“I found the path of yoga as salvation after being sexually assaulted in my first semester at Brown University. Soon after it became my life’s compass. I have studied yoga asana, meditation, the sacred texts and Vedic chanting intensively for the past 21 years. Along this healing path, I discovered the somatic arts of Structural Integration, Feldenkrais movement, Somatic Experiencing and Sexological Bodywork to be the most powerful modalities in re-creating my self-understanding. In 1998, I felt called to dedicate my life to the practice and study of yoga. I trained at OM Yoga Center, at Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop, and in an intensive one-on-one internship in Viniyoga, specifically focused in yoga therapy. In 2002, I also became certified as a Structural Integration practitioner, the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, as it was the most effective and powerful form of bodywork I had every received. I have been teaching yoga for the past 16 years and working as a Rolfer for the past 13 years. For the past three years I have been studying Somatic Experiencing for Trauma Resolution, and will complete the certification in November of 2015.”
About Kimberly Johnson
I graduated Valedictorian from Northwestern University in 1997 with a degree in Social Policy and African-American Studies. As a move of desperation to understand a sexual assault I had experienced in my first year in college, I wandered into a yoga class. In 1998, on my second trip to India, I felt called to dedicate my life to the practice and study of yoga. I trained at OM Yoga Center, at Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, and in an intensive one-on-one internship in Viniyoga, specifically focused in yoga therapy. In 2002, I also became certified as a Structural Integration practitioner, which is the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, as it was the most effective and impacting bodywork I had ever received. After a difficult post-partum recovery process with the birth of my daughter in 2007, with a dearth of information, I realized that I needed to take my healing into my own hands. During that process I encountered physical therapist, Michele Kreisberg, and Sexological Bodyworker, Ellen Heed, who included internal pelvic floor work in their healing protocols. This revolutionized my understanding of the healing process and felt like the final frontier, together with healthy intimate relationship, in my healing of both surviving sexual assault and my birthing experience.
I have been teaching yoga for the past 15 years and working as a Rolfer for the past 12. I work with women primarily around birth preparation, birth injury and birth trauma. The prevalence of abuse among women, at least 1 in every 4 has been sexually abused, means that as a birth worker, I felt compelled to have all the skills to navigate this territory. The visceral nature of birth makes it a potent time for a descent but also for transformation and healing. I work privately with survivors who want to engage their experience as a source of growth and empowerment with bodywork, SE and yoga. Women come for private intensives, where we work for a few hours, several days in a row.
My Interest in Working with Survivors
I was sexually assaulted when I was 17 in my first year of university. The experience of the assault itself followed by school proceedings shaped the course of my future, and I went on to travel alone throughout India and Thailand and begin my path as a yoga practitioner and teacher. The most powerful tools in my recovery and reformation as I grew into adulthood were trauma-based psychotherapy together with yoga, meditation, and chanting. My interest in working with survivors is to offer the wisdom that I have gained from living through the healing process and to share a lived example of the possibility of full recovery as a thriving woman capable of healthy boundaries and deep intimacy. I consider the assault to be one of the most formative experiences of my life. The other most influential experience was the homebirth of my daughter 5 years ago, which has required a parallel amount of soul-searching and reformation, to understand the profound transformation in body, mind and spirit. I have gone on to become a pioneer of women’s health care in the form of doula work and specifically post-partum support. I host a virtual community and empowerment program called Maga Mama where I coach and mentor new moms in healing their bodies, gently restoring their libidos and grow into their new identity as mothers.
Here in Solana Beach, I help women navigate their own unique healing path with the tools of Structural Integration (including internal pelvic floor work), Somatic Experiencing, birth/post-partum mentoring, and yoga, both privately and in groups. My focus is on helping women establish a safe and trusting connection with their intuition, their body, and in relationship.
I have a certain number of slots available on a sliding scale-basis. I ask that each individual put in writing the request for sliding-scale.
Learn more about Kimberly’s work assisting women through pregnancy, birth and parenting through a variety of techniques in our interview “Cycles of Healing through the Lens of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parenting.“