October People of People’s: Hilary Kinavey

How long have you been practicing?

I started practicing 10 years ago when there was a yoga studio literally across the street from my apartment. I rolled out of bed and into the studio 4 mornings a week (read: no kids, single).  I liked the challenge of the asana practice, but I loved that yoga gave me a neutral space to quietly find a more neutral, less pressured way for me to be with myself.


Why did you start?

I started at a time in my life that was expanding and deepening, and yoga helped me hold space for that. I was self-employed as a therapist, and I was starting my business, Be Nourished (www.benourished.org). I didn’t exactly know what I was doing except following my heart. Yoga provided such an amazing metaphor and practice space for that journey.

How has your practice changed over time?

It’s always in flux with my life. Since I started, I fell in love and got married, had kids, bought houses, lost a parent to cancer & lost a baby. My practice was sometimes committed and deep during the tough times, and sometimes felt like not the right thing. Life changes how much I show up for yoga formally (in the studio and on the mat) but there is a piece of yoga that lives in me now. Like a part of my anatomy. The cultivated curiosity, patience with self, learning to roll with the unknown is a part of how I show up for myself now most days.

What brings you back to your mat day after day?

The need live more from my body than my head. A desire to know love and to open my heart to myself, especially when I do that so easily for others. The sense of the limitless space in the moment when I am able to tune in.

How long have you been coming to TPY?

I’m not exactly sure…at least since 2011. It’s become such an important place to me, it feels like I’ve been there longer.

What do you love about the studio?

I love the gentle sense of community and the reverence for the individuals that come there. I love that one of my first moments in the studio was Rachel Stern coming to each student in her class and asking what they need. So touching. I loved Kelly Conner leading the class in saying “I’m f-ing doing it right”, a message that we delivered straight to our critical minds. My experience has been one of fun, respect and inclusion. I recommend it to everyone who asks!

Tell the community more about your projects off the mat.

I co-founded a remarkable place called Be Nourished(www.benourished.org). Our passion is helping people explore how an enjoyable relationship with food happens naturally when the focus is more on nurturing the body and mind and less on dieting.   We believe body trust is your birthright.  Our Body Trust Wellness approach to food, body and health is deeply nourishing and counter to conventional paradigms. We offer programs, workshops, retreats and online courses (http://benourished.org/events/weighting-exploration-body-trust-wellness/) to support your shift into body respect and trust.