By Rieva Lesonsky

A few weeks ago one of the busiest and most energetic business owners I know was extolling the virtues of guided meditation and how effective it was at relieving her entrepreneurial stress. And she said there were lots of people in the classes she was taking.

While meditation certainly isn’t new, especially where I live in oh-so-Zen Southern California, many people associated meditation with Buddhism and the ability to sit cross-legged on the floor (or a pillow) for two or more hours. But according to a recent article in The Los Angeles Times, meditation is becoming more secularized and “moving to the mainstream.”

Meditation’s evolution did not go unnoticed by “spiritual entrepreneur” Suze Yalof Schwartz, who after turning to the practice to de-stress, had the proverbial light bulb moment and thought, “Why [can’t] there be a Dry Bar for meditation?” Why not indeed? So Schwartz hired teachers and last month opened unplug, a drop-in, guided meditation studio in Los Angeles.

The studio was so popular, in its first two weeks in business Schwartz was attracting as many as 70 people to a class. Classes, according to The Times, are held in “Buddha-less rooms with comfy floor chairs.” Already, unplug offers more than 30 classes, either 30 or 45 minutes long, covering various types of meditation.

In these super-stressed times, this type of secular meditation studio could take off, particularly in urban and suburban areas, where there’s no shortage of stressed-out consumers seeking relief.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+   and and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

Photo Courtesy: unplug