Having opened the very first meditation only studio in London, a tranquil hideaway near busy Victoria Station, it would be easy to assume Co-Founder Yulia Kovaleva must be completely blissed out and stress-free 24/7.
Remind Studio opened just over two years ago, a drop-in well-being center offering meditation. It’s a dedicated meditation, breathwork and healing space, which even includes an eco-wellness store. Classes include anything from crystal sound baths that put you into deep relaxation, through to women’s and men’s only meditations, breathwork and restorative yoga.
The studio continues to attract both men and women in ever-increasing numbers, having expanded to weekend sessions and added a whole range of new class types in 2019.
It’s easy to see why it’s so popular—entering the space with the door reading “Find Your Calm”, you are welcomed in with instant peacefulness, and encouraged to take the opportunity to create space for yourself both before and after your session.
Experimenting to find what works for you
While their mission is to bring that sense of calm to everyone, Yulia says her own journey to wellness (and calm) has been varied. Admitting she’s a “guilty workaholic” and at times has felt some pressure to be ‘well’ in order to hold such a space for others.
In her own life, she used to stress if she didn’t have the “perfect morning routine” or wasn’t following other wellness advice precisely. She’s since realized that’s counter-productive, and that dropping those expectations of yourself is much more beneficial to your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Yulia wants anyone who’s currently in that stressed or frazzled state of mind to know that it’s “okay to have a burn out in today’s world”.
Wellness she says is about being able to experiment for yourself to find what works, and what you need more or less of. There’s not just one style that works for everyone, so the sooner you can release that pressure to get it right the better. Instead of beating yourself up, it’s about getting to know where you’re at, and being okay with that.
Creating realistic expectations
As someone who has tried just about every kind of workout, new dieting regime and wellness ritual out there to bring herself back to balance, she says having realistic expectations of what changes you can make within your lifestyle is so important. When we’re not feeling well our impulse is to go the other way and push on, which leaves us feeling worse.
She says with all the ‘tools’ she’s tried she was too often moving through them mindlessly, and not really ‘in her body’. What she loved most as she continued to learn about meditation over the past ten years was that it gave her a way to tune in to how she was feeling and to identify what it was her body needed.
Growth of meditation
Meditation continues to grow in popularity—with many more people experiencing the benefits of tuning in to what they most need, from reductions of deeply traumatic stress, depression and anxiety, through to improvements in heart health, sleep, and attention levels.
This year the Global Wellness Summit forecast the ‘plurality’ of meditation to grow. That is, there will be an expanding variety and personalization of the types of meditation available, making it even more accessible. If you haven’t tried meditation yet, you will have by the end of the year.
Creating personalized wellness structures
While Yulia’s honest about currently being in a place where she doesn’t have that many ‘non-negotiables’ in terms of her own wellness routine—a natural phase of business she’s in and is happy to be there, knowing it’s transitory—it’s this level of attunement to herself that’s helped her consistently ‘keep her calm’.
She does have some structures in place that have developed over time, like learning not to check emails in the evenings and making space to reconnect with her son at the end of the day. She also admits that having easy access to an incredible array of meditation classes is handy, and even when she is teaching a class she still reaps the rewards.
Regardless of whether you’ve ever tried meditation before, learning how to slow down and feel into your body is perhaps the consistent tool we all need to bring us back to that sense of calm and balance in our lives.
Yulia Kovaleva is one of eight UK ‘Women In Wellness’ I interviewed in 2019 across different types and stages of business, to understand how they are growing successful businesses whilst bringing balance and well-being into their own lives. The articles are being published throughout March in celebration of International Women’s Day.
First published on Forbes.com on 22 March 2019.