When you think of meditation, what comes to mind? You probably picture a group of New Age people making ohm sounds. For some, this image might even be enough to prevent you from ever trying out meditation.
That’s why Suze Yalof Schwartz aimed for a different vibe with her Los Angeles based guided meditation studio, Unplug Meditation. The former magazine editor, known for her work on Vogue and Glamour, wanted to target a different group of people for her studio, a group that hasn’t traditionally been that into the practice. She explained to the New York Times:
“The people who need to meditate are lawyers and bankers and stressed-out mommies. And those people get turned off by the Buddhas and sage and all the woo-woo talk. I wanted Unplug to be meditation for Type A personalities: clean, modern, secular, effortless to attend.”
It’s an interesting concept for a business — to target the people who need a service the most, but are also the least likely to be interested. Because of that, Schwartz faces the unique challenge of convincing those Type A people to actually attend her classes.
So how does she do it?
First, she’s worked to create a space that’s more practical than decorative. The Unplug Meditation studio looks more like a modern pilates or yoga studio than a traditional meditation space.
The teachers at Unplug Meditation also contribute to the atmosphere Schwartz is trying to create. She encourages them to keep the sessions tightly edited, meaning they don’t go on and on about something they can say simply in just a minute or two. For stressed out professionals, brevity is an often-valued trait. So for those who need these meditation classes to calm that stress of the workplace, this feature could be highly appreciated.
Unplug’s offerings aren’t for everyone. Experienced meditators and those who are interested in the more traditional décor and practices of other meditation studios are likely not interested in what Schwartz has to offer. But since meditation is far from a new practice, even in the mainstream, there are lots of other options already occupying that part of the market.
Instead, Schwartz is trying something new, focusing on a target audience that up until now has not participated. These are the new customers she’s trying to serve .
Image: Unplug Meditation
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I have tried some guided meditation and I must say that they are really effective. I wanted to donwload more but don’t know how. It calms the mind and gets you centered.
Great article. I have been involved in mind/body research and practice since 1977. I have been recommending meditation and mindfulness to my psychotherapy practice clients for almost 4 decades. Often it is helpful to have some instruction for meditation. For those who are not in a position to take a meditation course I strongly suggest a short and effective guided meditation audio by Jon Shore available at meditation-download.com. Meditation 1 or Meditation 2. Meditation and mindfulness require practice like any other exercise. But the benefits are well worth the small amount of effort involved. Also, learning meditation does not require a large financial investment. Quality is not equal to the cost of the course or learning program. Just find a meditation technique that is comfortable and practice it every day. It is actually very simple.
Thanks so much for the tips! I will have to check out that audio.
I have tried it too and thought it was really great. I should probably do it more often!
That’s a very target niche, one which I hope she proves to be successful in, especially as that target group really seem to need it.
Yes, I think coming up with a different niche can sometimes make or break a business’s success.
I love Suze’s idea! Although I find it hard to imagine why people wouldn’t want to meditate, because I love it so much.
I can see why some are just weirded out by Buddha statues, saying hmmmmmm and the idea of inner peace.
It goes to show that she really wants to helps too, by trying to get her message across to a very resistent group.
When will you be opening in NYC?
Hi I am sure this is a great tool for meditation; however, as soon as I, as a Senior Citizen, see someone sitting cross-legged on the floor I immediately go to another site …. you can meditate sitting on a chair. Many many folks who are younger, for one reason or another, cannot sit cross legged, or even sit on floor…. maybe I have this wrong, but just a comment.