How does Practyce Yoga teacher Nat Kendall get aligned for his day? He starts off with a slow morning, finds inspiration in nature, and intentionally creates spaciousness to practice gratitude.
What time do you wake up?
I set my alarm to go off at 7:02am on most days. Then I lay in bed for a few moments looking out of my window to take in the morning sun, catch a hummingbird at the feeder and let my eyes take in the day before rising up and out of bed.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
When I wake up, the first thing I do is put on some cozy clothes for my morning routine and then heat up some water to drink before I make my way to my meditation cushion.
Tell us more about what your morning routine looks like. What time are you usually done?
My morning routine is quite simple, but I don’t ever skip it. After I drink a tall glass of hot water and internally say what I’m grateful for, I do about ten minutes of simple asana; a few sun salutations, some standing side-bending poses, and then a couple twists. That warms up my body and prepares me to sit down on my meditation cushion. Once seated, I do about 10 minutes of Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing), and then I simply sit still in meditation for another 15 minutes. Some mornings I’ll do a Japa morning practice and repeat a mantra to focus my mind if I’m having a hard time stilling it. As soon as the meditation bell rings, I open my eyes, give my teachers thanks, and then get ready for the day ahead.
Are you a coffee or tea person?
I’m a tea person, but only peppermint or herbal. It works well for me to promote digestion and also clears my mind.
What’s your go-to morning breakfast?
My breakfast is totally a routine, and my girlfriend makes fun of me because I eat it almost every day! I make homemade granola rich with tahini, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia, almond, oats, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. I put that in a bowl with a massive scoop of coconut yogurt and top it off with local blueberries and banana slices. The finishing touch is a dusting of hemp seeds. A delicious, nutritious start to the day.
Is there anything else that’s a special part of your morning routine?
After my morning meditation and breakfast, I take a stroll out in nature around some of my local trails in Marin County. Starting the day with that perspective and connection to the natural world sets me up for a successful, inspired, and creative day more than opening up a computer or device ever could.
What does a day in the life of a yoga teacher look like after your morning?
After my morning routine, breakfast, and a stroll, I may open up the computer and see what needs responding to. Other days, I’ll head out for a surf, bike ride or class. There’s really no typical day in my books. I just take it as it comes. On days that I teach, I will spend time prepping the sequence that I may teach and read through some of my favorite yoga philosophy books to find a gem of yoga wisdom to share in class. My go-to has been a translation of the Upanishads from Eknath Easwaran. It’s so rich with nuggets that I can always find something eye-opening to share in class. I also spend many days working on music, whether it’s a new record I’m working on or mantra and chanting. Most of my days are very purposefully spacious and lovely but don’t be fooled. I still have to do the laundry, get the groceries, pay the bills and deal with all the other elements of being human. As all spiritual traditions remind us, chop wood and carry water.
Anything else you want to share about how you rise and shine?
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a gratitude practice. Starting the day and finishing the day with sacred moments of gratitude will rock your world!
May 13, 2022