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A Day with… Nadia & Katia

Today we are joined by authors of best selling books, Self-Care for the Real World and Rituals for Everyday. These ladies are a pretty big deal in the world of self care, with their books being endorsed by the likes of Kate Moss and Reese Witherspoon. Sisters Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips, grew up with an unconventional childhood which led them on a quest for healing, self care and happiness. Nadia is a yoga teacher whose clients include Rachel Weisz, Jools Oliver and Kate Moss. Katia is founder of the wholesome vegetarianNectar Cafe at triyoga Camden. Their books highlight the importance of caring for ourselves in the same way we would a good friend. Reminding us that it’s the little things in life that matter and how crucial it is to take proper care of ourself if we are to care for others. We love their tips on daily rituals to help manage stress, anxiety and self doubt with their advice being labelled as ‘Marie Kondo for the mind’.

Both books take pride of place on our coffee table so we couldn’t be happier to spend the day with these two inspirational women. Nadia is 46 and has lived in an apartment in Primrose Hill for 5 years. She calls it her ‘little sanctuary, everyone comes over and I can’t get them to leave!’ Katia is 43 and has lived in a house in Hampstead for 10 years with her two kids, husband, dog and tortoise. Here’s a sneak peak into their typical day with some tips to keeping a happy and healthy mind and body.

How do you start your mornings and ease your way into the day?

Nadia: My alarm goes off at 6am. I like to have time in the morning, it sets my tone for the day. I do some morning gratitude and dreaming in my journal. Take my probiotics, hot water and lemon followed by a cup of tea. I meditate for 20 minutes daily. Then I either do a bit of yoga, walk or when it gets a bit warmer I go for a swim in the fresh water ponds.

I do wish I taught later sometimes, because I do like my mornings for me! Usually I wear a uniform to teach, leggings with a pair of baggy pants over them. I don’t like walking around in “active wear”, converse are a staple, plus a t-shirt and a cashmere jumper. I never take off my Loquet London and Tara Turner earrings. I try and walk everywhere but sometimes I have to jump on the tube, it’s fast and easy and I like looking at all the people.

Katia: Mornings are always quite rushed for me. I’m getting the kids ready for school and making packed lunch and breakfast so it’s always a bit nuts. I like to get the rush out of the way and drop them at school, then I come home, finish my tea in quiet and enjoy the stillness of my house. I slowly get ready, with my 5 seconds of cold water after my shower followed by a quick skin brush. If my husband hasn’t taken the dog for the day, I like to walk him in the woods and then I’m ready and my mind has reset.

Katia at Nectar Cafe in Triyoga, Camden

What does a typical work day involve?

Nadia: I teach from home, go to some people and teach 3 classes a week at a studio I’ve been teaching at for 20 years. I love listening to podcasts when I walk. I like Tim Ferriss, Insights at the edge, Super soul -Conversations with Oprah, Love stories with Dolly Alderton, Making sense with Sam Harris are a few. I normally try and eat before 2pm and finish teaching by late afternoon, although I do teach one evening a week.

Katia: I get to the café at 10am and usually leave at 3pm. As it’s only 5 hours I have an intense amount of work to do and usually very productive. If I’m cooking from home which I do a couple times a week for clients, I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Right now my audio book is The Awakened Family by Shefali Tsabary and I just finished “Quiet” by Susan Caine which I loved. Podcasts I enjoy Oprah Soul Kitchen and Aubrey Marcus. Lunch consists of whatever I’m cooking for the day for work. I grab some and sit quietly for 10 minutes to eat, although at the café it’s a bit harder to get a break as lunch rush is always too busy.

What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur? Any tips for keeping a clear head and a zen workspace?

Nadia: Starting your own business is hard work. Neither of us knew what we were doing and had to learn the hard way. What we have both noticed is that up until writing the books together, we worked alone and it’s been really fun the last couple of years having each other to create and bounce ideas off.

If I don’t meditate or have an orderly home, I notice that I don’t feel motivated to get things done. That is really important to me, is to have order in my home to work. Sometimes being self employed is harder than having a “job”. You need to make sure you have strong boundaries with the phone and emails and not always working. But at the same time, when you start a business it’s hard work and you have to be committed.

Katia: I’ve only started to say no to jobs I don’t want to do even if that means I don’t make the money. I think it’s really important to have a clear vision of what you want your work to look like. I always said yes and would end up breaking my back.. so now I’m really clear of what my work looks like, it’s scary but I’m trying to have trust.

Your last adventure and your next?

Nadia: Katia and I just got back from NY and Poland when are second book ‘Rituals for Every Day’ was published. Both trips were super fun and it was nice to see our books well received in other places. We both have a little holiday for Easter separately and then more travels together in May and a retreat in June, where Katia will cook, I’ll teach yoga and we will incorporate a Self-care workshop into the week. It’s fun doing stuff together.

Katia: I’m currently in Ibiza and about to go on a 4 hour hike with the family. I love going to places I’ve never been and exploring.  Poland was amazing, it’s not often I go somewhere I’ve never been and I get a real buzz out of that.

Here’s the tough one…If you could only listen to one song, read one book, watch one film and speak to one person what would you choose?

Nadia: That is a crazy question and I can’t possibly answer it. Right now I’m listening to Neil Young, books, again not possible to answer, I read everyday and 2 books at a time. But right now I’m reading ‘How to change your mind’ – Michael Pollen and loving it. One film ………… Urghhhh not fair! I’m still one of the few people that still goes to the cinema! I can’t tell you one film but I am going to see Mid 90’s on Saturday night Jonah Hills new film. ONE PERSON !!! Now that I can answer Katia (at least 5 times a day )

Katia: I can’t answer that… There’s 5 people I would have to speak to. Nadia, my husband, and my kids everyday. Song:  gosh…. I think it would be “entertain us” Nirvana. Book: Our books, just kidding. I probably have read ‘The Prophet’ by kahil Gibran a hundred times. Movie, Breakfast club.

Any inspiring Instagram accounts for us to follow?

Nadia: I like Mystic Mamma

Katia: We_are_food she’s my favourite chef and makes me so hungry

The ladies in good company whilst editing their book

How do you maintain work/life balance whilst running your own business?

Nadia: Not always easy, but trying to get better at it. Not sure it’s ever an actual balance. Sometimes more of one and other times more of the other. I go through busy times and quieter times, When it’s busy I try and make sure I do the things I need to do to feel good in my day, eating well, bed early and taking care of myself. When it’s quieter, I go out a bit more, do fun things that don’t require quite so much discipline.

Katia: I really try not to take my stress home with me and I have learned to say NO to a lot. So I would say boundaries are super important and a good way to clear your mind.

Favourite workout?

Nadia: Yoga, walking and fresh water swimming

Katia: Same as Nadia but I also like a bit of ballet barre

How do you wind down at the end of the day?

Nadia: Last night I had a spontaneous party and dinner with a friend. We hadn’t seen each other for a while so we talked a lot and ate a lot. It was the perfect evening. Every night always ends with a bath with aromatherapy oils and bath salts, lots of (my) candles burning in the bathroom and living room plus a diffuser in the bedroom with lavender and roman chamomile. Early dinner and a good book before bed. Boring I know but nothing makes me happier than getting into bed by 10.30!

Katia: We like to sit as a family for dinner, something like a homemade kale pesto with pasta and salad. I usually go up with the boys at 8.30pm and once I’ve finished the bed time I like to soak in the tub with my aromatherapy associates bath oils and Nadia’s candles. My bed is always tidy from the morning so I dim the lights and put my aromatherapy diffuser on.. slip into bed with a hot water bottle and rub CBD cream on the back of my neck or soles of my feet. I might then watch an episode of something on Netflix on my laptop and be asleep by 10.30 at the latest. I keep a notebook by my bed for any ideas I have as I’m falling asleep or just waking.

Self Care for the Real World & Rituals for Everyday

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