This week, we caught up with Active Yogi, Kate Kendall. Her passion for teaching the art of slowing down, and down to earth, light-hearted, fun approach to yoga is the secret behind her success. Kate has co-created the increasingly popular, unique and first of its kind, ‘Flow After Dark, Yoga Silent Disco’ events around Australia, as well as leading her own Inspired Leaders Yoga Teacher Training. Her latest project is running The Space Between e-course, a 4 week mindfulness experience designed to help people slow down, savour and sip in the world around them. As an Active Yogi, Kate fierce in their pursuit of living a more conscious, connected and considerate life. Her ultimate goal is to help people experience more joy through her teachings. We spoke with Kate about wellness and sleep.
Tell us about your wellness background and what inspired you to start Flow Athletic?
If you had told me as a teenager I would end up a yoga teacher, I probably would have laughed. Turns out though - when you party for long enough, trash your body and go through a big bout of no exercise resulting in serious anxiety and depression, you have to make some serious lifestyle choices. And I was just lucky that I fell into yoga. I got into it when I wasn't in a great place mentally. I thought it would give me long, lean muscles (which are a great physical benefit) but I stayed for the mental benefits. I'd been practising for four years and teaching for two when I met, Ben Lucas, my Flow Athletic Co-Founder.
What can you tell us about the link between slowing down and sleep?
My own experience in experimenting with this is that my nervous system is in a better state if I've spent the day practising 'slow' and calm.
Do you feel like you sleep well?
Currently I take what I can get. My bubba is one and she's regressed in her sleeping patterns so we're in a transitional stage (which is a nice way of saying she's keeping me awake, and often!). But I'm rolling with the punches and making sure I go to bed super early as I never know what kind of night I will have. Outside of this though - yes. With discipline and certain rituals, not just at night, I've trained myself into restful sleep. I believe fully that when I live aligned with my values, I generally go to bed feeling at peace.
What is your routine leading up to a good night's sleep?
Power down an hour before bed (no devices - although sometimes I slip) and a warm bath or shower to 'cleanse' the day (sometimes I imagine all of the conversations and happenings rolling through me and down into the drain). If I am having trouble going off (on Mondays I teach late in the evening so will often have a coffee at 2pm which can keep me wide-awake long into the evenings), I'll do some gentle yogic breathwork like Ujjayi Breath or Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing) which will do the trick.
What benefits do you feel after a good night's sleep?
Like I can do anything! Good sleep, like yoga, helps me not stress the small stuff, focus better, feel more creative and kinder.
How do you find balance between family, work and rest?
Balance is kind of a myth. I write about this in my book, Life in Flow. I think we're always going to be leaning into one part of life a little more than the other, but since having a bad case of burn out five years ago I always prioritise rest. It's a non-negotiable. Some people can power on without it but for me, the result ain't pretty. Recently I've been leaning into family more and career has come behind. I'm only having one bubba and I want to make sure I'm present with her otherwise I know I'll regret it. I'm working part-time and in all honestly, that's enough for me. Any more and I wouldn't feel right about that. But it's totally a personal thing. Lately though, I've been starting to feel more creative and am lucky that I've built an online business with ActiveYogi.com.au where I sell mindfulness courses and meditations so I can work on those whilst still being at home when the bubba is asleep.