Get Healthy for the Holidays with Kait Hurley
Portland, Ore. —
As the days get colder and the nights get longer, it's difficult to keep up with your normal exercise routine. The holidays can also be a very stressful time for many of us. So how can we get healthy and stay sane through it all? Kait Hurley is helping us prepare, using movement and meditation.
ABOUT KAIT HURLEY
I’m a lifelong athlete, and a movement and meditation teacher. I’ve been in the health and wellness industry for over a decade, but for much of that time, I wasn’t exactly well. On the outside, I looked like the picture of health. I ate green smoothies. I ran half marathons for fun, and I even taught fitness. Internally though, I was exhausted from chasing after perfection. I was so hard on myself. I struggled with body image, negative self talk, and feelings of never being enough.
Over time, my anxiety grew and grew. Along the way meditation was offered to me as a means to find some relief, but I rejected it. I didn’t believe meditation would work. It was only when I started having a series of anxiety attacks that I considered meditation seriously. Well, I started meditating every day, and I noticed the benefits but it still felt hard and like an inconvenience. I didn’t enjoy it. It was only when I started moving my body and exercising before my meditations that I felt a huge shift from the inside out and that I connected with that deeper, wiser, more resilient part of myself. Because when you blow off steam and sweat a little bit, it’s easier to sit and you’re more open to the experience of meditation.
And really, that’s what drove me to create these online workouts and meditation classes. That’s what I want to share with other people. I want them to get clarity and feel empowered and experience all the incredible things I do from this practice. So if you’re curious to give it a try, visit kaithurley.com, and there you will find a collection of videos. You can either move and meditate in one video, or you can just meditate. Videos are as short as 5 minutes, and I have some that are over an 60. You can really customize it given your busy schedule.
HEALTHY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
This is the time of year to let your guard down—to go to holiday parties, to have the second glass of wine and the third or fourth cookie. All of these things are fine, but it’s so important to still take care of yourself—to still do the things that help you manage your stress and make you feel good. For me, my non-negotiable things that make me feel good and help me ride the waves of stress during busy times are moving and meditating. It doesn’t need to take long, it doesn’t need to be a huge production. It’s just 15 minutes of your day that you carve out for you.
HOW TO MOVE + MEDITATE
1. Ditch your expectations. When we meditate, we’re not trying to achieve a certain state of being. We’re also not trying to clear our mind of thoughts. As best you can, be open to a beginner’s mindset, and be open to whatever shows up for you.
2. Get comfortable. There’s no pressure to sit up tall with perfect posture. When I meditate I’m usually sitting in a chair and slumping through my shoulders like I’m taking a nap.
3. Breathe naturally. As you meditate, just allow your breath to be easy and free. You’re not trying to control it. And as you stay present with your breath, you may start to notice that thoughts drift in. When that happens, it’s perfectly fine.
4. Let be. Don’t judge your thoughts or meditations as good or bad. Some of the very hardest meditations for me to sit through have taught me the most about myself. You are still getting major benefits from sitting in the quiet even if it doesn’t feel like it.
5. Stay consistent. This practice only works if you do it.