Where Hollywood Goes to Meditate Before the Oscars (The Hollywood Reporter)

Tal Rabinowitz knows a thing or two about stress.

The former head of comedy at NBC took her 20 years of industry experience to found The DEN Meditation, and Hollywood is taking note. With awards season upon us, it’s no surprise that actors and executives alike are seeking out her meditation classes.

“It’s an exhausting time of year,” Rabinowitz says. “Taking away just the stress of whether or not you’re going to win an Oscar, meditation brings perspective. Not to mention that there are some incredible health benefits. Meditation helps with anxiety, boosting immunity, sleep, even weight control.”

Integrating meditation into a demanding schedule was the key to Rabinowitz finding balance in her personal and professional life. While working as a network executive, Rabinowitz — who developed shows such as Happy Endings, The Mindy Project and Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt — started a daily meditation practice to manage the high stress of her career. In late 2015, she left entertainment to pursue her passion, founding The DEN in Los Angeles in February 2016, with a second location set to open in Studio City this spring. “Nothing could have trained me better than a career in entertainment,” she says of starting her own business. “Like a show, you have to be okay letting it take on a life of its own.”

And a life of its own it has, with the largest variety of meditation classes offered in Los Angeles as well as Reiki, aroma balancing and retreats in Ojai and Joshua Tree, Calif., as well as Bali and Greece. The DEN’s group meditation classes are particularly popular with executives and actors, and while Rabinowitz prefers to keep her clientele anonymous, it’s not unusual to see Amanda Seyfried, Anna Kendrick and Kate Walsh in the studio. Prices start at $25 for an individual class and go up to $1,360 for an annual membership.

Perhaps Hollywood’s best-kept secret, however, is the private back room that’s a favorite with actors for running lines. She also conducts on-site weekly meditations for the HR department at NBC, as well as private sessions for other corporate and industry clients. “I describe our meditation classes as a group solo activity,” Rabinowitz says. “Your eyes are closed, you’re relaxed and comfortable. You have a private moment to yourself,” which is a draw for a higher-profile crowd.

And while meditation benefits the individual, it also helps bring people together. “We’ve seen an increase of people who are stressed, who are trying to make sense of things in the world,” Rabinowitz says of recent current events. “I think the community here helps people put positivity toward a problem. It helps give people sanity.”