Body Mind Life in Surry Hills is the go to Yoga and Pilates studio for the Vie Active team. We love the relaxed and supportive atmosphere that makes everyone from beginner to yogi master comfortable. Post Vinyasa we sat down with one of the senior teachers Kat Clayton to chat about her active life and get her tips on improving flexibility,
and got some great healthy recipes too.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your fitness journey, why fitness?
Hi I’m Kat, a yoga teacher at BodyMindLife. I grew up mostly in Colorado, USA. I love the majestic mountains where I grew up, but here the ocean’s pretty amazing too. Fitness has always pretty much been my mainstay. Growing up near nature, staying active and trying out different sports has taught me many great life lessons about hard work, training, discipline, the process of learning new skills, putting the effort in, humility, and also boosting my self confidence. LUCKY for me, it has also turned into my career and lifestyle as a dance & yoga instructor and manager. I can’t speak highly enough about incorporating any kind of fitness into one's daily life and making it a part of your lifestyle - not just something you do cause you have to.
In the beginning I was lucky to be pretty active as a kid, my parents supported me to participate in sports from a young age including swimming, track & field, gymnastics, dance, snowboarding, volleyball & rock climbing. My first year of University I auditioned to be on the TCU dance team. Being a dancer helped me stay balanced, active and make healthy choices through my studies. I also enjoyed the physical & mental challenge as well as being part of a team, listening to my coaches, and learning new skills. Dance gave me a great “platform” to use fitness as an outlet to help manage stress, feel healthy/vitality, and not gain the “Freshman 15(Lbs)” at University :)
After Uni I took some time out after my studies and became qualified as a snowboard instructor. I traveled from North to Southern Hemispheres - where I met some fun, sporty Aussies & Kiwi's - which ultimately landed me here in Sydney, Australia :) Being an athletic person, when I first experienced yoga I thought = Ugh, BORING!! Then I took my first Vinyasa Yoga class, which grabbed my attention and kicked my butt all at once! I fell in love with the combination of movement, athleticism, skill based coordination of different postures, mindfulness, and soulful activity all in one.
I decided to leave the endless winters and move to Sydney in 2007 where I completed my very first Yoga Teacher Training course at BodyMindLife Yoga. That was the KEY to my future, career and current life path. While I was starting out my career in yoga, I was also managing a small dance studio in the Sydney in the Northern Beaches, and began teaching pole dancing and yoga. Over several years, that quickly morphed and developed into my passion and love for teaching yoga, encouraging & empowering students on their journey. Since then, yoga is my primary “fitness” activity as well as lifestyle + practice for mind/body/spirit. Recently I’ve also been dabbling a bit in Crossfit, Ariel Silks, and learning to surf :)
My advice is to participate in something you can get into whether it’s yoga, dance, crossfit, gym, swimming, or tennis. And do it for life!
What is your active life mantra?
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
What does living an active life mean to you?
Radiating with joy (or is that just the endorphins?) Connection to the outdoors. Being energised to participate fully in life.
Who is your biggest fitspiration?
I’m inspired by people who are living life to the fullest! And people who dream big and positively devote themselves to something they truly believe in. This can be yogi’s and athletes in general who have the discipline, courage and dedication to commit to their practice and dare to shine. Whether it's Rich Froning (Crossfit), Michael Jordan (basketball), or Misty Copeland (Ballet); It ain’t always easy, typically the great achievers have also had their fair share of hardships & “failures” along the journey. But they stick to it and keep going anyway.
How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by keeping active. As soon as my exercise starts to drop, everything else completely goes out the window.
What’s your favourite way to stay fit?
You will usually find me at yoga, going for a run outdoors or at cross fit. I like to change it up! For me, exercise definitely isn’t just to the gym, really any type of movement whether it’s dance, yoga, swimming, aerial silks, pole dancing, rock climbing, surfing, going for a run at the beach, or doing cross fit. Staying active is key.
What’s your style like when you’re working out and hanging out?
Lucky for me, I work at a yoga studio so I hardly ever have to get out of my athletic clothing. When my workout clothes are fun/stylish and comfy you’ll have to pry it off of my dead body to get if off of me!
What’s your style like when you’re going out?
Dresses and earrings. This winter it has been all about scarves and beanies for me too.
What do you look for in active wear?
I’m obsessed with comfy sporty clothing that looks + feels great so I can wear it to work, practice yoga, and afterward around town or just hanging out at home!
What are your favourite Vie Active pieces?
The Lori Sports Bra
- it is comfy as well as sexy and the zipper at the front makes it so functional.
What are your makeup must-haves?
A bit of mascara and chap-stick
The book on your bedside table right now:
The Social Animal, a book on behavioural psychology
What do you typically eat and what do you try to avoid?
I don’t really avoid any particular food - I just try not to over indulge :) and love to eat/cook with lots of veggies. I tend to avoid alcohol. Aside from the occasional glass of wine or margarita, I tend to opt for a soda and lime even when I’m out with friends. I know I will wake up more positive, full of energy and motivated for the day ahead.
What's your workout ethos?
Have fun, change it up, be challenged
What's your routine when you need to wind down and relax?
Cleaning the house - I know right!? Am I the only cleaning freak out there?? It makes me feel so much better when the space around me is clear, clean, and organised. Sometimes I’ll just open up the windows, light some candles / incense, and start dusting or doing laundry, Lol. Other things are chilling out in a sunny spot with my cat, or going for a walk / run outdoors preferably near the beach or in nature
What is your number one reason for taking care of your body?
It’s our number one vehicle, and gives us the ability & energy to do what we love, participate in life more fully and act on the world.
Message you’d send the world with one request (only catch: it has to be 140 characters or less):
My message is short and sweet - this life is what we make of it!
Can you share your ‘signature’ healthy recipe?
Steamed veggies, seasoned with herbs. Grilled Salmon with lemon and dill. Tri-coloured Quinoa. Voila!
Can you share a typical workout?
Lace up my running shoes, head out the door for a beach or trail run. Stop at the beach or somewhere along the way to do some yoga, core work, handstands, then keep running! Swim at the end if it’s warm outside. Refreshed but soggy walk home :)
Top items that are always in your gymbag?
Water bottle, towel, lip gloss and moisturizer
Where can we find you online?
/ Instagram: yogaadventures07 / facebook: kat clayton 7