Tal Rabinowitz knows a thing or two about stress. As a former VP of comedy development at NBC, she was responsible for developing shows like The Mindy Project and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But after nearly 20 years in the business, she was feeling burned out and when her contract wasn’t picked up in 2014, she was relieved. “While I was still at NBC, I had started meditating at home and at work. But it can be easy to get distracted.” Kicking off The DEN Meditation in LA nearly two years ago was her answer. Now on the heels of opening her second outpost in Studio City, Rabinowitz sits down at The DEN with VB editor in chief Linda Grasso.
The soothing vibe and plush fabrics here make me want to move in.
We tried to make it a place that people would want to live in! It should feel like your living room—cozy and very inviting. We used chenille, brick walls and wood floors, and the fabrics are from India.
I don’t see Buddha heads or lotus flowers.
That’s on purpose. Though I love Buddha heads and have several at home, I made an effort to make The DEN secular. It is as spiritual as you want it to be. You can go deep here, but you can also keep it as secular as you’d like. We really do want everyone to feel like they belong.
What exactly does The DEN offer in those two spacious rooms?
We have daily meditation classes. They have different themes including Joy, Energy, Self Compassion and Aromatherapy. It just depends what you want to work on. We also offer workshops in breathing, nutrition, stress and others—not to mention weekly soundbaths.
What are sound baths?
Sound baths are a sound healing meditation where the vibrations of different instruments wash over you and help you achieve a deeper meditation. Depending on the sound healer, they may use crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls, gongs, chimes, voice or other instruments to create sound waves that lull you into a deep state of relaxation.
Most people meditate on their own. What can a class offer that is beneficial or unique?
Classes give you accountability. If you are committed, you come to The DEN, you know it will happen. Plus a lot of people want to incorporate different practices. Our teachers cover the full range. If you don’t like one style, you can try another. Also a group setting gives you a very different energy and can make meditations go deeper.
Why did you choose Studio City for your new studio?
We have a small pop-up studio in Los Feliz and I’d been thinking of opening another full-size studio. I know a lot of people who live and work here, and they kept asking me when I was going to open in the Valley. I also found the perfect space. I’ve got Lemonade on one side and Tracy Anderson on the other—a perfect setting.
I guess the overall goals of meditation are calming and centering yourself—right?
Yes, but beyond that, it is about getting to know and tuning into yourself. When that happens, answers become clearer. Plus if done regularly over a period of time, meditation can start rewiring your brain.
So let’s just say someone is feeling stressed but they aren’t up for attending a class. What can they do to take it down a notch?
Breathe. Go in a room, close your eyes and take long deep breaths in and out. Count to four as you inhale and do the same as you exhale. While you do it, really try and relax and label any thoughts or stress you are feeling, acknowledge it, and then let it go and get back to your breath.