My whole life I’ve loved to hear and share stories, and I know from experience there’s nothing quite like letting a powerful, heart-shifting story seep into your pores as you settle into a breath-filled yoga pose. Chopping vegetables for dinner at night, I often turn on my favorite snappy storytelling radio show and listen for inspirational stories to share in yoga class. I believe sometimes a single story can change your life.
A Healing Passion
I love using stories to inspire people to find their way back to trusting their bodies. My journey to yoga started out from a difficult place: I was a stiff, unhappy, exhausted lawyer who couldn’t reach her toes with her outstretched fingertips. When I first showed up on my yoga mat I thought some things, like handstand, were far beyond anything my weak arms could accomplish in this lifetime. The love and wisdom of my teachers helped me find an inner and outer strength I never knew existed. They showed me over time that my body could become strong and flexible, capable of extending with balance and ease in poses that seem to defy the law of gravity. Now I lead others along the same extraordinary path.
From Empty to Full
Yoga can stir things up for us. The quiet thoughtfulness of yoga practice shined a big spotlight on an unhealed wound I’d ignored for decades–how I felt about my body– which was as far away from love as you can possibly get and still inhabit the same space. Fortunately, yoga also illuminated how I could shift into a new relationship of friendliness and compassion toward my body and let go of the inner demons of self-criticism and shame that had tormented me. Years ago, a six year old girl told me her story in one succinct sentence, “My body is my best friend.” Today I can echo her words and mean it from my tousled head to the soles of my feet. Her story changed my life. Let my story, Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul, change yours. Today my commitment and mission are to guide other women, you perhaps, in the direction of loving yourself just the way you are.
Fifteen years ago Kimber Simpkins gave up being a lawyer and dove into the intensive study of yoga, with barely a glance back. Since then, yoga has brought more joy and delight to her life every day.
The wisdom of Buddhist and Tantric philosophy, the insights of physics and psychology, storytelling, and music continuously resonate through Kimber’s teaching and the experience of her students on the mat. She comes from a long line of lay preachers, teachers, singers, and healers and is happy to be walking a path that blends all of these roles. Kimber is the author of the Silver Nautilus Award-winning memoir Full: How one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself out in March 2015 from New Harbinger Publications.
Currently Kimber is working on a second book, 52 Ways to Love Your Body, based on the yoga workshop in which she shares with women the tools that led her from loathing her body to loving it. In addition to her work around body image and eating, Kimber finds herself drawn to the question of how yoga can help our innate connection to nature stay vibrantly alive while living in an urban environment. When not on her yoga mat, you may find her playing, meditating, dancing, writing, or hula-hooping in her backyard garden. She teaches weekly classes, immersions, workshops, and retreats year round and supports the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement, welcoming students of all sizes and levels in her classes.
Kimber received her teaching certification through Anusara Yoga in 2008 and has found much inspiration from wonderful teachers, including Katchie Ananda, Sianna Sherman, Noah Maze, Pema Chodron, Carlos Pomeda, Wes Nisker, Kevin Griffin, and many others. A long-time Bay Area resident, she lives with her son, dog, and cat in Oakland.
What Her Students Say
Kimber’s yoga classes are the best thing since Grateful Dead concerts.
Kimber balances the sacred with the playful. She encourages our practice to touch every part of our lives. It often feels as though class continues all day and into the next. Having looked all over the Bay Area for classes with the right balance of spirit and body. Kimber’s classes are the sweetest, kindest, healthiest, and most energizing classes I have found.
The best teachers live in the question: How should we live? Kimber brings her knowledge and practice of yoga to this question always. She is generous and positive and creates an atmosphere that is both challenging and nurturing.
Kimber was my first yoga teacher. Beginner’s luck! Her friendly, developmental approach is so caring and helpful that I quickly became an avid student. Her thoughtful themes, sense of humor and heart filled classes uplift and deepen my understanding of yoga and myself. She creates a valuable learning experience with gentle and intelligent teaching. I find her to be humble and wise and dear, and I feel like my whole person- body and spirit – are awakened to a more accepting and joyous place after her classes.
Kimber’s classes not only invigorate my body, but also my mind and spirit with her quotes of poetry, stories about life and mythology, and class themes that linger in my mind well after class is over.
Doing yoga with Kimber has made me stronger. She helps you find the balance between challenging yourself and not pushing yourself too far. I appreciate her focus on good technique, as a way to avoid injury and get the most out of the yoga poses.
Kimber is a remarkable teacher. She is kind, patient and supportive, creating an atmosphere in which every student, no matter his or her level of accomplishment, feels welcome. The philosophical ruminations, her literary references, and personal experiences she shares greatly enrich our class experience. In her one-on-one with me she always seems to find just the right adjustment to enable me to gain greater fulfillment from each pose. I cannot recommend her too highly!