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Featured Teacher: Kimm Ropicky

Molly TobinArticles, Community, Features

This month we welcomed a new teacher to the Yoga Garden SF team: Kimm Ropicky! She teaches Vinyasa, Power Flow and Mindful Flow. Get to know her below, and sign up for her class here!


Tell us about yourself! What are some things that your students might not know?

I’m originally from Wisconsin and while my accent has mostly left, you will still hear it when I say “bag” and “toes”! Yes, I do enjoy cheese here and there and I moved to San Francisco because Wisconsin winters are too cold. 😉

A big part of who I am and something you may never realize about me is that I’m visually impaired. Essentially, I have a blind spot in my central vision which means I have to look closely or use a magnifier to see. Because of this, I am better at identifying people by their body language than their faces. So if you see me around the neighborhood, make sure to stop me, say who you are, and say hi!

How did you become interested in yoga?

I first became interested in yoga when I was in college. I was taking challenging classes and needed something lighter. I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone by opting for a fitness class. However, It wasn’t until I moved to Berkeley in 2012 that I found myself connecting with the practice beyond asana.

After being diagnosed as visually impaired at 15, I felt the life I was working towards ripped away as I came to grips with the reality of being “blind”. I spent many years trying to be someone I wasn’t, fighting against myself and what I really wanted because of stigmas around blindness.

Yoga became the one space where I could be myself. It was really the only thing in my life that made me feel empowered and like I didn’t need to embody others’ perceptions. It gave me confidence and a sense of self-worth to realize that I am enough and deserve to live the life I want.

Tell us about your yoga journey. What style did you start in and with whom do you study now?

I initially learned Iyengar but most of my practice and training (200-Hour & 500-Hour certifications) has been in a core-focused vinyasa style.

I also practice meditation, mindful flow, and restorative styles regularly. I feel they complement the fast-paced world, allowing my body and mind to rest while releasing the stress I accumulate each day.

Currently, my go-to teacher is Jason Crandell. Beyond the mat, the work of Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s mindfulness training has been the highlight of this last year.

Why do you teach the way that you do?

When I teach, I like to think of myself as a guide for this practice to be what you need at that moment. We all show up to practice for different reasons and whether that is physical, mental, or spiritual, I try to make the space as inclusive as possible so you can explore different aspects of the practice.

In slower-paced practices, my goal is to create peace and ease in body and mind while incorporating mindfulness principles to deepen your practice.

Within vinyasa-based practices, I incorporate traditional and non-traditional movements that create a better understanding of how your body moves. You will be challenged to move through intensity, but also provided time to soften into yourself and your needs.

Any exciting projects or plans on the horizon?

Not necessarily yoga-related, but I am also in school obtaining pre-requisites to become an Occupational Therapist (OT). I apply for OT schools this fall with the hope of being accepted to a program the following fall.

Anything else you’d like to share with the YGSF community? 

I look forward to meeting and getting to know you as we move through practice and life one breath at a time.

 

That’s all for now! Sign up for Kimm’s classes, and/or connect with her on Instagram.