How I Managed to Calm Down my Mind with Yoga and Meditation

How I Managed to Calm Down my Mind with Yoga and Meditation

Guest post written by Brenda Li Quadri

Imagine being at the verge of a crisis, you are about to leave your day job, which happens to be within a company under your name therefore where you are a co-owner, to go fully into your new business idea.  

Imagine having waited a couple of years to make this move, planning ahead of every details, brainstorming on the type of programs you want to propose to your future clients, and having invested in yourself hiring a coach overseas with money you knew you might have needed, but it just felt so right that you did it.  

And I did it.  

Brenda Li Quadri

Unfortunately, we all remember what happened in early March 2020. The pandemic started to make its shy debut until it became the most scary and frightful event we might have even thought of. And there I was.  

Stuck. With my own decisions now all up in the air and an uncertain outlook in front of me.  

Luckily, I was quick enough to think on my feet. Predict how the next few months would have been for me, and somehow find a thin line of encouragement in between me and myself.  

The news was so bad. The lockdown was becoming heavier day by day, but I had work to do. I knew I could only have a time like that once in my entire life. Therefore, I chose not to complain, and go with the flow of all the activities I was involved in. 

I was managing my main business, as I couldn’t leave it abruptly once the emergency began; I was being coached and I was working on the launch of my own coaching business, therefore studying, researching, learning and trying to be real to myself, all while not trying to lose it.  

Not an easy task I must admit. Despite being a guest in my parents’ house, and therefore having all meals served, the stress was growing, by the minute. I needed tools to take care of me, to destress and find joy and pleasure while the world was on a free fall.  

Because of the coaching industry I was stepping into, I started to follow coaches and meditation instructors on Instagram. Which was soon revealed as a savior.  

Some of them would address the real topics I needed to both work on the business and keep myself centered.  

Some others instead would give live classes of meditation and yoga.  

I have always been a fan of yoga, practicing it at home every now and then, but never really committed to it.  

This time though I wanted to be intentional with it. I told myself I needed to take care of myself, to look for the brighter side of things, and establish routines that would allow me to feel better and consequently perform better when working.  

Just like that, I started day by day, setting new small goals. Something new every day, or every two days, that would have taught me something new either on the practice or about myself.  

My week then would roll, among my work duties, with readings and research on the most useful meditations I could do, but what I enjoyed the most was experimenting what made me feel good. I tried them all, transcendental, spiritual, vipassana, visualization, yoga nidra, body scan… and each one of them I learned was useful at a specific time of my day or period of the month.  

I found out that meditation lets you become more aware and more purposeful about your actions. It teaches you how to respond, rather than react, to situations in your life.  

Meditation itself sounds simple, but it takes discipline to remain still in body and mind. 

It slowly became a moment I was looking forward to.  

A moment where I’d let my thoughts and worries go, and find peace; my peace. At my pace, in my terms. Meditation brought me, and still does now, to places I’d never thought would exist, and the sense of calmness and fulfillment that comes with it, can’t be compared to nothing else.  

SUP Yoga, image by Brenda Li Quadri

I started with doing it just in the mornings when I’d wake up, usually preferring motivating tracks or energizing ones with breath work, but I ended up doing it twice per day every day.  

What is truly amazing about this tool is that it is easily accessible by everybody, on Youtube, dedicated apps or just by being silent in a quiet space for a number of minutes, trying to focus on your breath.  

While meditating, you do you, in the sense that you can choose your time and pace as well as you can measure the results, if you do it intentionally.  

Meditation’s Best Ally Is Definitely Yoga

Yoga is that discipline that you embrace once and never let go, and the best is that you can truly see it as a way to express yourself, and stay humble while learning its teachings.  

What’s amazing is that the simple practice of cultivating your mind can actually improve your health and happiness and add years to your life! 

Think of yoga as a workout for your soul. You need to condition it, like a muscle, in order to develop and grow stronger. Because yoga clears your mind of distracting “noise,” it creates space in which new things can develop. 

As a matter of fact, over the last 2 years, the practice of yoga has been showing me how to learn the art of patience, how to accept my own limits and the mat instead has represented my safe space, my greatest confidant and the receiver of my most hidden desires. I would do yoga three times per week and feel good at the end of every session.  

After a month of this newly established routine, I was feeling energized, centered, hopeful and ready to rock while working on my own business.  

The addition of another element, suggested then by my coach, was that of journaling out my dreams, desires and goals.  

Fast-forward to these days, when I look back and think about that dark moment of our lives, I am grateful I gave myself the option of diving deep into these new habits that saved me, my mental health and pushed me to keep grounding while working on my new endeavors.  

Now I practice yoga almost every day, both at home and in a local studio, and I meditate constantly, and the benefits of them can be found everywhere, from the shape and strength of my body to the calmness I feel when dealing with pretty much everything that happens in my life.  

Being an overthinker in the past, and having gone through dark moments, I am simply grateful for these two life changing activities.  

Last summer I wanted to go deeper into the practice and decided to try a yoga retreat and also a different way to practice it doing SUP Yoga while on holiday in Croatia.  

SUP stands for Stand-Up Paddle board and you do it while being in the middle of a body of water, and I couldn’t recommend it enough.  

The benefits of practicing yoga on the water are countless, because it requires more strength, balance, and focus. Imagine then breathing in fresh air with every pose you do and when you open your eyes, you can appreciate the beautiful scenery surrounding you all while relaxing and living a calming experience.  

Back to last year, interestingly enough, after my business was all set and I felt ready to come out and start offering my services, I became an advocate of these tools and started to suggest some specific yoga sessions and meditations to my clients. The advice was well accepted and now I am seeing the results of my past clients and how they are keeping them, while continuing to improve their lives and businesses.  

Being a coach, I rely on the power of intention behind every single activity we are engaged with. Therefore, if somebody has a goal, it’s paramount to not just be able to plan, strategize and execute, but also find the best tools that can support them during the actual implementation of the original idea and never forget to have fun with it.  

Yoga retreat, image by Brenda Li Quadri

Therefore while planning on how to make our dreams come true, I’d recommend having clear intentions of what one wants to achieve. 

Each goal has to be SMART (Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant and Time bound) and most importantly there has to be a non-negotiable desire to make them become a reality.  

Action is everything, and when stuck, always think about why.  

All of this to say that tools like meditation and yoga, along with journaling can be the best allies for somebody who is willing to give life a twist, and this doesn’t have to be only relatable to business, but also in everyday life.  

We all need to feel something greater, nicer, bigger is about to happen in our lives, and when we find the time to listen and work on ourselves, magic happens.  

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MS, Durham University

The work of a family doctor includes a wide range of clinical diversity, which requires extensive knowledge and erudition from a specialist. However, I believe that the most important thing for a family doctor is to be human because the cooperation and understanding between the doctor and the patient are crucial in ensuring successful health care. On my days off, I love being in nature. Since childhood, I have been passionate about playing chess and tennis. Whenever I have time off, I enjoy traveling around the world.

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