Meet our latest ‘Wow Woman’ Kat Farrants, Founder of Movement For Modern Life, the UK’s Online Yoga and Wellbeing Platform, recently named the ‘Netflix of Yoga’ by Vogue Magazine.
Yoga has been an invaluable healing practice in Kat’s life, helping her heal from a car crash and from the heartbreak of divorce. Her mission is to make the very best yoga, movement, meditation and mindfulness teachers accessible to everybody, so that everyone can experience these invaluable tools to deal with the challenges they face in life.
What was the moment you decided to take the leap into starting your own business?
My boss told me I was a bit ‘too creative’ one day – so I wrote myself a little chart of my skills and abilities and my interests and when I saw that really there was no convegence, I thought this is time to call being a lawer a day and start my own thing! I remember clearly thinking – blimey, best case scenario here is I get the corner office. Is that the best I can get?
Why did you start ‘MFML’?
I started MFML in a ‘perfect storm’ of events. First of all, I knew that I had been in the wrong job, living the wrong life, for so many years, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I quite suddenly got the courage to leave law, my husband had left me, and I was looking to start a new life. I didn’t know what that’d be, but I knew that yoga had been part of my life for many years.
I’d had a bad car crash a few years earlier, and yoga had really helped me heal. I wanted for yoga to be widely available, as a healing tool, for people to be able to deal with the challenges that life brings, like car crashes and husbands suddenly walking out on us! There are so few tools for people to turn to in life crises, that I wanted for people to know that there are things that they can do to help. I also had a very clear picture of the teachers I wanted on the platform, I knew that it would be with a selection of the most senior teachers, the ones who have had the experience, the wisdom and can inspire all of us.
What makes MFML different to the other brands out there?
It was really important for me to make MFML about real, down to earth people. We wouldn’t be just about yoga for the sake of it, or for looking good. I wanted it to be about the everyday benefits that people could get from the practice like sleeping better, improving back pain, and just feeling happier.
How do you ensure you always stay true to your core?
For me, integrity and ethics as a human being are absolute fundamentals. There are things that just should not be done in the world, even though they are commonplace. For me, running a business is just an extension of a way of being in the world, and just because something would result in faster ‘success’ I make sure that it feels right to me on every level, and is the kind of work that I would be proud of in the world. I think my daily walks in nature, reminding me of the greatness of nature and our tiny part in the grand scheme as humans keeps me grounded. It’s a reminder that ‘success’ is only your own definition.
Which is your favourite MFML video and why?
I love all the Yin videos – I think that yoga at home comes into its own when you’ve got your PJ’s on, a roaring fire, a cup of camomile tea on the side and you’re just winding down to get into bed. I love that!
Tell us one thing about MFML that we do not know.
I work a lot from bed with two dogs snoozing for company.
Tell us one top tip for an aspiring yoga teacher.
Listen to your own heart, stay true to your own path. And as a teacher, you must practice daily to stay true to yourself and the practice.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the freedom that working on my own business brings me. I love working from different places – sometimes the beach, often from my beautiful house, sometimes from a co-working space, always with my dogs, and never from an office. That’s the thing I value the most. And I love working with my teachers. I truly believe that the work of true yogis and meditators is sacred, and bringing their practices to everyday people, like me, is vital for the health of us all, but also for the health of each other and the planet.
We live such busy lives how do you ensure you get that all important ‘me time’?
I take very long walks every day. I walk about 5 miles a day through the countryside. This is my me-time, and the wonderful thing about having two very energetic working dogs is that you can never skip that!
How do you avoid quitting when things get tough?
When things get hard, I just remind myself what failure looks like, how hard I’ve worked to get this far, and also, what the alternatives are! There’s something to be said that the fear of failure is a great motivator. I have worked in a corporate environment for years, I know what that looks like, and I know that my life, however hard, is dreamy for me compared to office life.
What are the secrets to running a successful business?
Hard work, persistence and an awful lot of good luck!
What would you say to young women who want to start their own business?
I think that if they have a passion in life and they’re not afraid of high risk and tons of work, it’s a truly incredible journey. You need to be incredibly optimistic I think to start your own business, you need to believe in yourself and what you’re doing.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t listen to advice! Follow your own path.
Everyone practices yoga for different reasons. When did you start and why?
I started when I was 18. I hadn’t been good at sports at school and I had a pretty angry relationship with my body. I just loved the way it made me feel, not because I was good or not good at it, or because I would or wouldn’t be picked for the team, just for the feeling. That started a new relationship for me and my body.
Favourite yoga pose and why?
I love shoulder opening and back bending poses. I spend far too much of my life on a computer, and it’s so important for me to keep the shoulders and back strong and open. I often do cat/cow poses just to keep the spine healthy, and table top is wonderful at opening the shoulders and strengthening the glutes, which can be an issue when I sit down for too long!
Mindfulness or Meditation?
What do you do in your downtime?
I walk a lot every day in nature. I practise yoga. And I work with and train my dogs for competitive obedience. My other big passion is positive dog training.
Where do you go to ground yourself?
I go for walks in woodlands and wild places frequently and my dogs are pretty grounding.
What are your favourite London hotspots?
Hampstead Heath for long, beautiful walks and the ponds in summer for swimming.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
I love Holkam Bay in Norfolk
City life or country living?
Country every time!
What are three things you can’t live without?
My two dogs and my breath.
What is your quote of the day every day?
Decide what you want to do. Then do it.
What is your single piece of advice to the next generation of women?
Make up your own rules. All the rules in place are red herrings.
Who is your ‘Wow Woman’?
Maya Angelou, of course. Strong, fearless and courageous. A woman of massive integrity and of course, a beautiful writer.
If you could only live in one item of Asquith clothing what would it be?
This one’s hard. I live in my hareem pants. But I wear my jumpsuit so much for everything from smart evenings out to doing meetings in London. Tough! Can I have both?!