Kait Hurley // @kait.hurley
Helloooooo my lovelies! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week! Mine just got a whole lot brighter thanks to today's Boss Babe interview! If you aren't familiar with Kait Hurley yet, you're gonna want to be because this babe is about to be EVERYWHERE. She is the mastermind behind an amazing Move + Meditate practice that is basically my ideal form of exercise. Kait and I met at Revitalize, where I swooned over her effortlessly cool wardrobe and kind soul. I resonate with her story because she also quit her full-time job to pursue her passions. I have been taking part in her January Challenge to jumpstart the new year, and has me feeling GREAT. Kait also did a collaboration with Alison Wu, which is one of the most butt-kicking workouts I've done in awhile. She is one of the most genuine souls you will ever meet. I am thrilled to welcome her on the blog today!! xo
Tell us a little bit about yourself! My name is Kait Hurley, and I'm a movement and meditation teacher in Portland, OR. I have a recently launched website that delivers online workout and meditation classes that range from 5 minutes all the way up to over 60 minutes. You can move and meditate in one video or you can just meditate. I add new videos all the time, and I stay really close to all of the online subscribers and ask lots of questions to make sure I'm giving them the support they need. It's important to me to keep everything high touch and personal. I think my favorite part about having my own business is that I get to run it with my husband, Peter. He's my partner in business and in life. And if you follow me on Instagram, you'll find out pretty quickly that I'm a crazy cat lady too! I adore my kitten Javier. He's 2.5, but he's still such a kitten. He darts around the house and plays with everything. I can't leave anything out without him getting into it and causing mischief!
What is your zodiac sign? Straight FIRE! I'm an Aries, born on March 24th. I'm definitely a passionate person, and I feel things very deeply. My highs are high, and my lows are low. I used to hate this about myself because it caused me a lot of suffering and a fair amount of grief when I'd hit a low point, but meditation has helped me not get so swept up in my emotions. Thanks to a strong daily meditation practice, I've learned how to stay steady and feel things and then let them flow through me. Now I see my empathy and deep emotions as a gift. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Tell us about how you got started in the industry! I've been an athlete my whole life—including college when I ran cross-country and track for a competitive Division 1 program. When I got out of college, I landed a job with a national fitness brand and started teaching group exercise and working behind the scenes in branding and marketing. It was a startup when I joined the team, and by the time I left it had grown substantially into a well-respected national brand. I loved my time there, and it definitely lit a fire under me, but as my own meditation practice deepened and I started combining movement with meditation, I realized I wanted more. One day my husband Peter asked me, "What would you do if you could wave a magic wand and do whatever you wanted to do?" He saw my restlessness, and I had been talking about starting my own practice for a while...but he forced me to say it loud. I responded with, "I want to start a company with you. I want to combine movement and meditation and share everything I've learned with everyone else." He was like, "Ok. Then that's what we're going to do." I went in the following Monday and gave my notice.
What does a day in the life of Kait look like? Oh geez! It's not as glamorous as it seems on Instagram, that's for sure. Each day is different, but every day I wake up, meditate, and then have a morning meeting with Peter. We go over all of our priorities and get a grip on what's on tap for the day. Then I either bust out work on my computer in my PJs....or I actually have to get dressed and wear makeup to film new workout and meditation videos. I usually have a check in with one of my teachers or mentors too. I am so lucky to have great people with tons of experience around me. My meditation teacher Kimberly Carson is incredible, and I continue to learn so much from her. Everyone needs a Kimberly in their life. I also work with my physical therapist, Shawn Dailey, and I work closely with my choreographer/anatomy specialist, Heidi Waltermire—who also happens to be one of my dear friends. We make a great team, and everyone is just focused on putting the best possible stuff out there. I oftentimes do workouts on my own in my living room or I walk a few blocks to my favorite yoga studio in Portland, YoYoYogi. It's also the studio where I teach twice a week.
What is the best part of what you do? The hardest part? The best part? Getting to teach something I care about so much. It wasn't until I started having a series of relentless anxiety attacks that I started meditating. I was so skeptical that meditation could help me, but I was at such a low point that I decided to give it a try even though I didn't believe it could work for me. I had every excuse by the way: My mind is too busy. Meditation sounds hard and boring. I was even worried that if I started meditating, I would lose my edge. A part of me liked my stressful life and anxious mind. It made me feel like I mattered, and I thought it helped me achieve. I was so wrong! Anyways, I've experienced such major benefits from a regular meditation practice...I have more clarity and I see things for how they really are instead of getting swept up in emotions or stories. I also am so much more resilient. Meditation helped me uncover and connect with this deeper, wiser part of myself. I stopped looking for answers externally once I developed my own meditation practice because I realized all of the answers were inside. To be able to share these learnings and benefits with everyone else is a dream come true. And then to hear from people how this practice of movement and meditation has been a game changer makes all the long hours and hard work worth it.
The hardest part? When I'm the bottleneck for the team. My brand is me. It's my whole soul and my entire heart. I write every email, every Instagram post...you get the picture. Sometimes there are so many things that need to get done, but I'm the only one who can do them because it is so personal. My husband is incredibly business savvy and he's obsessed with efficiency, so he's always looking for ways to make our processes tighter, and to help me work smarter...but sometimes it still comes down to me holding up the works. That's not a great feeling.
You have the most incredible website featuring tons of great workouts and meditations. What inspired you to start your Move + Meditate practice? Thank you Allie! Honestly, I am scratching my own itch. I wish I had access to movement and meditation videos throughout my 20s (I'm now 31). I started meditating because I was struggling with relentless anxiety attacks. The reason why I didn't meditate sooner was because I didn't see myself in the practice. I had this misconception that meditation was clinical or super hippie dippie. I had no idea it was for busy, young, driven people trying to get shit done. If I had seen someone like me who meditated when I was 25, I probably would have tried it a lot sooner. Another thing that drove me is the fact that a lot of people talk about meditation like it's this blissful, zen experience. Sometimes that's true...but sometimes meditation is hard and uncomfortable. It takes a lot of courage to sit with yourself and explore the vibrancy of the quiet. I wanted to let people know it's ok if they feel like they are struggling, and I wanted to help them learn how to work with those energies more skillfully so they could benefit from this amazing practice.
What is the biggest message you want to share through your platform? If people can accept themselves a little more fully and learn how to extend more kindness to themselves...if they can expand and open their heart and find some compassion they didn't know they had. That's all I could ever hope for.