18. Finding Your Way as New Yoga Teacher with Katie McNeil

episode description & show notes

Harriet is joined by Katie McNeil.

Katie is a woman of many hats. Based in Oxford, she is a yoga teacher, admin enthusiast and community builder with people at the heart of everything she does. Her teaching vision is to offer a space for people to practice yoga and learn together as a community. She loves to empower students to feel comfortable to be themselves in class, the opportunity to find a sense of agency within their yoga practice, and their own set of tools they can take with them throughout their life. Outside of teaching Katie supports both Nourish Yoga Training and Every Body Studio with admin, she loves supporting businesses that are working towards similar goals as her own and gets a kick out of smoothly running systems. Think spreadsheets and tick lists. In her personal life, she has set up a housing cooperative with a group of friends where together they foster the wider community, grow food, and share the highs and lows of life with each other.

Katie and Harriet talked about their morning routines, finding the joy in admin, becoming a yoga teacher and their shared love of baked beans.

You can find Katie here:

Read the full transcript:

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
people, yoga teacher, teaching, katie, baked beans, yoga, happiness, admin, nourish, day, hashbrowns, question, eat, email, oxford, scheduling, spreadsheet, life, class, nourishing

SPEAKERS Katie McNeil, Harriet McAtee

Harriet McAtee
Welcome to In Our Experience, a podcast exploring the many ways of living well with Nourish Yoga Training. I’m your host Harriet, yoga teacher and founder of nourish. Today my guest is Katie McNeil. Katie is a woman of many hats based in Oxford. She is a yoga teacher, admin enthusiast and community builder with people at the heart of everything she does. Her teaching vision is to offer a space for people to practice yoga and learn together as a community. Outside of teaching, Katie supports both Nourish and Every Body Studio with admin. She loves supporting businesses that are working towards similar goals as her own and gets a kick out of smoothly running systems. In her personal life, she has set up a housing cooperative with a group of friends, where together, they foster the wider community, grow food, and share the highs and lows of life with each other. I adore Katie; she is my very wonderful assistant, Nourish would not run, and my life would not run as smoothly without her. And I had a really wonderful time chatting with her. We talked about our morning routines, finding the joy in admin, the process of becoming a yoga teacher and our shared love of baked beans. I absolutely loved chatting with Katie, and I can’t wait to share this episode with you. So do let me know what you think. You can find how to contact us in the show notes. Right. Here’s my chat with Katie. Welcome to In our experience.

Katie McNeil
Hey, it’s lovely to see you.

Harriet McAtee
It’s so lovely to have you here. I’m really excited for our chat. As always, we’re going to start every this episode like we start every episode asking what’s nourishing you this week, and I will share mine first. I’m going for a silly one this week, which is that I am really excited about my dinner. I’m gonna have beans on toast.

Katie McNeil
Yes.

Harriet McAtee
And just an ode to the baked baked bean for a moment. I really love baked beans.

Katie McNeil
I’m with you. I literally had baked beans for breakfast.

Harriet McAtee
Yes,

Katie McNeil
I had hashbrowns that you like Chuck in the oven. And then I covered them and made beans, and it was fucking delicious. And so good. And yeah, like, I am here for that.

Harriet McAtee
I want that. I can’t. I can’t have hashbrowns. Oh, because I don’t have a freezer.

Katie McNeil
Oh.

Harriet McAtee
I know. It’s really upsetting. It’s really upsetting. I was at somebody’s house on the weekend, and they made me breakfast. And there I hashbrowns, and I was literally like, can I have all of them. But I don’t have a freezer on the boa,t so I can never have them at home. Maybe that’s a good thing because then I just need hashbrowns like three meals a day.

Katie McNeil
Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
I don’t see a problem with that. But I really love baked beans, and people that don’t like baked beans are snobs. I said it.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, all of my housemates judge me for it. Yes. I’m like, Well, you know what? It’s my go-to like,

Harriet McAtee
Why did they what’s what’s the, what’s the judgement?

Katie McNeil
Um, I think they’re like quite foodies. And they’re like really nice foodies.

Harriet McAtee
I’m a foodie; you’re a foodie.

Katie McNeil
Yeah. Baked Beans are great. Their nutritious, tasty. They’ve got sauce; you can put them with anything. Mm, well, not anything but like.

Harriet McAtee
Most things, I feel like you should move immediately. I controversially This is a real controversial thing.

Katie McNeil
Uh oh

Harriet McAtee
I So, just as a caveat, tonight, I am planning to heat the baked beans.

But I really enjoy eating them cold out of the tin.

Katie McNeil
I am nope, nope, nope.

Harriet McAtee
I know, people are like, you’ll say strange. And I’m like no, like the number of times I’ve got home like pissed from a night out. Just like pull out my emergency tin of baked beans and sit there with the spoon.

Katie McNeil
I mean, I love it, but I can’t, oh, that’s so cold.

Harriet McAtee
It’s so satisfying. I like them when they heat it up, obviously with like. I’m literally weeping. I like it with it. I like it with a heated up with like buttery toast or hashbrowns like. I’m really angry about my lack of hashbrowns now, but I don’t know. I think it’s a it’s a thing I did as a kid. And I’m like; it’s just stuck.

Katie McNeil
Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
I did lots of strange things as a kid. I went through a period of eating like ketchup and margarine sandwiches.

Katie McNeil
I also have ketchup on toast, and I still do that sometimes.

Harriet McAtee
like as a snack, describe it to me

Katie McNeil
like really toasted toast.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Katie McNeil
melted butter and then like a thin layer of ketchup.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Katie McNeil
and then just eat it.

Harriet McAtee
Interesting. I mean, I had like a jacket potato for my first lunch today. Yes, I had two lunches. I had a jacket potato for my first lunch today, and I put ketchup on it.

Katie McNeil
Nice, right?

Harriet McAtee
I know. I mean, it’s potato. Yeah, so baked beans are whats nourishing me.

Katie McNeil
I have two, I um, if I’m allowed two,

you’re allowed two.

Great. First one is also food-related. As you know, I have recently had COVID. And I got fed like a queen. I think in total, seven people from our community brought round precooked, or like home-cooked meals that we could just put in the microwave and eat. And I feel like fed by these random people so that, like, nourished me, soul wise, but also food-wise.

Harriet McAtee
That’s fantastic.

Katie McNeil
It was particularly good. I felt very special. Like, I mean, I know that they did it for everyone in the house. So there’s four of us in there. So these people were like bringing around so much food. Number two is that I had some time off, obviously for COVID. And then I came back to teaching. And I had that moment of like teaching my first class, and I was like, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was kind of ridiculous. But also, I just felt so happy teaching. And it kind of was that realisation after seven months of teaching like, yeah, I love it. So yeah, that’s what’s nourishing me.

Harriet McAtee
That’s wonderful. Yeah, we do have the best job in the world, except when it’s not the best job in the world.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, I mean,

Harriet McAtee
Most of the time,

Katie McNeil
caveats. There’s some real, real, not great bits. But

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, most of the time, it’s pretty decent, though. It’s pretty fun. Oh, that’s lovely.

Katie McNeil
A snuggly one.

Harriet McAtee
A little snuggly one. Um, let’s let’s talk about you. You’re the guest. So tell us, tell, tell us, tell me a bit about your background. And what you do. Because you know, it spoiler alert, Katie to anybody in the Nourish community that’s ever received an email from a Katie. This is the Katie. So tell us about you.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, I mean, I work for Nourish. I am a yoga teacher of seven months. I also work for another studio in Oxford, Everybody. I do a little bit of volunteering. But it’s like a completely different path to where I started out. As a kid, I wanted to be a vet. And then I studied art. And then I was like, went and did fashion design and then moved to London and was doing this whole thing. And then, you know, quit that because it’s quite cliche but soul-destroying. Came back to Oxford. And then I’ve had like, a long ten-year administration career, I guess. Like most of that is PA work, other admin work, EA work. And then eventually kind of circled around to just kind of questioning what it is I want to do with my life. And I wanted to teach. I only wanted to teach part-time, like, you know, a class here on a class there. It turns out that I enjoy it too much and have shifted more teaching than I am admin right now, which is kind of cool.

Harriet McAtee
That’s nice.

Katie McNeil
Yeah. I don’t think it’ll probably ever like stay like that. Although

Harriet McAtee
yeah, no, I can find some more work for you to do. Every, every few months. I have Katie, and I have a meeting, and I’m like, so he’s more of my job that I want you to do for me. So I was I was actually I was thinking about this today in prep for in prep for talking to you. I can’t remember when I first met you. I really, I really can’t. And I was like, when did I first teach Katie, and I like suddenly it was like you were there. And then I can’t remember a time when you weren’t around.

Katie McNeil
So I think it would be when I moved back to Oxford. So I lived up in Bisceter for a few years. Okay. And I was going to a gym that shall not be named. Who had a great yoga teacher who wasn’t like typical gym yoga teacher, and when I moved back, I found the basement studio.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, so the basement studio.

Katie McNeil
Oh, wait, was it Turl Street Kitchen actually. Turl Street Kitchen, but when you had

Harriet McAtee
In the library

Katie McNeil
The smaller space, yeah.

Wait.

The one with the fireplace

Harriet McAtee
Oh, the one with the fireplace. Okay. Yeah, so that would have been like 2017

Katie McNeil
I’m not great on my dates. But yeah, that sounds about right.

Harriet McAtee
That’s it. Maybe 2017. Wow. Have I known you for five years?

Katie McNeil
Mmhmm

Harriet McAtee
Oh, wow,

Katie McNeil
that’s kind of crazy, right?

Harriet McAtee
What is time?

Katie McNeil
Who knows? I mean, post-pandemic time doesn’t really exist. We’re just in a bubble,

Harriet McAtee
I know, I feel like I lost two years, but then also lived ten at the same time.

Katie McNeil
Yeah

Harriet McAtee
It’s wild. Well, I’m so like, I’m so pleased that you are loving teaching, not, not just for the, like selfish gratification that like I trained you to be a yoga teacher. But it, well, because like, some people don’t have that experience.

Katie McNeil
Yeah

Harriet McAtee
firstly, like some people teach, and it can feel really like like hard work. And it’s not that it’s not that you don’t work hard, you work very hard. But it’s really nice to hear that you’re having that experience. Also, because I know it’s something that you were really nervous about.

Mmmhmm

Yeah, tell us a little bit about that.

Katie McNeil
I mean,

I’m still nervous about it. Like I had, literally, what day am I on? Who am I? Tuesday, I had my first new class in like a small, like um, at Ark T if anyone an Oxford knows Ark T. And I was nervous as hell. It’s a new class. Even though I’ve been teaching for seven months, and however many classes that is, it’s still like, ahhhhh, a whole

Harriet McAtee
new space, new people

Katie McNeil
New space, new people, don’t quite know who’s coming. Is it going to be the right fit? Am I gonna be able to pay my bills? Will they invoice me?

Harriet McAtee
The perennial yoga teacher question.

Katie McNeil
It was, yeah, I mean, there’s spreadsheets for that one. But yeah, I think originally, when I put my application in all those many moons ago to Nourish or Yoga Quota at the time, I was terrified but also really excited. I guess maybe I could tell you the story about how I decided to put my application in

Harriet McAtee
how did you decide? I can’t remember; I don’t know this.

Katie McNeil
I was at a festival. And I signed up to a workshop on connection with someone. And they got these set of questions, which I think the New York Times or The New York Post must be Times did a piece on ages ago. And it was like 20 questions to fall in love.

Harriet McAtee
Okay, I’m aware with the I’m aware of idea. Yeah yeah yeah.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, so they were doing that, but as a workshop, but with like someone that you didn’t know, that was to be friends with? Yeah, it was

Harriet McAtee
this sounds risky.

Katie McNeil
It was risky. So there was this person that I kind of vaguely knew. Now, we’re great friends, luckily. And the idea was that we were going to do these questions. And we were gonna, at the end of it, share something that we were struggling with in our lives, and we wanted advice with. And that idea was that after these 20 questions, the other person might be able to have some kind of insight into what you were thinking and might be able to help bring you to that decision. And my thing that I was thinking about was teaching, okay, and that person was like, You’re an inspiration, and you should go do the thing. And I was like, okay, I go write my application. So I did. and then, here we are.

Harriet McAtee
Oh,

Katie McNeil
I know

Harriet McAtee
Oh, that’s a lovely story. And for anybody listening, like the application process is not that intense. You literally send me an email, which is like, I’d like to do some teacher training. And I’m like, let’s have a chat about that. And then people do the training.

Katie McNeil
It’s more the process of deciding, though that was nervous.

Harriet McAtee
The process of designing Yeah.

Katie McNeil
Is this something that I’m going to fail at? Or is this something that, like, I can do? Am I allowed to do this? Kind of process. I think that’s what I was hesitating on.

Harriet McAtee
That’s interesting.

Katie McNeil
Would you like to unpack that?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I would. I would well because I feel like that’s a very common experience for people coming. Or it, people in that process of deciding to do teacher training, they’re worried that it’s something like particularly not, I should say, as well, that not everybody comes to a teacher training, thinking that they’re going to teach. But if you’re coming with that sort of intention in mind, then you know, you can sort of be like, Oh, am I going to be bad at this?

Katie McNeil
Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
So that’s one thing, but then also, like, Am I allowed to do this? I think is that’s the more interesting one in there for me. So like, why did you think you weren’t allowed or why was there a question?

Katie McNeil
I think because I had only come to yoga like later in my life,

Harriet McAtee
Okay.

Katie McNeil
I think because I lacked self-confidence, I think because I felt not always at home in the studio, like there were spaces where I had found. So at that point, that’s why I applied to that particular course because I’d found a place where it felt like home on my mat and where I could practice in this space, but not all places are like that; in all places feel welcoming, not all places, like, are accessible, I guess. Therefore, why should I be like allowed to do this? Like, what? That, like, I don’t fit in here. All of that schoolyard type feeling? You’re the one on the outskirts? And you’re not?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I think so many people feel that way about yoga spaces in general. And then like, your your trainings in particular? Well, I’m glad that you’ve overcame that.

Katie McNeil
Mm, Me too.

Harriet McAtee
And now you’re a teacher? And how have you found it? Have you found the teaching journey?

Katie McNeil
Um, it’s, I mean, it has its challenges. Like, I still have those feelings sometimes I’m still like, oh, my gosh, I’m an imposter. What am I doing here? Oh, I’m at the front of the class.

Harriet McAtee
That doesn’t really go away.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, I kind of assume it never will. But um, I think that’s been ups, and that has been downs. But I think the most. There’s a couple of like, moments of realisation in there. And I think one of them was finding community of the teachers and that side of things. So like, I’d already found a space to practice in. And I’ve already found like my own practice on my mat and stuff. But when I started to get out there and teaching, and when I got a place, a couple of local yoga studios, there was this community of teachers that will all like chatting and talking to each other and supporting each other and swapping classes. And just, it was that realisation of like, oh, there’s even more to this than just teaching. There’s like a whole world of things out there. That’s gonna to help you. I think that has been a big thing for me. I think I’m also just really, really lucky that I have a large career history and administration because there’s like so much more to teaching right than teaching the words.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think it’s really underestimated how much admin it is.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, like a lot,

Harriet McAtee
like a lot. Like a lot of emails, a lot of WhatsApp, a lot of organisation. Consistently, like when I talk to teachers, even who have been teaching a few years or many years, when I talk to them, the issue that they struggle with the most is like managing time.

Katie McNeil
Yeah,

like diary management. Yeah, schedule management. And I’m like

That’s where I’m lucky, though, because I’ve been a PA for like, ten years. During that time, I was like, most of my job was like checking someone’s emails and scheduling their life. So I just switched it to my own, which is a bit weird. But also it’s fine. Like, my Google Calendar is like this colourful. Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
I have a really

Katie McNeil
everything is scheduled.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah

Katie McNeil
Just in case.

Yeah. Do you think my curiosity, I guess, is Or, my question is, do you think you have a better understanding of how long things take because of that experience? Because my theory is that the reason some people are really bad at scheduling and managing their time is that they don’t have a good perspective on how long things actually take.

Yeah, maybe, actually. Yeah. I hadn’t thought of it like that. But yeah, like, I guess my entire job was doing that and to take up 37 and a half hours a week, and that was still so much more I could have done. It was a full-time job. It’s probably more than a full-time job.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Katie McNeil
just to do the scheduling thing and then feel teaching on top of it. Well, depending how many classes you’re teaching, that’s a second job; it is still.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. So what does a typical day look like for you at the moment,

Katie McNeil
Oof, they’re also different. I mean, I will, without fail, get up pretty early. Make a large pot of coffee and take it back to bed.

Harriet McAtee
Oh, that’s nice

Katie McNeil
That is the one thing that is pretty much always there unless I’ve got something really early happening, but that’s rare. Um.

Harriet McAtee
I am a big believer in not putting anything in my diary before 10 am

Katie McNeil
That is wise

Harriet McAtee
before 10 am Is my time with the exception of my A favourite private clients who I teach on a Friday morning, because I teach them at nine. But they’re the only people that I’ll do anything before. 10 am for.

Katie McNeil
And that’s still not too early, like nine is well, I mean, it depends if you’re a morning person.

Harriet McAtee
It’s not because I’m not a morning person; I am. But I want that time for me.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, me too, right? Like,

Harriet McAtee
yeah,

Katie McNeil
that morning time is for me to drink my coffee and stare at the light coming in from outside and then think about, oh, that plant needs, you know, it’s dying. It needs some care, or like, all these little things that run through your brain or you want to read a bit or whatever, it’s your time, right? But yeah, and then I guess, onwards from that, it depends which day it is, and what class I’ve got to teach. I’ll usually log straight into my emails when I’m like, Okay, I’m up, I’m ready to go. I’m dressed and showered and stuff. I’ll check all of the inboxes. And then from there, it decides, like, if there’s priority items, whatever that priority item is, gets my attention first. So whether that’s like my own yoga stuff, whether that’s Nourish stuff, whether that’s Every Body’s stuff, whether that’s some random thing, and my other old personal email that I need to complete or something. And then, depending on what it is, it’ll be like an hour or two, maybe three of admin, and then I’ll go feed the chickens. Or, like, you know, break and do something in the house. Yeah, that was takes a lot of work. That’s like always something to clean. There’s always something to do; that’s what happens with living with lots of people. There’s loads of stuff. And yeah, and then I guess my afternoons are usually, there’s always going to be a six o’clock class, or six o’clock or something.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie McNeil
So again, afternoons are a bit weird. Like, when do you eat dinner? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, the thing of like, that could be a whole podcast series of like, When do yoga teachers eat and what do you eat? When because it’s, you’re usually teaching when you would be eating

Katie McNeil
Yeah, this morning at 11 am. I made a roast dinner for this evening.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, cuz also like that. When do you cook?

Katie McNeil
Right?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. No, I know. My, my strategy for evening classes was always eat before. So if I was teaching at seven, I would eat it like, four. And then, I would have a snack after teaching. And but then like, When do when do you have lunch? What do you have for lunch? You know, it gets a bit messy.

Katie McNeil
It’s also like, It’s like a small thing. Right. And usually my housemates. I mean, recently, we’ve all been sick. So it’s been a bit tricky, but they love to cook. So there’s going to be food around when I get home, which is nice. So I can just pick up a little bit of whatever it is they’ve eaten for dinner.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, that’s good.

Katie McNeil
which is kind of, well, I mean. It’s not kind of handy. It’s really handy.

It’s really handy. I mean, yeah, pickles is not so good at cooking.

Mmm, but so cute.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, she’s the best. She’s pretty good this morning. So, I sort of have a similar vibe, but different. In the mornings, I get up, and I make like, about a litre of like hot lemon water, which I appreciate is like the most yoga teachery thing. I start my day with hot water and lemon. But it’s just habit. And like, I just, I just It helps wake me up. And then I make tea. But I do this gross thing of like, leaving my tea bag to steep in the mug while I go and do a 20-minute sitting practice.

Katie McNeil
Wait, what was wrong with that?

Harriet McAtee
Nothing.

Katie McNeil
Ok good.

Harriet McAtee
I just came back to like very strong tea. But yeah, so like I drink my hot lemon water, leave the tea to steep, and then go and do a 20-minute sitting practice and have a little spot on the boat that I sit in. And this morning, when I was practising, pickles came, and I had like a blanket around me because it was cold. And she came, and I could feel her like sniffing at me. So I like opened the blanket for her to get inside. And she got like walked around a little bit and then got out and then like stood in front of me and put her paws up on my chest. I was like, Oh, you want to be picked up? So I did like the last few minutes of my of my meditation practice, like holding pickles. I’m like patting her. And she was purring away. She was so happy, and I was like, this is a meditative practice of sorts. I was just trying to be I was trying to be really like, mindful of the like that like the texture of her fur and her warmth. And I was like, this is quite sweet.

Katie McNeil
It’s kind of cute.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie McNeil
Cats are funny things; they like. We are just slaves to them, really.

Harriet McAtee
I know. I saw this; I saw this. I don’t know, reel on Instagram, it was like dog was like, you feed them. You walk them; you pat them. They think you are God. And with cats. You feed them; you pat them. You water them. They think they are God.

Katie McNeil
They are They really are

Harriet McAtee
like, you know, there’s like a self-confidence about cats. I really,

Katie McNeil
Yeah, that’s why they’re so good.

Harriet McAtee
Appreciate. They are pretty great.

Katie McNeil
They’re very scared of chickens, though. Our cat is like terrified of the chickens.

Harriet McAtee
Really Interesting.

Katie McNeil
She’s quite small, like little tiny kitty.

Harriet McAtee
What’s her name?

Katie McNeil
Wednesday.

Harriet McAtee
Cute

Katie McNeil
Wednesday, who has trained me well, she doesn’t have a cat flap in the house. So she’s learned that I am the weak link in the house so that if she comes to my bedroom, at any point during the day, whether I’m trying to sleep, whether I’m like, you know, midway through working on something, whatever that is, she will just like sit and just tapping on the window, like, let me out until I let her out. Which I obviously do after, like, a minute of being like, No, you could wait. And then two minutes later, I’m like, Okay, fine, now I will, and then goes out for two minutes, and then does the same thing to come back in. She owns me.

Harriet McAtee
Pickles has recently learned how to open the door on the boat.

Katie McNeil
Oh skill

Harriet McAtee
And she’s also figured out how to jump onto the roof.

Katie McNeil
Oh.

Harriet McAtee
Like from the gangplank where you walk on?

Katie McNeil
Danger zome.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. I don’t mind it. I would rather her get used to it. Because like she’s just like, she’s gonna have to figure it out eventually. Although it is hilarious when she falls in the river. But yeah, know, cats are. Cats are the best. I mean, I like dogs.

Yeah, don’t get me wrong.

I would have a dog. But not on the boat. And I would have a dog if it was mostly somebody else’s responsibility.

Would you like your friends do have dogs?

Like, yeah, like if I ever if I ever lived with a partner again, or if I ever, one day I’ll have a partner again, I’m sure. But I would quite like them to have a dog.

Katie McNeil
Nice. Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
And then I can enjoy all the benefits of that dog. But none of the responsibility.

Katie McNeil
My partner’s housemates have a dog. So I have that. But it’s close, down the road around the corner. So it’s fine.

Harriet McAtee
That’s a great dog to have. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. No, it’s funny. One of my favourite things that Katie has done to Katie manages the like Nourish Community Library Instagram. I one of my favourite things that she’s done is like, introducing the pets that practice with the teachers. And she didn’t tell me that she was doing it. And I logged into like our Canva thing one day, and I saw this like introducing Edie. And I took a photo of it on my phone. I think I sent it to Katie with, like, perfection underneath.

Katie McNeil
Waa, They like appear so much like I feel whenever I watch them. I’m like, Oh, who is this little bean of cuteness. So, now people know. There’s one coming up soon, too; I’ve just got new pics from someone.

Harriet McAtee
It’ll probably by the time this episode comes out it might. They might be there. Go to Instagram or go to the Instagram and see which pet has been revealed. But Katie is also the person. Katie. The more I think about it, the more I just realised that my life could not function without you. Katie is also the person that writes all of the descriptions for all of the practices on the community library.

Katie McNeil
I love doing that.

Harriet McAtee
You’re just it’s just remarkable.

Katie McNeil
It’s great, right?

Harriet McAtee
We had we had other people, we had a few other people doing it at the beginning. And then once we got into it, Katie, just Katie just took over.

Katie McNeil
I forget I do that. It’s like one of those. I think that’s what my life is made up of these days. It’s like little tasks that I do, like once every two weeks. So like once every two weeks, I’ll log into that particular bit of the website or no website, spreadsheet. It’s a spreadsheet; of course, it’s a spreadsheet and work away. Spend a few hours writing some class descriptions.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie McNeil
So relaxing. It’s ridiculous.

Harriet McAtee
No, I really like it. I think. I think one of the things that people often misunderstand about yoga teaching is that they think it’s this really romantic thing. I’ve talked about this on the podcast before with Simran with various other people. But people have this idea that it’s like super romantic and you like you teach yoga, and you have a lovely like relaxing, bendy, strong stretchy time. You know, however, you’re practising that day. But I’m like, no, no, no, no. We are still run by spreadsheets.

Katie McNeil
Oh yeah. There’s so many Nourish spreadsheets, everybody.

Harriet McAtee
We do. Yeah, that’s that’s the that’s the behind the scenes that’s a scoop its there. We love a spreadsheet. And most of the time, what I’m doing is emailing Katie with a spreadsheet being like, I did this. Now it’s your turn?

Katie McNeil
And it’s always beautifully coloured. Lovely.

Harriet McAtee
I know I really pride myself; I really pride myself in a beautifully coloured spreadsheet. That is so satisfying, like my marketing, my marketing spreadsheet,

Katie McNeil
I copied out one full the like,

Harriet McAtee
I know you did, but you changed the colours.

Katie McNeil
I did.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie McNeil
Yes, it’s got its own vibe.

Harriet McAtee
But that’s that spreadsheet works really well. Maybe I should share a screenshot of it somewhere with people because I know like, they’re like, What is this wonderful spreadsheet? But no, it just divides like, it’s like a calendar. But it was like, what was useful for my brain? I think that’s the other thing is that when it comes to like, being a business owner and being self-employed, and being a yoga teacher, it’s about figuring out how to make these processes and the things that you need to do work for you.

Katie McNeil
Yes,

Harriet McAtee
Rather than trying to do it, how you think you should be doing it.

Katie McNeil
That’s a Yeah, that’s a great point. I think, like, that’s something I. So I love teaching. But I also do admin, and I’m don’t hate admin; I love admin. Like it was my career for like, ten years. I love it. I love a process. I love like, you know, taking something that someone is doing and being like, you’re doing ten things you don’t need to here. How about If you just do this, and sometimes it works for them. Like admittedly, sometimes it doesn’t work for them. But like if you can streamline a process, and it takes out loads of things for them, it’s just ah, their life becomes easier, your life becomes easier. Everybody’s happy. It’s great.

Harriet McAtee
That’s wonderful. I mean, admin is satisfying. I don’t mind doing admin; I just feel really lucky to be in a position where I can pay somebody else to do most of it. So thank you.

Katie McNeil
Eee, you’re welcome.

Harriet McAtee
I was talking, I was talking to. I can’t remember who I was talking to talk to talk to a lot of people this week. But talking about how Oh, we can support ourselves. Like being self-employed, you’re like, you’re supporting yourself, you’re, you know, taking care of yourself. You’re like making your own money. You’re the only one that’s responsible for that. I think one of the most satisfying things for me is like not only do I do that for myself, but I play a role in like doing that for other people. And like it was so important to me during the pandemic to like, keep going for everybody.

Katie McNeil
Yeah, it was amazing that that happened. Right?

Harriet McAtee
Well, I mean, yeah, there was a lot of hard work and a lot of stress. But we got there.

Katie McNeil
For those of you that don’t know, I was on the course, like the stream that started just before the pandemic,

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, you were.

Katie McNeil
You know, like two months in, and then it was like, the world has gone to shit.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, and then you finished online. Yeah, I know.

Katie McNeil
But it was magic that that happened. Right. I mean, it wasn’t magic. It was a lot of hard work on your half. But for this, somebody as a student at that point, to have this thing that was still constant.

Harriet McAtee
I know

Katie McNeil
that came through.

Harriet McAtee
I know that like

Katie McNeil
Oh my gosh

Harriet McAtee
continuity was so important to me. Yeah.

Katie McNeil
Yeah. Like, those weekends were precious.

Harriet McAtee
I’m really pleased to hear you say that and like, I’m pleased that you’re here. I’m pleased that you love during my admin for me. It’s really wonderful. So before we, before we finish, I have a listener question.

Katie McNeil
Oh, oh gosh.

Harriet McAtee
It’s just a really small, straightforward one. Do we overcomplicate happiness?

Katie McNeil
Mmm I don’t know. Do we? I think I don’t. I think like it can be really easy to overcomplicate it.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I agree.

Katie McNeil
But I try really, really, really hard not to, and I think that’s why I like morning so much. I’m just gonna, like roll back in there like you get up. And I’m just staring at the light.

Harriet McAtee
I think people don’t necessarily overcomplicate happiness but misunderstand how happiness arises.

Katie McNeil
Explain.

Harriet McAtee
Mm, explain. Like I think I think that, and this is like not, not new information that I’m sharing with anybody. And if you’ve been listening to the podcast, or you know, been a student of mine, you’ve heard me say this like 10,000 times. But you can’t decide to be happy like happiness isn’t something that like you can flick a switch. It’s also not something that can be like attained, it’s not a goal, like, you know, you can’t set a goal to be happy. But what you can do is work to create the conditions for happiness to arise. So I think we overcomplicate things by focusing on chasing, chasing happiness. Whereas if we sort of take a step back, and what we do is focus on creating the conditions in our own lives, bodies, minds, communities for happiness to arise, then it becomes a much more straightforward. Like, it’s not necessarily easier. But it’s more like integrated, perhaps.

Katie McNeil
Yeah. Do you think there’s something in, like, noticing the small things as well? Like happiness not having to be this like, big thing that you’re trying to achieve? Everywhere in your life.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah

Katie McNeil
But you could like pick out those from your day, which are like, oh, yeah, these were three really happy, tiny moments in my day.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Katie McNeil
And then you can, like

Harriet McAtee
Totally. Totally, Yeah. And that’s where tools like you yoga, yoga, meditation can be so useful because they can make you more sensitive and more attuned to those moments of happiness when they are there. But yeah, there’s definitely some work to be done around like reframing, redefining what happiness is.

Katie McNeil
I mean, it’s quite a vague term in itself, right? Like, what is happiness made of?

Harriet McAtee
I don’t know

Katie McNeil
Joy is joy; happiness are joy and happiness, the same thing?

Harriet McAtee
Joy, joy to me, is easier to define than happiness.

Katie McNeil
Yeah. And is that because happiness is such this vague thing? It’s a bit like sadness to it’s like such a big word.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. And it has lots of like things attached to it.

Yes,

Katie McNeil
It’s not.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. No, I agree.

Katie McNeil
It’s full different things.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. Yeah, overcomplicate something else. And then let’s, and then let’s come back to happiness.

Wonderful Katie. Well, I have just loved chatting with you. I mean, as I do most days, where can where can our listeners find you?

Katie McNeil
Good question. So I am a heavy Instagram user. So you can find me at my Instagram, which is @katiemcneilyoga, or my website, which is the same with .org at the end, or my email, which is the same @gmail instead. Yeah, and then I’m around Oxford here and there and everywhere. At Prana Studio, Every Body and at Ark T. Or if you email the hello@nourish inbox, you’ll find me.

Harriet McAtee
That’s where Katie is

Katie McNeil
That’s where I am—attached to my email. Or you’ll find me hanging around a coffee shop on Magdalen road, most likely.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. Yoga teaching brought to you by coffee.

Katie McNeil
Oh, yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Katie, for joining me today.

Katie McNeil
Thank you so much for having me

Harriet McAtee
thanks for listening to In Our Experience. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review the podcast. We love hearing what you think, and it makes a really big difference. In the meantime, until the next episode comes out. Why not? Check us out on our Instagram account @nourishyogatraining, or pop us an email via our website. See you soon

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