Healing and Strengthening for Adrenaline Junkies

Heal Your Mind and Body

I can’t do yoga. I am inflexible. I can’t even touch my toes. It looks too slow. I need to burn calories. I can’t sit still that long. It looks silly. I don’t want to chant. Do I have to wear funny clothes?

Folks had told me for years to do yoga and I thought it looked silly and wasn’t a real workout. After all, time is precious and I needed to use every available minute to burn calories and build muscle. I’ve run more than 100 races including six full marathons, 49 half marathons, 10 duathlons and a variety of other distance and obstacle course trails. The thought of taking a precious hour out of my schedule to “stretch” seemed like a waste.

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When I finally found yoga at age 38, it was something I was willing to try because I simply couldn’t get the same mental release I once did with running. Being an adrenaline junkie, I immediately gravitated to power yoga with an amazingly fast and challenging style. I still practice this style several times a week at what I consider my home studio and love it. However, as my yoga knowledge broadened, I learned that my body also needed to heal. Yin and deep stretch were what really changed my body, and my mind. Please note though that my yin practice is a complement to my running, weight lifting and other forms of yoga — not a replacement.

The Realization

When I began to learn more about yoga and saw how it made a difference not only for my body, but my mind, I began to read about how yoga is being used to help our veterans heal from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Yoga also is being used to help with depression, anxiety and several other physical challenges such as diabetes and a variety of forms of cancer. I then stumbled along the amazing YogaFit Wounded Warrior teacher training. I earned my first 100 hour certification through this program, and then went on to earn my 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) as well as my 500 RYT certification also through YogaFit. My expertise is in how to use yoga to combat the trauma and stress held in our bodies. Whether or not you are a veteran, we are all wounded warriors in a sense, carrying around “baggage.” We hold our stress in our hips, and our anger in our bellies. Everyone needs yoga.

Why Find Your Edge? Because that is what this is all about. In my classes, you will be asked to Find Your Edge in a deep stretch before relaxing into a pose, which results in repairing the connective tissue and elongating the muscle. But, I hope you will also learn that Find Your Edge applies to your mind and soul as well. My yoga and approach isn’t right, nor are other thoughts and approaches wrong. Rather, the best teachers teach what they know and this is what I know.​

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“I love my yoga class with Kimberly. As an instructor, she is humble and kind. She encourages and pushes me to find my edge in a gentle way. I am new to yoga.  And if I struggle with a pose she helps me but does so discretely. She has little meditative points to ponder for each class that I carry out with me. She has a lot of patience.  I really do love the class – for one hour of the week – my ‘monkey brain’ is focused on the present – not thinking about anything else.”
Laurie Penland