We can all agree that our daily lives are full of various stimuli. From our careers, to social obligations, to the rabbit hole that is social media, to our daily grind — it feels like our minds never take a breather. As this truth becomes more accepted, we’re seeing a rise in spaces that offer an oasis and acknowledgement of the benefits of meditation.
One of the most raved about resources for meditation is Unplug, which opened its doors this year in The District. Unplug was founded by Suze Schwartz in 2014 and is the world’s first drop in secular meditation studio. We were lucky enough to sit down with meditation superstar, Nicholas Pratley, to share more about Unplug.
“Meditation has so many amazing benefits”, Nicholas, Unplug’s Wonder Guide, shares with us between speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference and leading a meditation class at Donna Karan’s Sag Harbor store in NYC. From the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, to local yoga teachers, and students from 6 – 96, Unplug hosts an array of classes and meditation styles that are sought after by people from all walks of life. Some of the benefits of meditation include drops in blood pressure, the reduction of chronic pain, and an overall elevated happiness; so it’s easy to understand why Unplug has people joining classes from all over the world.
So what exactly does a meditation studio look like? People may expect fountains, wooden features, and decor that evokes a sense of calm. Not for Unplug. “At first I thought, wow it’s so plain. But then I learned that Suze designed it this way to reflect your mind — super clear. She has these plain white canvases put up in the studio because she wanted them to understand that meditating really lets you feel like you have a clean slate…a blank canvas. I thought this was absolutely spectacular and I knew Unplug was the home for me!”
“Meditation is an opportunity to get quiet. To unplug from the outside world and plug into the inside world”. Getting into the practice of meditation may seem daunting, but it’s just that – a practice. Nicholas explains, “The first thing we can do in the practice of meditation is be graceful with ourselves – to accept exactly where we are and not judge ourselves”. Have you ever tried to recall a story for a friend – or have a detail completely slip your mind? You think, it will come back to you, and sure enough a few minutes later it pops right in. “Right before you remember is when your mind is quiet. It doesn’t mean that thought it gone, it means that you’ve let it get quiet enough and let go enough for the mind to surrender and for the thought to come through. This is meditation – it creates space and allows your mind to let go and surrender.”
“We’re at a turning point on the planet. With the #metoo movement, young people taking a stand against the NRA, Roseanne, a top rated TV show being cancelled, we’re all making a choice to Be Here. Things are renewing themselves, and finding a new way to accomplish this. With all this change, the more people meditate, the more those big changes will be supported because meditation allows space to open up in your mind, heart, & body. You start to experience yourself and the world in a very different space. What an incredible thing for the world to be doing together – opening up and creating space.”
Visit Unplug’s West Hollywood Studio today!