Change Maker Spotlight – Kate Murphy

by Yoga Digest | March 28, 2017 1:26 am

Kate Murphy, is the 31-year-old Norwegian based founder of the holistic health and natural beauty blog, LIVING PRETTY NATURALLY[1]. She is also the CEO and co-founder of the global chess technology company, PLAY MAGNUS[2], which she founded with the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen. In addition to overseeing all business development, strategy, corporate partnerships and financing for Play Magnus, Murphy still finds time to teach office yoga and meditation classes to staff – nourishing the soul both at home and at work.

Kate will be co-hosting a transformative yoga retreat in Bali April 8-15 with Leela Yoga – find  out more info here: http://leelayoga.no/retreat-bali[3]

 

  1.  How did you get into yoga?

KM – My journey to yoga started as a physical one. It wasn’t a miraculous awakening, but rather a botched slide tackle in a soccer game that resulted in a broken leg and torn tendons all around my ankle. This led me to a series of combined spinning and yoga classes to help heal my tendons. Over the course of a few weeks, I became addicted to the yoga class after spinning and I began attending more classes, from hot vinyasa to yin. My body was not the only thing starting to heal; it was my mind and spirit, too. I was hooked.

 

  1. What have you done in the past year to better yourself as a Yoga Teacher?

KM – I connect into a practice of pranayama daily – whether it’s on my meditation cushion at home, or sitting at my office desk. Taking note of how yoga can impact our daily lives – not just in the studio – has helped me incorporate these soft reminders into my own classes. As a teacher, I make a point of asking questions to my students, so they can make the choice constantly for themselves: “what does my body need, right now,” or “how does my breath feel now?”

 

 

3. Why is yoga so important in the world we live in today?

KM – We are so focused on our external experiences that we forget to come home to ourselves and just be for a few moments. This obsession with doing and being not only depletes our energy and spirit; it also depletes our ability to give our best selves to our family, friends, spiritual practices, and ourselves. Yoga gives us a channel to connect, to get the mind quiet and to take part in this life from a place of understanding.

  1. How have you found ways to incorporate yoga into other areas of your life?

KM – In addition to being a yoga teacher, I am also CEO of Play Magnus[4], a chess tech start up, and the founder of the natural beauty & wellness blog Living Pretty Naturally[5], so I have found creative ways to incorporate yoga into my life. Over a year ago, I began offering a weekly yoga class to my awesome employees at Play Magnus – a team of about 10 software developers, designers and chess Grand Masters. I watch my team enjoy those few moments of mindfulness in their day, as well as feel and see the benefits of lower shoulders, both physically and emotionally.

I travel a lot for my work – chess is a global sport, after all! Before each trip, I always research studios I want to try out in the city to which I am traveling (even if I’m in a country where I don’t speak the language).  And I always travel with my “travel mat” so I can still do my own practice in the hotel room.

In order to find other ways to incorporate yoga into my life, I often slip into my own practice when the studio is empty after teaching one of my classes at Leela Yoga. I also tend to center my holidays and travels around yoga teacher trainings or retreats. For instance, this spring I’m actually co-hosting a yoga retreat in Bali – where it’s possible to find the perfect balance of teaching and learning.

  1. What has yoga done for your professional life?

KM – Yoga has been a savior in so many ways. It is the other side of the teeter-totter that allows me to feel balanced when I’ve stacked up too much on one side. It allows my mind to calm, the body to soften and following my practice, I always notice a shift in my energy and my thoughts. I become more creative, things flow more easily, and I am more effective in my work.

  1. What is your life motto?

KM – “Go, go, go, stop!”

I have a constant curiosity that makes me a “yes” say-er. I say yes to almost anything and everything that interests me and feels right. However, I’ve had to become a lot better at listening to my gut and intuition when my body is saying, “no, it’s time to rest.” Whether that is some restorative yoga, meditation, journaling, curling up with a giant cup of tea and my book of the moment, or just taking a nap on Sunday, I am listening to the inner voice say “go, go, go, stop.”

Endnotes:
  1. LIVING PRETTY NATURALLY: http://livingprettynaturally.com/
  2. PLAY MAGNUS: http://www.playmagnus.com/
  3. http://leelayoga.no/retreat-bali: http://leelayoga.no/retreat-bali
  4. Play Magnus: http://www.playmagnus.com/
  5. Living Pretty Naturally: http://www.livingprettynaturally.com/

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