Simply Being

Basic and frill-free, you dial in the length you have to spend, the background noise you’d like to hear, and then tune-in to the guided meditation—like any great teacher, they help you move past the noise in your head, and back to the mantra.

6. Equanimity

This app is for the more advanced meditation student: There’s no voice, only a gong to key you into the beginning and end of your 20-minute session. It also tracks how frequently you meditate which is great for keeping yourself on-point.