Kim is a Yoga and Ayurvedic Practioner who is passionate about modernizing the two ancient sciences.
She comes from a rich 10 years’ experience in law. During her stint as a lawyer, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. But armed with Yoga and Ayurveda, she was able to overcome the disease and gain tremendous self-confidence.
Kim is a proud mother of Miki and loves traveling.
Today, let’s learn more about her journey.
How did you start your journey as Yoga and an Ayurveda Practitioner? (Tell us your story.)
My name is Kim (31), living in Amsterdam with the love of my life and our baby girl Miki. I got inspired by Yoga and Ayurveda in the beginning of 2013 and I am eager to share with you why I so truly believe in these ancient wisdoms. For this, I need to share my brief history with you. As a young girl, I was really into dancing and everything that was pink (actually, I am still into pink now, but okay).
Nevertheless, after high school I started to study law as justice was very important to me at that time. Although I loved my studies – especially because I love studying (!!) – practicing law in the financial sector created a sense of disconnection and it was at the moment I decided to start doing Yoga. At that time, Yoga, for me, was a way to regain calmness and stay in shape. Even though Yoga was providing me these qualities, I immediately noticed a shift internally after my first practice. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was at that very moment, but I knew that I should continue staying on this path.
Step by step, I noticed that my hasty life was transforming into a more balanced way of living; yet it was in that moment that the ‘shit hit the fan’. My body started to get achy and my range of motion started decreasing day by day. This left me with continuous pain throughout the day and night, resulting in more tiredness as I couldn’t sleep anymore. Still I continued working, studying, and doing everything as if nothing was happening. At one point I was lying in my bed and wanted to get out, but my arms, hands, and fingers were not moving. I started crying because the very thought of getting paralyzed scared me. My boyfriend wasn’t home at that time and since I couldn’t move my fingers I was not able to send any messages. For me, it felt like this moment would last forever. After some terrifying minutes, my fingers started to tingle and slowly the sensation in my hands came back.
That day, I went to see a doctor who asked me if there was any family history of rheumatoid arthritis. Even though there were some family members really suffering from this disease, I was in denial. Of course, they took some blood samples and called me two days later to say that the results were not good and that I should go see a rheumatologist right away. Since my blood was showing very high-risk standards they got me in the same day and I remember walking out the hospital with two big bags of medicines. I was devastated. Standing there, only 25 years old, with a body full of pain and really strong medicines threw me off completely.
Luckily for me, the medicines were working, and the pain lessened. I can’t describe how grateful I was, for those medicines, since I could sleep again and my days had become more joyful! However, the disease was still there which resulted in inflammations in my entire body (throat, lungs, fingers, shoulders, heart, etc.). As it was really getting harmful – at that moment – there no other option than surgery. Again, I was grateful as the interventions got me back on track. But again, it was not for long.
By then I remember going to a yin yoga class, but I couldn’t move my body. The pain was back again. I started crying very loudly and couldn’t stop. It felt so unfair. Being 25 and not healthy. Again, I kept denying the disease and went on like everything was normal. After the surgery, I was able to drop into the office a couple of days later but under the influence of narcosis.
It was at this moment I came across Ayurveda. I started to discover my own personal, mental, and physical nature through it. I learned how to make the right choices that would benefit my health. After years of living Ayurveda, my complaints were gone much to the surprise of the Western doctors! I can assure you that for someone who studied and practiced law for 10 years I need my facts before I believe in something. By experiencing this, I have the best fact right in front of me and there is no way I can deny it anymore.
Now you would think that I had learned my lesson, but unfortunately, I kept pushing myself forward again and again. Until I found myself completely burned out. Once more sign that I was living against my own truth which knew intuitively.
My burn-out taught me so many things; but the most important thing was that it opened my eyes and made me stop judging others and myself. Due to my daily yoga practice and growing awareness I became open-minded, soft, and gentle. I decided that it was time to start following my heart. Yes, I finally learned my lesson.
With the support of my always loving boyfriend, I changed my life radically and left the financial sector for good to do those things that make my heart cheer! What a relief! I can now really feel what a gift life is!! For this reason, I am actually grateful for the pains the Universe gave me and even more for the awareness I gained with Yoga and Ayurveda. In the end, it is my consciousness which helped me to start seeing the signs and follow them instead of denying.
Having said that, the integration of Yoga and Ayurveda in my daily life really helped me to take responsibility of my own life, happiness, and bliss. I started setting my own goals. I got the strength to pursue my dreams without being anxious about the future. Since I have gained so many beautiful insights from both Yoga and Ayurveda I hope you too experience the same bliss.
So, yes, the love for pink is still here. Because wouldn’t the world be one big pink shiny globe if all people connect with their true inner Self-their inner peace?
What keeps you motivated to do what you do?
For me, there is no looking back. Because once you start to live in your body instead of your mind, you cannot return. Besides, I am free from RA. My mind is full of positivity after practicing yoga. Living Ayurveda has helped me become authentic. I don’t care about what others think of me anymore and that gives me freedom!
Tell us what a typical day in the life of an Ayurvedic Practitioner looks like?
As a mother, there is no typical day. I am still on a mission to translate Yoga and Ayurveda into an ‘urban-friendly’ language. The aim is to make these sciences more applicable in modern life. For now, I conduct yoga classes, workshops and do one-on-one coaching sessions.
My main responsibility is to raise my child with all the love and attention she needs. I believe doing so can evolve consciousness. Moreover, Ayurveda states that our mind-body personality (or ‘Dosha’ in Sanskrit) is formed mainly due to the combination of our parents’ sperm and ovum, as well as their Dosha predominance (DNA) during conception. We are told that our blueprint is already shaped before conception. However, the shaping starts from this blueprint, in the womb. For example, it has been proved that a child who is exposed to stress (and therefore to high levels of cortisol) in the womb is more likely to experience stress later in life.
But our responsibility continues till the early childhood wherein our physical, mental, and emotional bodies are formed.
Making the world a better place, therefore, starts with raising our children lovingly. I truly believe it starts with mutual respect and love, which you can only give if you have experienced it yourself.
What are your three favorite healthy habits you practice regularly, taken from the philosophy of Ayurveda or Yoga?
Ayurveda recommends taking certain actions (karma) daily to stay healthy. We call this ‘Dinacharya’ in Ayurveda, which roughly means ‘daily routine’. Our daily actions determine our current state of health.
My day begins with waking up early in the Brahma Muhurta (1-2 hours before sunrise) and going to the toilet, followed by brushing my teeth and scraping my tongue. After this, I drink a glass of lukewarm water and practice my yoga exercise. This kindles my digestive fire so I do my Abhyanga. Though I admit, as stated in the classics, that we should do our Abhyanga before practicing. However, I have experienced that the other order works better for me and that’s why I changed it.
My favorite habits are:
- Going to the toilet upon waking up: I have experienced that good health starts with a healthy digestion. On days when I can’t go to the loo immediately after waking up, I don’t eat anything before the previous meal is out. This small lifestyle tip has a huge impact on our overall wellbeing as it prevents the formation of ‘Ama’ (undigested food that may transform into toxins) in our body.
- Abhyanga: Not only Abhyanga nourishes my physical body, but it also enhances self-love. There is a reason why the Sanskrit word ‘Sneha’ means both oil and love.
- Practicing yoga 6 days a week: Some days long, some days short. It is a way to connect and find inner peace which I need as a mom living in a big city.
How do you think Ayurveda and Yoga relate to one another? How do you think awareness regarding both Ayurveda and Yoga can be increased?
Both (spiritual) sciences are rooted in the sacred Indian scriptures (the Vedas) and help us to be balanced, deal with stress, and eventually find inner peace. Ayurveda does this mainly via self-healing whereas Yoga is more of a tradition to refine the mind and spirit.
They both look at the human being as a whole and are therefore called holistic. This means that real health can only be reached when the body, mind, and soul are in balance.
In the West, we know Yoga mostly as a physical practice and Ayurveda as an alternative healing system. That’s true in a way, but Yoga and Ayurveda have the same ultimate goal- Moksha (or liberation).
The easiest way to look at it is to see Ayurveda as the science of Self-Healing and Yoga as the science of Self-Realization. This means that Ayurveda is the foundation for Yoga. But we should keep in mind that Ayurveda’s ultimate aim is the highest form of Self-Healing which is, like in Yoga, Self-Realization.
That been said, we should also look at the importance of combining these traditions. Yoga is mainly concerned with controlling the mind. For this, a healthy body is needed which can be gained through an Ayurvedic Lifestyle. When Yoga is used in Ayurveda as a tool to stay in balance or regain balance, it’s called Yoga Therapy (or in Sanskrit Yoga, Chikitsa).
In addition, Ayurveda mentions that we are all different and unique. We have our unique mix of the Elements (Pancha Maha Bhutas) and need different yoga practices to keep us balanced. For example, someone who is over-flexible needs more holding and support whereas someone who is stiffer will benefit more from intense long stretches. You need to know your unique mind-body constitution (Prakruti) or current imbalance (Vikruti), if you want to leave your mat with a smile.
What is your message for all Ayurveda, Spiritual, Yoga and Healthy living enthusiast?
Love is the only thing that matters.
Which Amrutam product would you love to try?
So sweet for asking me this question! I am a huge fan of herbal scrubs, not too greasy face oils and herbal face masks.
Kim has also compiled a short booklet about Introduction to Ayurveda, download it here.
Rediscovering Ayurveda is Amrutam’s series of blogs wherein we interview various men and women for their views on Ayurveda. Even though, India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, with passing time it has lost its original importance as a school of life. Indians now refer to it as a school of medicine. Certainly, Ayurveda is much more than that.
So, we at Amrutam have decided to find out what Ayurveda means to people in the present day.
This is the sixteenth article in Amrutam’s series of articles called Rediscovering Ayurveda, which aims to understand the idea or perception that modern-day men and women have about Ayurveda.