One of Noosa’s inspirational wellness advocates, Kat Harding (aka ‘Yoga Kiss’) is a yoga-loving mama of two. Here we speak to the yoga & meditation teacher about life with 2 under 2, postnatal recovery tips and ways to incorporate mindfulness into everyday life.
Your insta feed is full of photos of you bending & stretching. How do you manage to squeeze exercise into your daily schedule with 2 little ones under your feet?
The short answer is that I don’t. There is definitely no daily schedule around our house, between activities, friends, daycare, cleaning and teaching it really is just the luck of the draw. One thing I have noticed though is that my life revolves less around conventional ‘movement’ or even your usual physical yoga practice and instead incorporates more breathing and mindfulness and stillness practices (breathing can also include a heavy sigh instead of a shout…)
Do you have a self-care routine? If so, what does it entail?
Mostly its taking the time to sit with a coffee in the morning as a sort of ritual, but I’ve also recently begun adding the ritual of an infrared sauna after teaching one night a week which gives me 30 minutes to sit and either meditate, or read and works wonders for my skin and circulation!
Do you have any tips for mamas who are keen to try meditation but don’t know where to start?
Find the right meditation practice for you – sometimes it’s simply sitting in silence and not expecting everything to disappear, or it could be making it a game with your children to count each step that you take along a pathway. Meditation doesn’t have to be a seated eyes closed practice it can be incorporated in most of our day to day activities. Even eating mindfully and counting each bite. If you’ve never tried it, you should. It’s wild how few bites we take and amazing how much better food tastes when you actually slow down to taste it!
You teach prenatal & postnatal yoga. How are these practices helpful for expecting & postpartum mothers?
Physically they are a great way to help mum’s body prepare for birth and post partum, this can be through breathing techniques, helping the body move and become familiar with active birth positions and also through creating stability in the body as bub and your body becomes heavier.
Mentally it can help mums relax, and soften into the process of growing and birthing a baby and becoming a mother, or overcoming any fears or concerns about any of those things through building an understanding of what’s shifting and changing and how you can soften mentally into those moments now and into the future. I also found it created an incredible community for me when I was pregnant and that community of mums became my mothers group as we switched over to mums and bubs yoga.
You have 2 young children with a tight age gap. Do you have any advice for mamas who are deep in the trenches with young ones? (in terms of managing your time & staying afloat mentally/emotionally)
Focus on the basics, life doesn’t have to be fancy or busy or full of activities, your children don’t need much more than food and you, so the less you add on your plate the better particularly in those early days. And never underestimate the power of a shower / swim and cleansing your body and mind in water and three slow deep breaths when it feels like everyone’s emotions are running high (toddlers love to copy this too so it’s great for them as well).
Are you into routine and daily rituals, or are you a go-with-the-flow-and-see-where-the-breeze-blows-us kinda mum?
I’m a go-with-the-flow-and-see-where-the-breeze-blows kind of mum, we have some regular activities but I often find it quite overwhelming knowing that I have to be somewhere when there may be another pressing need (e.g. grocery shopping) that has to be done.
What is your favourite thing about being a mum?
Watching my little humans grow into their own personalities, it gives me full-blown-can’t-breathe-heart-bursts!
If you could give an exhausted first-time momma one piece of advice, what would it be?
To get someone else to cook for you, and freeze as much leftovers as you can for easy go to snacks/meals on those days where it’s simply too much to use your brain to cook something or you can’t get your hands free for long enough to prepare. It’s one less vital life chore that can truly take the pressure off. Meal trains should be on everyone’s baby shower gift list!