What it’s like to start your own (very successful) meditation studio

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Hannah Keegan
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Work/Life is Stylist’s regular column about the professional routines of successful women. Meet Yulia Kovaleva, the co-founder of Re:Mind meditation studio. 

Kovaleva, 27, lives in West London with her son. Here, she talks us through her daily diary.

My alarm goes off…

At 6am. I have a three-year-old son who wakes me. I drink a matcha latte and check my emails and class schedule for the day while my son eats breakfast. For work, I wear something comfortable like a long dress or leggings. I leave at 8am to drop my son off at school then head to the studio.

I’m responsible for…

Running the meditation studio Re:Mind. I look after everything, from our social media channels to scheduling the classes, recruiting new teachers and stocking the studio’s store. I also manage our team of three studio assistants and 10 teachers.

I got my job…

By having a passion for meditation. I discovered it 10 years ago after moving to the UK from Moscow. I was stressed and suffering from acne, and I read that meditation could help with stress, so I took a course in it. Everyone thought I was weird at the time; it wasn’t trendy at all. I fell pregnant with my son soon after I graduated in finance from SOAS University in 2015, so my co-founder and I didn’t start the business until my son was two. When we saw studios like Inscape and Unplug doing well in America, we knew we were on to something.

My typical day…

Sees me arrive at the studio at 9am. First, I’ll deal with any emails I’ve flagged, then I’ll look over our Instagram page, work on our newsletter and edit the website. I teach the 10am class, so half an hour before I’ll set up the space with cushions and mats, light some candles and burn some sage to create a relaxing atmosphere. I’m not a fully qualified teacher yet, so my classes are part of my training.

When teaching, I’ll focus on breathing and repeat a mantra to calm the mind. I like the yogic mantra “so hum”, which means “I am everything, everything is me”. Sometimes, I’ll play alchemy crystal bowls, too. My classes are 30 minutes long but others are up to an hour. The goal is to calm the central nervous system and put the brain waves into a relaxed theta state. Afterwards, I continue working on my laptop – ordering items for the store, scheduling classes and organising events. I’ll grab a hot lunch – like a veggie pot from Pret – to eat at around 1pm. I sit in on as many classes as time allows, but I’m focusing on whether the room is at the right temperature and the music is suitable – not really meditating.

My mum looks after my son three days a week, so on those days I’ll stay until our last class at 8pm.

My most memorable work moment…

Was when I first saw the studio after it had been constructed. It was exactly as I’d imagined.

The worst part of my job…

Is looking after the shop’s inventory. It takes up so much time!

The best part of my job…

Is the huge amount of meditation classes I have access to. Whenever I need it, it’s there.

After work…

I’ll check on my son, who’s usually asleep, and then make dinner – something healthy with lots of veggies or junk food from Deliveroo. I’ll watch a funny TV show, such as The Office, before collapsing into bed. I’m normally asleep by 10pm.

Images: Sarah Brimley