OOO Spotlight: Yogi Bella Bottini

Early in my career, my director stated that working in events was listed as the third most stressful job that year. At the time, it was too early for me to have an opinion about it—however, it didn’t take too long for me to build one.

I was travelling about 10–15 times a year; running conferences, exhibitions, gala dinners, and road shows in almost every corner of the world; adapting to different types of clients; finding new suppliers; and learning about new cultural challenges, time zones, currencies, big budgets, shipping, customs, hard lead times, exhibition stands, hundreds of speakers, and registration systems—you name it, I did it. If you work in events, you definitely have to love the fast pace. Otherwise, it can quickly eat you up and spit you out.

The pressure and stress levels were a huge part of the job. While still passionate, as time went by, I was slowly burning out and didn’t know it—nor did I know how to find a healthier lifestyle for myself. Thankfully, that’s when yoga fell into my lap.

I took a lunchtime yoga class at work and, afterwards, I had my most effective afternoon in years. My body was more open; my mind was rested. Body and mind had cleared and paused for that period of time, and nothing else mattered other than my ability to take care of my mind, my body, and my breathing.

On top of that, I was constantly being reminded and motivated to look at the bigger picture, to be a better person, and be kinder in my thoughts. I was so stoked by the effects and how I improved my day-to-day life that felt I needed more, I wanted more, and I knew that was only the beginning.

Slowly, I started to deal better with my challenges in the workplace and grow from them, moving to the next harder challenge with excitement, strength, and dedication. Since yoga came into my life, my lifestyle, work-life balance, and overall quality of both work and life have greatly improved.

My general tips if you’d like to start yoga (hint: you definitely should):

You don’t need to be flexible or physically fit to start yoga practice. What you need is to just start. Find a safe, quiet space with a teacher that will facilitate the journey in your current stage and will lead you along the way. The rest you will feel for yourself once you make time for it. There is no right or wrong. Yoga is humble. Yoga is for everyone.

If you don’t like it, that’s OK. Yoga may not feel right for you, and you might have other avenues to get you to the same place. Go, try it for yourself, and enjoy the journey.

Definitely keep trying. If you didn’t have a good initial experience, keeping trying. Try one of the many other types of yoga until you find what works for you. Again, there is no right or wrong, only what works and feels right for you.

Try one of the many other types of yoga until you find what works for you.

Try yoga at home. Even if your schedule is very busy, there are enough online videos these days to help you get started until you settle into it. You have to make space and time for it to work.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Whether you are currently practicing or just starting, where you are in your journey is truly yours and solely your own path. External observation should only be used for inspiration, not demotivation.

External observation should only be used for inspiration, not demotivation.

I hope I’ve inspired you to hop on the mat and connect better with yourself. Remember that in life, and in every job, there will always be a stressful element. What makes the difference is how we deal with those moments and how we learn to do that. Yoga can help us on the way.

Much love, be one.