Kate Kendall, Sydney’s top yoga teacher
Kate Kendall’s resume is impressive: she is Sydney’s top yoga teacher & thought leader, Co-Founder of Sydney’s premier boutique fitness business, Flow Athletic, influential writer, videographer and all-round gorgeous person.
Kate started her career as an account manager at a digital agency in the city. Although she enjoyed working with her colleagues, the tasks, discussions and ideas didn’t resonate with her: something wasn’t quite right. During this time Kate signed up for her first yoga class, in North Bondi. Walking home after class she realised that “for the first time in years, I could feel something. I was present.” This was Kate’s light bulb moment and, after intense yoga training in India, Kate launched her new career as a yoga instructor.
Kate Kendall Flow Athletic
Since then, her business acumen and meteoric success in the fitness industry are well documented. And justified. But, what struck me most when we spoke was Kate’s message, that health, happiness and a rewarding career are not mutually exclusive. So many people are whiling their lives away in unfulfilling jobs, ignoring those instincts telling them that their strengths (and happiness) lie elsewhere. In a world full of social mores and financial pressures pulling us this way and that, it’s often difficult to hear this voice and it takes a brave person to listen, and to act. Kate was brave. She identified her strengths, prioritised her health and happiness and pursued a career accordingly. This, I think, is Kate’s greatest achievement.
Read on to hear about Kate’s top yoga tips, her favourite places to eat out in Sydney and her famous silent disco yoga events (the last one SOLD OUT).
What is the best yoga pose to do after sitting at a desk for 12 hours?
Definitely a downward facing dog (here). This is a great pose for stretching out your back body including the spine, side waist, hamstrings and calves. It’s also good for digestion and circulation.
For someone like me who has done very little yoga, what do you recommend I do to get the most out of a yoga class?
Breath is THE most important thing. Focus on your breathing. Having zero expectations is also very important. Always have an open mind. Start afresh every class. In this way, beginners have an advantage because they bring a curiosity and willingness to learn, which is what yoga is all about.
A lot of us are training for the Sydney City to Surf – what is the best yoga pose to do after a long run?
Although everyone is different, a sois lunge to stretch the quads and hips would benefit most. Drop the back knee and push your hips forward.
Kate Kendall yoga diet
How often to you allow yourself to indulge?
I don’t have cravings all the time so I let myself indulge whenever I feel like it. So, if I feel like wine with dinner, I’ll have a glass of wine. BUT, if I had a packet of snakes in the cupboard, I would eat them all the time! Daily yoga practice helps to curb cravings and increase willpower. Both yoga and meditation help me to make better lifestyle choices, generally.
What are your favourite breakfast restaurants in Sydney?
What are your favourite dinner restaurants in Sydney?
What tracks do you listen to when practising yoga?
- Waking Up – Mr. Little Jeans: for more upbeat movements
- Up All Night – Oliver Tank: for slow movements
- Uno – Deuter: for your final relaxation pose (Suvasana)
What do you think is the key to a balanced lifestyle?
Balance is a myth. It’s not attainable. There are four key pillars: life, love, work & play. With the ebb and flow of life, we will always be dipping and leaning into one area or another and one thing is always going to take preference. So, accept the stage that you are in and don’t be too forceful in moving out of that stage or be too stagnant.
I developed a philosophy called “the space in between”. During breath work in yoga class we pause at the top of the inhalation and at the base of the exhalation. There is a pocket of stillness at the edge of the breath where everything in your body is completely still. It’s pure consciousness, pure bliss. This philosophy also means giving yourself time to let things process and digest rather than moving on straight away and ignoring events and feelings. “The space in between” is anything we do when time stands still and we are completely present.
Your dialogue during yoga class resonates so strongly with me: you speak words just as I think them – it’s like you’re in my head! How did you develop this special dialogue?
It has developed through my life experiences and I speak from the heart. It is also important to have the confidence to be yourself.
Tell me about your famous sell-out Flow After Dark yoga events
Flow After Dark is a silent disco yoga class I take with a live DJ. The last event was held at Luna Park in Sydney where 350 people attended. My favourite part of this event is when everyone is breathing together, when everyone is at ease and present: all the things I felt after my first yoga class.
Kate Kendall’s details
Kate Kendall, Sydney’s top yoga teacher