Fitness | January 2nd 2019

Studio Spotlight: Move + Meditate Method

We’re so excited to introduce you guys to this month’s Studio Spotlight, KAIT, a mindful movement app by Kait Hurley, Creator of the Move + Meditate Method. KAIT is a workout app that combines exercise with meditation to help you bring in the new year focusing on both physical and mental health. Kait is offering an exclusive discount for HBFIT newsletter subscribers for LIFE – don’t forget to subscribe here!

Tell us about the Move + Meditate Method.

I created the Move + Meditate Method because it was something I needed myself. For years—even though I was in the health and wellness industry—I struggled with anxiety. I had so many people in my life recommend that I start meditating to help me cope, but I rejected this ancient, Eastern practice. Meditation sounded hard, boring, and while I believed it could work for some people….I didn’t think it would be a good fit for me. Specifically, I was afraid it would make me too calm. I also worried I’d become complacent if I started meditating regularly. A part of me liked my anxiety because I saw how it propelled me forward and helped me get shit done. Eventually though, my anxiety got so bad that I started having a series of panic attacks. I had to do something. While I was skeptical meditation would be effective, I decided to give it a try. With nothing to lose, I found a great teacher, and for the next year, I meditated nearly every day. The truth though? Even though meditation helped me get better at stress and manage the energies of my anxiety, I really dreaded the practice. It was so hard for me to switch gears between my busy life and then just sitting in the quiet. I also frequently felt like I didn’t have enough time to meditate and exercise. Several times a week, I found myself choosing between my workout or my meditation practice.

Everything changed one day when I was working from home and short on time. I decided to bust out a quick sweat fest before I sat for meditation. I discovered that once I moved my body and got some endorphins going, I was less antsy and more open to the experience of meditating. Suddenly meditation felt more doable and fun, and as I kept combining movement and meditation together, I started looking forward to my practice each day. I also started to connect with myself in a deeper, more meaningful way and uncover more inner strength.

In a nutshell, the Move + Meditate Method combines exercise with meditation to help you get stronger not just physically, but mentally too. The whole program is available on my website or via my app, KAIT. Choose from a variety of workouts to light up your glutes and core—or if you need to give your body a break, I’ve got more grounded, chill, yoga flow options too. After we move, we’ll sit for meditation. By harnessing the energy and endorphins cooked up during each workout, you’ll be less antsy and more open to the experience of sitting in the quiet. You’ll also give your body deep rest. It’s been a joy to see thousands of people all over the world connect with this practice!

What distinguishes the Move + Meditate Method from other types of workouts?

What makes the Move + Meditate Method different is how mindfulness is woven throughout every single class. Also the focus on increasing mental strength and compassion is huge. We might be jumping or doing some kind of butt-burning All Fours series, but whatever we’re doing, we’re practicing being embodied and getting curious about what it’s like to be physically present inside the body moment to moment. When we can become embodied, our entire relationship with ourselves starts to shift. Everything we do to drive ourselves forward comes from a place of love, kindness, and potential rather than deficit and not enough.

One of the things I try to communicate in every single class I teach is that I’m really not interested in your ability to perform or whether or not you can do all the moves perfectly. What I do care about though is you. I care how you’re breathing and the way you talk to yourself. I also care about your willingness to move your body and stay present with the physical sensations even when it’s not easy or comfortable. Oftentimes during a workout, it can be easy to check out and just go through the motions. I’m asking you to check in and get curious about what’s here.

Walk us through what a Move + Meditate newbie can expect from their first workout.

When you download the app (which I named KAIT because I want you to know I’m with you every step of the way), you can choose a class based on how you’re feeling in the moment. Maybe you’ve got some energy to burn, so you decide to fire up a high intensity 30-minuter or an audio-only running move + meditate session. If it’s the first day of your period, you might need something more chill and relaxed like a yoga stretch. Either way, the only prop you actually need is a yoga mat. Once you roll it out, you’ll be good to go. The light hand-held weights and chair that are featured in some classes are both optional.

One other thing to expect from your first class is a pumping playlist. My husband and business partner Peter is an app developer and a DJ on the side. He and I have a blast pulling together our favorite tracks. Music drives the energy of class, and the majority of licensed tracks you’ll hear on my website and app are various forms of dance music. It’s important to realize that dance music isn’t just for our entertainment. It emerged in the 1970s and 80s as a response to oppression. House music came from LGBTQ communities in Chicago. Techno was created by Black Detroiters and repressed East-Berliners. Hip Hop and disco come from Black and Latino communities in New York. The past year, I’ve been really curious about the history behind my favorite music.

Why did you choose to offer Move + Meditate as a streaming service as opposed to a brick and mortar studio?

I’m someone who loves boutique fitness but also needs a do-anywhere, no-fuss practice that’s easy to integrate into my busy life. That’s what ultimately led me to create something digital rather than a brick and mortar space. I created what I needed myself. In addition, it was important to me to also build something that was affordable. So many people are worried about meeting their basic needs that they don’t have the time or energy to move and meditate. I don’t want to movement and meditation to be some luxury only available to an elite, privileged group.

What are the different types of workouts you offer?

I offer a variety of workouts ranging from running classes to high-intensity sweat fests to grounded yoga flows. No matter what you choose, you’ll find classes set to bumping music that move your body in all directions and pull together a mix of yoga, calisthenics, and plyometrics.

Do you offer different types of meditation for different types of workouts?

Yes! I carefully choose the style of meditation based on the theme and feel of the workout. As a white woman teaching meditation, it’s important to note that meditations are inspired by traditional yogic and Buddhist teachings as well as the wisdom traditions of humanity going back thousands of years. Expect a diverse mix of practices including body scans, loving kindness, breathwork, and more. Each practice is designed to train your attention and refine your ability to work more skillfully with the energies of the heart and mind.

What do you want people to take away from their Move + Meditate practice?

My hope is that people can get a little more comfortable with their discomfort. When we learn to stay present even when it’s not easy we build more mental strength and resilience. My other big hope for people is that they can learn to meet their inner critic with kindness.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone to feel their best, what would it be?

You don’t have to prove yourself to yourself every single day. Also, listen to your body. Our body can feel things before our thinking mind can process them. The more curious we can get about what’s showing up moment to moment, the more information we have to help us move forward, grow, and heal. Everything you need is already within you. We need to make sure that when we look for answers, we look internally.