Workplace Trends Series Part 1: Health

Best Workplace Trends Series: Flow Athletic Talks Health 

While diving into a downward facing dog at your desk might be out of the question, there are simple breathing and meditative techniques you can incorporate into your workday to obtain that yoga zen.

Before founding FLOW ATHLETIC, yoga teacher Kate Kendall was immersed in the corporate world of advertising – so she understands the pressures prevalent in the office environment. Visiting Gravity’s workspace Kate explains how our members can make use of the quiet zones, balcony and nearby parks to practice breathing, journaling and meditating techniques.

Gravity’s quiet zones, balcony, and nearby parks offer spaces for our members to get some fresh air, with this in mind could you explain the importance of taking time to breathe during your workday?

Kate: If there's one thing I'd wish everyone would do daily it would be to take five minutes out of whatever it is you're doing to stop and breathe deeply in a quiet place. This simple technique brings you back into awareness of your physical body, calms the nervous system and results in greater focus and concentration.

How does breathing / breaking routine /journaling help entrepreneurs with decision making / tapping into their intuition?

Kate: I love this question. I've made it a daily ritual to get up, have a glass of water, clean my teeth and sit in meditation for 20 minutes before journaling. When you start the day with quiet focus, you have the ability to get clear on your goals and intentions for the day. If the first thing we do when we wake up is, for example, pick up the phone to check Instagram and emails we’re already comparing, over thinking and planning before our feet have even touched the ground.  

Contrast that with a quiet sit, getting clear on goals and intentions and we start to create a road map for a focused and productive day. It' simple and just takes a bit of discipline to begin with. Getting up a little earlier isn't always easy but I promise you – so, so worth it.

What apps can you recommend to help busy workers meditate / switch off during the day?

Kate: I personally don't use any apps because I don't like to rely on them and I don't want to use that time to have my phone anywhere near me BUT if you're feel like you need some guidance to begin with some popular ones are 'Take a Break! - Guided Meditation' and 'Smiling Mind' have a few with varying duration.

During your time working in advertising how did you incorporate healthy practices into your workday?

Kate: Before I found yoga – towards the end of my career in advertising – I had taken up surfing which I would do three times a week and ate a fairly clean diet. I've always had a healthy appetite which has been my saving grace during the times that I haven't really been working out a lot i.e long days in the office. My healthier habits and rituals really started when I got into yoga.

As a yoga teacher, what are the main health concerns (physical and mental) office workers are coming to you with?

Kate: Tight chest and shoulders; lower back and hips.

You made the leap from advertising, to yoga teacher, to opening your own studio – what tips would you have for budding entrepreneurs hoping to quit their day job and follow their heart in 2015

Kate: Follow the light. What makes you feel good? What inspires you? And what makes you fulfilled?  

I always loved my team in advertising and I feel grateful for everything I learnt there (I definitely use many of the skills I picked up there in my own business now). But I never felt like I was 'giving back' or contributing in the way I wanted to. I loved everything about yoga – the way it made me feel, the way I saw others feel, the philosophy, the nutrition – everything. So I followed that 'light' and inspiration and I couldn't have dreamed of where it has taken me so far. 

Check out the beautiful Flow Athletic Studio here. What are your top tips for maintaining a healthy mind and healthy body in the best workplace?