Kate Kendall is co-founder & director of yoga at Flow Athletic in Sydney’s Paddington. If you’ve ever taken one of her classes you’ll know that her approach to yoga could turn even the most asana-challenged athlete into a downward dog lover. Between running a busy studio, contributing as a writer and expert to multiple fitness publications and teaching hundreds of yogis each week, Kendall seems to have nailed achieving a sense of calm amongst the chaos. We chatted with her about her meditation practice, how she decompresses and her advice for you to achieve the same.
Do you meditate? If so, how many times a week?

I meditate in the Vedic style, twice a day for 20 minutes.

Where’s your favourite place to meditate?

In the mornings I meditate in my living room. I have a little shrine set up with my crystals and angel cards #nerd.

At around 3 or 4pm I go into our Yoga room at Flow Athletic. It’s a really zen space and there are loads of props like bolsters and blocks to sit on plus at that time of the day it’s nice and quiet with no one around.

Do you prefer to meditate in the morning or at night?

No preference. Sometimes I feel like I can ‘sit’ forever in the mornings – sometimes it’s the afternoon practice that feels more delicious. Sometimes neither feel easy. That’s all part of it.

If your mind is full, what do you like to do to get in the mood and calm down?

I know that it generally takes a good ten minutes on a ‘busy mind’ day to let the dust settle. So essentially patience and a ‘willingness’ to sit through it is key. If time is on my side, though, a nice slow, flowing vinyasa practice for ten minutes or so before hand is the perfect way to glide into meditation. After all, the physical postures in yoga were originally practiced so that ancient yogis could sit in meditation for longer periods of time. It prepared them for open hips and lungs and a long, comfy spine.

Why do you meditate?

Two main reasons, firstly mediation teaches me patience and ultimately it makes me more productive in the sense that my thoughts are more organised.

The second is that it helps me stay in a state of ‘flow’ or creativity; a place that is totally uninhibited. I want to be in that space as often as possible because it’s the birth place of all my greatest ideas and the place from which I teach with ‘heart’, it’s when I’m in my most loving state.

What’s your advice for first-time meditators?

Find a teacher that you can do a course with and if there’s no one near you that can help, try with small steps and do short meditations on YouTube, searching for a method that works for you. Remember to have patience. Like anything, it takes practice. Be willing to sit through frustration, boredom and sometimes uncomfortable situations to get to the good stuff at the other end – bliss, peace and a sense of roundedness.

Would you like to practice with Kate? She’ll be leading Mindful May at Flow Athletic this month. Get involved here.