Give yourself a break.

Longtime Unplug student Lana Rushing (Founder of Rushing PR) wrote the article below with the sweetest shoutout to Unplug!

 
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We live in stressful times. We are more tethered to digital devices than ever before and many struggle with work / life balance even more as a result of this “always-on” mentality.

So, while technology advances fuel progress and keep us connected and entertained, they can also impact our ability to stay grounded and present. Being overbooked, over-worked and over-stimulated mentally can really take a toll. Here are four ways you can cope:

1. Set boundaries. One of the things I realized after becoming more senior in my public relations career is that when I was more junior, I gave up too much of my time to work stress. I took it home with me. It wrecked my sleep sometimes. It takes practice to leave work at work. There will always be exceptions -- especially in a field like mine -- but it is possible to compartmentalize and find harmony.

2. Find quiet time to reflect. For me this one is a game changer. Four years ago, Unplug Meditation opened up in my neighborhood and I was surprised to learn that I actually canmeditate. Previously, I had tried a few meditation workshops but I thought my mind was too busy so it didn’t stick. At Unplug, I learned that you don’t have to try to stop your thoughts to be a successful meditator. No one can do that! I also learned to think of myself as the thinker of the thoughts, and to let them exit like clouds, and then go back to the breath and repeat that cycle as new thoughts emerge. That’s it. It is really that easy and it can help you in so many aspects of your life. If you don’t have a meditation studio nearby, take a look at all of the apps that bring meditation to you. In this case, technology can bring relief with soothing sounds. (Just turn your ringer off!) You can also find meditative moments while out on a neighborhood walk or perhaps while gardening or even doing household chores, believe it or not!

3. Get enough sleep, exercise and nutrition. All of these things fuel your body and your mind. Your mood, communication style and level of creativity are a few things that can be impacted by how well you take care of yourself.

4. Watch the negative self-talk. We all have bad days or things we’d do differently if we could go back in time. However, dwelling on the negative is like jumping into quicksand and I happen to think it all starts with how you talk to yourself. Are you your own biggest critic or cheerleader? It is definitely something to think about. Coming from a place of gratitude can help you pivot out of a bad situation.

Life is too short! Make it count.

How to Meditate When You Have 1, 5, or 10 Minutes

Take mental mini-vacation by following these examples.
By: Kathryn Anne Stewart

 
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Can you really meditate in a few stolen moments? You bet, says Suze Yalof Schwartz, CEO and founder of Unplug Meditation. “The only bad meditation is the one you don’t do,” Schwartz says. “Whenever you can squeeze it in and for whatever amount of time, that’s good.”

In fact, a quick session might be preferable, especially if you’re new to meditation. “Your mind’s going to constantly wander, and it’ll be a battle between thought and focus,” Schwartz says. Finding the gap between the two, she says, is “the sweet spot of meditation,” and it gets easier the more often you do it.

In the same way that a specific length of meditation time isn’t required, Schwartz says you don’t need to sit a certain way or feel compelled to buy props like meditation pillows or candles. In short, meditation should not add more stress to your life. “Meditation should meet you where you are,” she says. “It’s really just breathing.”

One thing you do need, however, is a place where you won’t be disturbed or disrupted. Schwartz says she’s been known to lock her car doors and meditate in a parking lot.

“You will never find the time to meditate,” she says. “You really have to make it and carve it out of your day. Whether that’s 60 seconds a day or 60 minutes a day, it’s all good.” For your next quick session, try one of these meditations from her book, Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers

If you have 1 minute to meditate, try …

The Savoring Meditation

This meditation is great for slowing down, appreciating the moment, promoting mindful eating, and experiencing what Schwartz calls “food joy.” Do it as you begin a meal or snack.

  1. Hold the food in your hand.
  2. Look at it and ask yourself, “How did this get from the earth to my fingers?” Think about it. Imagine all the steps it took to travel all the way to you.
  3. Lift the food to your ear. When you squeeze some foods, they make interesting sounds. Spend a few seconds listening.
  4. Put the food in front of your mouth with your lips closed. Notice that you’re salivating a little in anticipation.
  5. Place it in your mouth and feel the texture with your tongue, then begin to chew as slowly as you possibly can, noticing as many elements as you can.
  6. Swallow, smile, and go on with your day. 

If you have 5 minutes to meditate, try …

A Quick Shot of Calm

Ideal for relieving anxiety, cooling off anger, or releasing frustration, this is the meditation to go to when tension is running high or if you’re about to speak publicly or make a tough decision.

  1. Take seven slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
  2. Take seven more slow breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
  3. Finally, take seven more slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your mouth.
  4. Resume breathing normally and notice how your energy has shifted.

If you have 10 minutes to meditate, try …

Relaxation Meditation

If you’re feeling tense (shoulders up, forehead wrinkled), this is a great meditation to relax, revive, and refresh.

  1. Lie down and close your eyes. If you’re in an office or anywhere it’s not appropriate to lie down, sit up comfortably in a chair.
  2. Take three slow, extended breaths.
  3. Bring your attention to your feet and notice how they feel. Notice the weight of your heels on the ground. Tense up your feet, then consciously relax them.
  4. Slowly work your way up your body in the same way, tensing then relaxing your calves, thighs, hips, hands, stomach, chest, arms, shoulders, neck, and face. When you reach your face, relax your lips, your cheeks, your eyes, your forehead, and your brain.
  5. Take one last deep breath and then open your eyes.
 

Meditation for the Doshas

       By:  Sahara Rose

 

Ever wondered why your mind keeps wandering during meditation?

Or why you can’t stop fidgeting?

Or why you out-right fall asleep?

Ain’t no shame. These things happen and it all relates to your Dosha.

 

What’s a Dosha? you may be wondering. A Dosha is an Ayurvedic mind-body type. Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system and the sister science of yoga, based on balancing the mind and body. According to Ayurveda, there are three Doshas, or mind-body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

 

Vata is the air Dosha. Pitta is the fire Dosha. Kapha is the Earth Dosha.

 

As an Ayurvedic Practitioner and the author of The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, which is available for pre-order on Amazon, I specialize in making sense of these three Doshas. I see how they show up in a yoga class, traffic jam, waiting in line for groceries and everything in between. In this article, I’ll share with you how these three Doshas are in meditation and the best ones for them.

If you don’t know your mind-body type, I recommend you first take my free quiz here [www.eatfeelfresh.com]. Unlike any other Dosha quiz, I separate the results of the mind and body and break them down by percentage, giving you a deep overview of your Doshic constitution. For my meditation guidelines, follow the Dosha of your mind.

Vatas are the airy and spacey Dosha with minds that move just as fast as the wind. For them, being told to shut off their minds during meditation feels like mission impossible. As the meditation teacher is telling them to silence their minds, they’re mentally jotting down their to-do lists, planning out their next Instagram photo and thinking about what they’re going to eat for dinner all whilst singing the new Justin Beiber song. Since Vatas have such active minds, it’s good for them to have a more active meditation practice. Listening to a guided visualization or repeating an affirmation such as “I am centered” can help keep their dynamic minds focused.

Vatas also commonly have skeletal issues and feel back-pain when sitting down for too long. That’s why I recommend a supported meditation chair, like the ones at Unplug, so you can focus on your meditation, not your raging backache.

Pittas are the hot and fiery Doshas with personalities to match. The hardest part about meditation? Getting there. Pittas are productivity-powerhouses. For them, wasting an hour sitting down doing nothing makes zero sense. They could be doing more work or at least going to the gym. However, they’re often the ones who need it the most. Pittas may be more apt to meditate when they hear that meditation is clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, OCD and even hypertension, while increasing memory, emotional wellbeing, brain function and productivity.

Meditation is even anti-aging. Researchers have stated, "We have reviewed data linking stress arousal and oxidative stress to telomere shortness. Meditative practices appear to improve the endocrine balance toward positive arousal (high DHEA, lower cortisol) and decrease oxidative stress. Thus, meditation practices may promote mitotic cell longevity both through decreasing stress hormones and oxidative stress and increasing hormones that may protect the telomere.” Bye-bye Botox, hello Meditation pillow!

Kapha is the calm and steady Dosha with the bodies to match. For Kaphas, sitting down for an hour doing nothing is no problem. Throw the meditation at me, they think. However, the challenge is in staying awake. Kaphas often turn meditation into nap-time and wake up dazed and confused about what just happened. Kaphas must maintain a seated position when meditating, preferably with no back-rest, otherwise they’ll use it to drift off. When the body lies down, it is used to drifting off into sleep so Kaphas must prevent themselves from getting in that position. Meditations where you focus on different parts of your body can also be helpful because it reminds Kaphas to tune in.

Whatever meditation practice you choose, allow it to be meaningful to you. Thoughts, judgement and naps sometimes happen. It’s all part of the process. Forgive yourself, trust yourself and most importantly, love yourself. That’s what meditation is all about.

 

Stay balanced,

 

Sahara

 

 

 

Sahara Rose is an expert in the mind-body connection. She is the author of the Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda which is available for pre-sale on Amazon today, and passionate about bridging ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with modern nutrition and relatable spirituality. Discover your mind-body type on her quiz at  eatfeelfresh.com and follow her on Instagram @eatfeelfresh for colorfully delicious recipe inspiration and sacred self-care rituals.

 

 

Accessing Our Hearts and Joy (No Matter What the Circumstances)

BY DANIELLE BEINSTEIN

 
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No one is really centered and calm every moment of every day. A monk, maybe. A spiritualist living solo in the woods, perhaps. But most of us are a constant fluctuation of emotions, thoughts running through our heads.

We’re not meant to be perfect. We’re not meant to have an answer for every question. It’s the shifting moods and thoughts and responses that make us human, that make us who we are.

Meditation isn’t about perfection. It isn’t about becoming a statue. It’s about accepting our humanity, the willingness to sit with ourselves no matter what we’re experiencing. It’s about loving ourselves through the mess and having the courage to be still when we’d much rather run.

The world is always telling us how to be, what to feel. But the truth is, there is no right way to be, there is no right way to feel. Our feelings are feedback mechanisms. They reveal our needs, our wants, our desires.

Meditation teaches us, especially over time, that it’s our inner life that dictates and determines the rest. Once we begin to peel back the layers, we find, at our core, the peace we yearn for. So often we think we need to fix this or that, or acquire this or that to to feel a particular way. But the truth is, it’s the reverse. The more we cultivate the qualities we desire, the greater our powers of attraction, the more likely we are to draw in outer experience to match our inner state. We learn the power of perception.

We also crave less and less. Perhaps this is the greatest benefit of meditation: the joy of presence, the joy of aliveness. This, after all, is our natural state. Everything else, all the thoughts and emotions that cloud our daily reality, are passing storms. But again, this is part of being human. It’s our relationship to the passing weather that matters, not the weather itself.

I remember when I was growing up in Manhattan, how I would walk for miles and miles, my head brewing with unspoken conversations, unsaid words. The more I meditated, the more clarity I gained, the more articulate I became, the more my relationships improved. This isn’t magic; it’s the benefit of self awareness and self discovery. When we’re attached to our thoughts and emotions and opinions, we hold them as fact. When we learn to recognize them for what they are, they become easier to process and move through. We move out of our heads and into our hearts.

Life is a messy affair. We don’t always know which way the wind will blow. We almost never have control (though we often convince ourselves we do). We don’t always get exactly what we want the minute we want it.

But we can always choose to love ourselves. We can always accept ourselves. And we can always find our way back to our hearts, to our joy. And at the end of the day, what else is there?

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Law of Acceptance by Davidji

 
 Photo Credit:  Ben White

Photo Credit:  Ben White

 

Acceptance is a beautiful teaching with many different levels. It is the root and the foundation of many wisdom traditions including Buddhist compassion teachings, the Law of Least Effort, and Christ Consciousness. But regardless of your orientation to these belief systems, we can always find personal evolution and divine awakening in accepting:

1.  ACCEPTING that this moment is perfect, pure, whole, and every moment that has led to this moment was exactly the way it was meant to be. Imagine…this moment is the magnificent culmination of all of your choices; every experience that has woven itself in, around, and through you; and every one of the 31 million seconds that have ticked by in just this year alone! It couldn’t be any other way!!

2.  ACCEPTING that you are a divine being who is sealed in this human body for the span of a lifetime and that you have made choices and decisions throughout your life from your highest level of consciousness at the time. Even though there are choices you may regret or torture yourself about, they are carved in stone and we must accept them, forgive ourselves, and make better choices in the future.

3.  ACCEPTING others for what they are – not as we wish they would be. Allowing people’s differences, quirks, unique vibrations to just be and not necessarily fit into our box of how the world is supposed to be. Allowing others to be as they are.

Understanding these three levels of acceptance could keep us busy for several lifetimes. But recognize that wherever you are, every moment of the past is carved in stone and for us to evolve our lives or improve our situation or find deeper fulfillment we must own the moment. Level two is where so many of us get stuck. We are our toughest critic and we know all the moments where we felt less than, or were sloppy, lazy, or casual with our decisions. We know when we were unsure of which road to take and we guessed “wrong”. We know where we could have been better, or stronger, or wiser, or more patient, or more truthful, or more engaged. But in that moment, we didn’t know it…we didn’t have access to a crystal ball of consequences; or maybe we didn’t take the time to really explore the depth of our actions or choices.

So we have two very clear choices:

Beat ourselves up for not being clairvoyant and diminish the happiness in our lives by pointing a continuous finger of blame at ourselves

---OR---

Accept the past as a lesson so that we can make better choices and find deeper fulfillment in life. So often, we hold ourselves accountable for all the pitfalls and unhappiness in our lives and we point to some decision we made that was the root of it all. But this is unnecessary and harsh. And building up the blame case has no value except in a courtroom. In the real world, where a judge or jury of our choices doesn’t exist, attributing blame only gets in the way of making the best decision in this moment – especially self-blame because that is also self-defeating.

It takes the wind out of our sails and that doesn’t help us in any way. In business, in history, in politics, in sports…where the stakes are so high, the ability to step beyond the moment of blame and accept our individual mis-steps, mis-stakes, mis-speaks separates the winners from the losers. The ability to accept that we did our best from our own level of consciousness at the time, separates those willing to step out of the past (which is the stale, the old, the stuck) and into the present (which is rich, fresh, and filled with infinite opportunities).

Those mired in self-pity or finger-pointing are trapped in the past and destined to stay there because they will not accept what is carved in stone. They remain paralyzed in self-finger-pointing mode and that becomes their excuse for why they are unfulfilled; while those who have owned and accepted their decisions are able to move forward and make new, proud, exciting, restorative choices. We can keep complaining about the rain or accept that it’s raining, find an umbrella, and dance in the cleansing fall. We get to choose. We are choice-making beings. No one can ever take that away from us – not even ourselves. We just need a little reminder now and then. I wish you many conscious choices this week.

See you in the GAP!! peace.

–davidji

 


About Davidji

 Davidji is a globally recognized mindbody health & wellness expert, mindful performance trainer, meditation teacher & author of Amazon’s Best Seller: destressifying: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfillment, and Peace of Mind; and Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace & Personal Transformation REVISED EDITION, winner of the Nautilus Book Award. He is credited with creating the 21-day meditation process, which spawned hundreds of 21-day meditation experiences & challenges around the world. Often referred to as the Velvet Voice of Stillness, he can be heard on more than 500 guided meditations, available on iTunes, Amazon.com, HayHouse.com, GooglePlay, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, & on davidji.com. 

Davidji is a globally recognized mindbody health & wellness expert, mindful performance trainer, meditation teacher & author of Amazon’s Best Seller: destressifying: The Real-World Guide to Personal Empowerment, Lasting Fulfillment, and Peace of Mind; and Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace & Personal Transformation REVISED EDITION, winner of the Nautilus Book Award. He is credited with creating the 21-day meditation process, which spawned hundreds of 21-day meditation experiences & challenges around the world. Often referred to as the Velvet Voice of Stillness, he can be heard on more than 500 guided meditations, available on iTunes, Amazon.com, HayHouse.com, GooglePlay, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, & on davidji.com. 

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.

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

* * *

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

Suze Yalof Schwartz
Founder of Unplug Meditation