A quickfire Q&A with a London based yoga teacher whose business and life strategies both include bringing her whole heart to whatever she does.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m Kate Lister, a London-based yoga teacher and singer. I’m originally from Liverpool (which is usually a surprise to most as I don’t have the accent, sadly(?!)), lived in Scotland for 5 years and a short time in the United States before moving to London in 2013. Yoga and music have been the loves of my life since I was a kid. Other than that, I’m all about sustainable living, gut health, positive relationships with our bodies and spreading down-to-earth love, openness and positivity.
When did you qualify and where do you teach?
I qualified just over three years ago – early 2013. I now teach all over London, in public studios like Another Space, The Life Centre, TripSpace, Mudra and Frame, as well as working with private clients and corporate groups. I end up seeing a lot of this brilliant city!
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
This might not sound like business advice but it’s served me well throughout everything I do in life: my first singing teacher told me to always “sing from the heart”. I take that with me everywhere. It goes beyond singing and into every choice and communication I encounter. If it’s not coming from the heart, it’s not worth it.
This means that I’m constantly checking in with myself to make sure I truly believe in what I’m putting out into the world. The London yoga scene is incredible, in the true sense of the word; it can be overwhelming, heavily-branded and soullessly-marketed sometimes. Singing from the heart means if I’m offered opportunities that don’t align with what I want to promote, I let them pass, and save my voice for the things I really want to shout about. I’m proud to say that every class I teach has been offered to me simply through the real relationships I’ve built with people I care about. No blackmailing involved!
What business focused resources would you recommend and why?
For me, one of the best things I did whilst building my teaching schedule was to create my own routines. The beauty of being freelance with your work is that you have a lot of flexibility with your time. But this can become less of a blessing when suddenly this free time just runs away without you and things start to feel a little scattered. I found that creating my own none-negotiable day-to-day structures helped me make the best use of my time. E.g. my ‘free’ 3 hours on Thursday afternoon between classes I dedicate solely to my own music practice unless I have a singing student. Either way, it’s music time.
I sit down now and again to revise it all and make sure I’m spending my time doing the things I truly want or need to be doing, and not doing too much unnecessary travel or wasting precious hours on nothingness (aka the internet).
What do you know now that you wished you had known when you started teaching yoga?
Every yoga teacher everywhere sometimes feels they’re not good enough or meant to be doing what they’re doing. This is not an instinctive feeling or a message from the gods to give it up – this is just human life. Let it go!
What are you most excited about at the moment?
Yoga is mainstream. More and more so. As commercial and aesthetic as it might initially seem, this can only be a good thing: this practice seems to have its way of getting deeper into us all, and stirring up questions and explorations into other ways of living and experiencing the world. THAT’s exciting. It’s what we need more than ever right now, as it becomes increasingly evident that the current systems we cling to/tolerate are anachronistic. Times of change. Change is good!
Where can we find you?
There’s more chat, public class schedule, retreat and festival info & music links on my website www.misskatelister.com. You can also find my Instagram & Twitter profiles (both @misskatelister) and here’s my Facebook page.
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