Monday, December 1, 2014
Dr. Kimberlyn Cahill, DM, E-RYT 500
(Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership;
Experienced, Registered Yoga Teacher, 500 hour)
Discovering yoga after a traumatic bicycle accident, Kimberlyn found healing, and recuperation, and eventually vitality and strength. Reconnecting with her body, mind, and spirit through yoga, Kimberlyn resumed and redesigned her life with renewed passion and commitment. Kimberlyn offers light-hearted humor, a positive attitude, and a smile to foster inspiration, self-discovery, and transformation through her Life’sWork Coaching and teaching. Whether on or off the mat, upright or inverted in the aerial silk, Kimberlyn serves as a companion guide to cultivate space for living a life of passion and purpose.
A seasoned entrepreneur and Life’swork Coach, Kimberlyn has over 25 years of experience training, educating, and supporting hundreds of people in pursuit of work-life balance and fulfillment. An experienced, certified, registered yoga teacher, Kimberlyn offers private and group instruction in mat and aerial yoga, therapeutic yoga, meditation, and breath practices (pranayam) and holds specialized certifications in prenatal, aerial and laughter yoga. Kimberlyn is available for workshops, presentations, and individual consultations.
Kimberlyn aspires to help her clients breathe deeply, fly freely, and live fully.
How did Kimberlyn come to practice Yoga?
Fifteen years ago, I quit my university job and sold all my worldly possessions. Well, truth is, I didn’t own much other than a decade of academic books, a TV and a car; I kept (most of) the books, but the TV and the car went. I set off on a self-contained cross-country bicycle trip that culminated in 5000 miles and over 15 states. Five years ago, I landed in the hospital 5 miles into a local ride due to an accident that almost cost me my life. Today, I often simplify this story to say, “A helmet saved my life but yoga enabled me to LIVE it.”
The scratches and bruises took only a few weeks to heal, but the damage done to my brain by concussion lingers to this day. For over 12 months, I suffered from disorientation, inability to sleep, and painful headaches. I was unable to read, unable to listen to music, and even the high- pitched tones of my kids' laughter caused me to hide away from my life. I was a work-from-home mom, who couldn’t work, let alone care for my children. I was barely able to dress and feed myself. When I think back, I have no memory of how we made it through those days. I’m sure that had something to do with my brain’s inability to process short term memories. My kids were 2, 5, and 8; babies really, all of them. We had some help: meals came from church the first couple weeks, and a friend would take the kids for a play day once a week. The other days, we mostly cuddled on the couch, or listened to the eldest as she read picture books to the little ones. We ate mostly semi-prepared foods from the grocer's freezer after the meals stopped coming. My husband was amazing; his patience and love forever picking up the slack of my brokenness. His courage and devotion helped me to hang on in the darkness of my weakness.
My dear friend introduced me to yoga as a way out of my broken darkness. She took me to my first yoga class and showed me how to set out my mat, taught me what to expect from class and she even demonstrated a couple of poses- child’s pose and downward dog, I think. I spent most of that first class in a propped-up child’s pose, as my injuries prohibited me from inversions of any sort. I couldn’t put weight on my shoulders or touch my head. But something almost magical happened in that class. It was the first place, since the accident, that I didn’t feel like a drain, like a burden. I didn’t have to make any decisions and I didn’t have to defend my feeble attempts to physically manipulate my body. I felt like I was connected as I had never been before, that I was part of a community. I had nothing to offer, yet nothing was expected. I could just be.
I continued to practice 2-3 times a week, as my budget could afford. In time, I found strength, openness, and resolve. I found humility, vulnerability and unknowingly, I found myself.
Yoga taught me to breathe. Yoga taught me that stillness is not my enemy. Yoga taught me that hope is not an impossibility. Wellness did not descend immediately, nor did it arrive quietly or neatly packaged in a perfect container. In fact, most days it was messy, noisy and unconventional. I learned to redefine wellness, allowing for good days and bad days. As my body found new ways to move, my ears found new ways to hear- invitation instead of expectation, opportunity instead of obligation. Using the yoga language of Sanskrit, my brain built new pathways of understanding, connecting the extremities of my physical, mental and spiritual components of my body.
As a perpetual academic, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. I wanted to learn more about yoga, to ask my questions and get some answers. Through the teacher training, I learned to see with new eyes, hear things that were never said aloud, and feel energy in a whole new way. I found strength I didn’t know I didn’t have. I found a place to be my imperfect self and still offer value to others.
Today I am stronger and healthier than I have ever been. Wellness has become my journey- A walk to cultivate harmony in mind, body and spirit. The practice of yoga helped me reconnect my body and breath, rediscover the desires of my own heart, hear the voice of my own wisdom. Yoga has helped me to breathe and continues to teach me to live mindfully, moment by moment with gratitude and joy, even in the pain and sorrow. I am so grateful for the practice of yoga. I am forever grateful for the breath of life.
I am back to work- though my work is different now. I am still self-employed, only now I am a better boss and a better employee. I am still what one might call an over-achiever, only now there is less push and more passion and more patience. I budget more time in my schedule for transitions between appointments, allowing for inspiration and transformation in myself and others. I still arrive late once in a while, but less often, and without the frantic panic. I now see my work as a daily offering of myself- an offering of support and encouragement to others. I see myself as a carrier of hope. So often in life we lose our ability to hope, to even hope for hope. My healing and recovery has cultivated and affirmed an awareness of a universal need for hope. So, I carry hope. I carry hope for others when they can’t carry it for themselves and am ready to gently return it to them when their hearts and minds are ready to carry it for themselves. Sometimes knowing that I have hope for them is enough.
I have always been one to ask a lot of questions- forever seeking knowledge, truth and fact. I find today that I am content with discerning the questions, even if the answers don’t come. I demand less of myself and others (except maybe from my kids) and yet I continue to receive in abundance, more than I ever imagined possible.
But how did Kimberlyn land here at Healing Circles Wellness Center?
As a former dancer, I was inspired to try aerial yoga in pursuit of the graceful relief of the perpetual tug- of-war with gravity. I have suffered from back pain much of my adult life in addition to the residual side-effects of my bicycle accident injuries. I had come to believe that pain was an inevitable part of life. However, through my study of aerial yoga and positional therapy, I am now living pain free and finding awesome results for others through these mediums.
Aerial yoga is yoga (think the integration of intentional movement with breath) practiced on, in, and with the support of a "silk" or hammock safely suspended from the ceiling to allow participants to hang just inches off the floor. Aerial yoga allows us to change our relationship with gravity and in doing so, change our relationship with our body, our self, and our life. Aerial yoga cultivates space in the spine and joints, builds strength and stability, and relieves compression and congestion in the entire body. Yoga flight energizes, enables one to confront fears and challenge assumptions and limitations, allowing for true flight. All while offering a child-like playful experience.
Positional therapy is a practice of sustained holding of the body in specific positions to undo the demands of daily life. Positional therapy offers pain relief due to muscular imbalances, reduces the frequency of surgeries and increases flexibility, fluidity and balance in the body. The integration of positional therapy and yoga offers a therapeutic balance to our modern life style of stress, busyness and over-commitment, and obsession with achievement.
Kimberlyn joined the growing family of wellness practitioners at HCWC in January of 2014 as a natural extension of the growing demand for her personalized, private yoga mat and aerial yoga. Kimberlyn continues to develop her knowledge in expertise in therapeutic approaches to yoga helping others to rebuild strength and vitality after life’s challenges and hurdles.
What is Kimberlyn up to today?
My family continues to grow, and the kids' laughter is still a little too high-pitched to be pleasant, and yet it is pure music to my heart, bringing tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. I still get headaches, especially if I push too hard to do too much. I laugh more, I cry more. I’m not sure if that's related to the concussion or the resulting personal growth.
Today, I teach 10 (or so) yoga classes a week, coach entrepreneurs and mindful professionals on alignment principles to cultivate blissful business practices, volunteer as a Girl Scout leader and still try to prepare and eat dinner with my family almost every night. I practice yoga every day. Some days my practice is on my bike, most days it's on my mat surrounded by those who share my desire to live mindfully with gratitude and laughter... Often laughing for no other reason than because it feels good and I am happy to be alive.