Yoga Teacher and Health Coach
Every week I highlight someone in the Upper Valley who falls under the title of "Wellness Professional" - trainers, nutritionists, therapists of all kinds (physical, psychological, massage), and creators of healthy products, to name just a few. I give them a list of the same 20 questions and they choose to answer as many of them however they'd like.
This week I'd like to introduce you to Kim Hall, Yoga teacher and Health Coach
I fell in love with yoga as a pre-teen, enjoying the challenge of the poses and the meditative, grounding effect that they had on my body and mind. Throughout my teens and 20's I dabbled in yoga at home and in gyms but didn't get serious about my practice until I was about 30.
Since then, I have experimented with many different styles of yoga, and have taken lots of workshops and yoga intensives to deepen my understanding of yoga and the spiritual principles behind it. I settled into a yoga teacher training with Angie Follensbee-Hall in 2013 and completed a 200-hour program to become a certified Hatha Yoga Instructor. Last year, I graduated from a 300-hour teacher training with Angie to become a 500-hour level yoga teacher.
My goal in teaching yoga is to help students find a physical path that helps them develop greater strength, balance, and flexibility, as well as a mental/spiritual path that may bring clarity and sense of playfulness. I bring elements of Kundalini, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and classic Hatha into my classes - usually with music and gentle hands-on assists.
Outside of yoga, I am a professional muralist and painter. My work can be seen in both public spaces and private homes, and usually reflects the natural beauty of the environment. Doing service work and volunteering is another source of fulfillment for me. In the coming year, I'll be combining my love of yoga, travel and volunteerism to create service-based yoga retreats. This November, I’m partnering with Heather Healey, the owner of Mighty Yoga to host a yoga retreat in Plymouth, Vermont.
Kim's mural at KUA
What is your fitness/wellness philosophy?
Keep it simple, don’t buy into gimmicks, have fun.
Did you ever have any setbacks and how did you get past them?
Perseverance, keeping things in perspective, reaching out and asking for help, and believing in my “why” - the why I do what I do - to help people and to make a difference in the world.
What makes you unique in your field?
Experience with health coaching and overcoming addictive behaviors
You're trapped on 12A in West Lebanon starving and you only have $8. What do you buy to get your through your errands?
I would probably get a Kind Bar or a protein bar at a check-out -its crazy how even a place like Staples or Home Depot now have food options at their check-outs!
What's your guilty pleasure (food or otherwise)?
Dairy products - especially butter! Cheese, ice cream, butter…
What's something health and wellness related that you wish you'd known years ago?
The importance of sleep - without good sleep, life is really dysfunctional - your body cannot heal from injury or benefit fully from diet and exercise without it
What's the best health/wellness/fitness advice you've ever received?
The quality of the calories you eat may optimize the number of calories you eat: good, clean food and plain old water will fill you up and keep you satisfied way longer than processed food and/or empty calories.
What's your favorite quote or mantra?
“Chop Wood, Carry Water” from the Zen Buddhist tradition. It speaks to the power of taking simple actions. (Chop Wood, Carry Water: Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life, Rick Field, Tarcher, 1984).
Who or what gives you inspiration?
Books in the recovery/spiritual/poetry realm - just opening to a page from Melody Beattie, Mary Oliver or Byron Katie to grab a reading gives me the juice to stay on-course.
If you could only have one piece of fitness/wellness equipment what would it be?
TRX straps and bar
What's your favorite non-gym physical activity?
What are your passions outside of your field?
What is your least favorite exercise?
What is your favorite exercise?
Yoga at DHMC with some of the Manchester Monarchs! (Notice the lion in the background.)
What are one or two tips you can give to help people be successful in their wellness journey?
Sometimes, just getting started is the biggest hurdle, so I give them super-achievable, almost silly goals to start with - something small, non-threatening and manageable. If they can commit to these small things, it shows their willingness to enter into a coaching relationship, and ability to be “teachable” and committed to long-term success.
For folks without some sort of meditative or spiritual practice, commit to 10 minutes once a week to meditate - in whatever form that might take for them: staring at clouds, listening to soothing music, or some form of formal meditation like Zen, Metta, or Passage.
For folks with no physical practice and just getting started, I have them do just 10-15 minutes of physical activity twice per week.
How do you make better bad decisions?
I like having a “cheat day” when I can eat pretty much anything I want - when the “day” comes, I frequently am more in the swing of making healthy choices, so the cheating isn’t quite so cheaty.
Where can people learn more about you?
- Facebook: personal: https://www.facebook.com/wengerarts
- Facebook: Valley Wellness Coaching https://www.facebook.com/ValleyWellnessCoaching/
- Facebook: Travelasana (service-based yoga retreats) https://www.facebook.com/travelasana.world/
- Website: My artwork - www.wengerarts.com
Would you or your business like to be featured in "Meet the Wellness Professional"? Email Amy at RVCAmy at gmail dot com
Last Week's Interview - Jennifer Karr, Master Trainer and Fitness Instructor at the River Valley Club
Next Week's Interview - Karlen Thyne, Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness Thyne
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More about the author, Amy Fortier: A short interview