079: Yoga and Endometriosis with Kimberly Castello [Part 1]

In part 1 of a 2-part series on endometriosis, we welcome Kimberly Castello, a certified Yoga Therapist who completed her Clinical Internship with the Simms Mann Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles, California. Kimberly specializes in developing chronic pain management programs for individuals, hospitals, and clinics.

Kimberly tried yoga when a friend recommended it to her, knowing that as a dancer she had a love for movement. She shares that she fell in love with yoga as soon as she hit the mat and soon after pursued yoga teacher training. Her curiosity and devotion to yoga have only grown stronger and her passion for teaching has been enhanced through her life experiences.

At the age of 27, Kimberly fell ill, finding herself plagued by fatigue. She also had bladder issues and persistent pelvic pain.  Kimberly describes how she and the many doctors she saw were stumped by her symptoms. Eventually, asking to be tested for mononucleosis (with the results coming back positive), she believed that to be the answer to her mysterious symptoms. Nonetheless, the severity of her symptoms continued and worsened.  Kimberly describes the grueling process that eventually led to being diagnosed with Endometriosis many years later.

Kimberly generously shares her experience in order to bring awareness and validate other women’s experience with this crippling disorder. Endometriosis has been long been overlooked and is far more common than was believed. There has been very little research done in this area of women’s health, with doctors writing the symptoms off as menstrual pain with the attitude of “suck it up”. Kimberly defines the condition, how it is a lifelong struggle and her approach to managing what she describes as an autoimmune disease. She also openly shares the grief, depression, and isolation she encountered while coping with the diagnosis that shifted the course of her life.

[6:20] Shannon defines endometriosis

[8:30] Kimberly’s yoga journey

[10:00] Kimberley’s mysterious illness

[16:50] Kimberley’s surgery for endometriosis and her decision to pass on medication that would have put her into early menopause

[18:00] The connection between mononucleosis and endometriosis and how endometriosis is an autoimmune disease

[19:10] How Kimberley defines endometriosis and the symptoms that accompany the condition

[21:50] The lack of education around endometriosis and developments in this area

[23:15] Kimberley’s long road to being diagnosed with endometriosis

[25:10] How endometriosis feels

[27:25] Kimberley describes some symptoms she experienced and how it can begin and progress differently in every woman

[30:00] Kimberley’s experience with weight gain as a symptom of endometriosis and her struggle to accept this change in her body

[31:25] Accepting that this systemic illness would affect her for the rest of her life and that she’d have to “work 10 times harder than the average person works to do the simplest things” and the struggle to process the grief

[32:45] How Kimberley is coping with the illness now and what has she found helpful in managing the disorder e.g. diet, focusing on what she can do rather than what she can’t do, managing her expectations

[37:35] The importance of practicing restorative yoga

[38:50] Kimberly’s choice to share her story

[40:20] Helping herself and others find acceptance that their life won’t look the way they imagined

[41:55] Kimberly on finding acceptance, patience, and kindness for herself through yoga

[43:55] Kimberly’s advice on coping for those who have been newly diagnosed

[46:00] Suggested poses and breathing practices for symptom relief

  1. Legs on a chair (restorative pose)
  2. Therapeutic Pranayama (going with natural breath)
  3. Reclined Butterfly (restorative and supported)

[49:10] “What can you do to give yourself what you need in the moment?” How this advice to her students has begun to spill over into Kimberly’s life and how it applies to those with endometriosis

[52:20] Kimberly explains “endo belly”

[54:40] Kimberly’s decision to wean herself off medications (under the guidance of a doctor) and eating, breath work and yoga for her body and the importance of taking time to rest when she’s tired

[59:25] Can restorative yoga help to prevent inflammation when brought on by stress and the benefit of “self-talk”

[1:02:50] Keeping things in balance- in life and in our yoga practice

[1:04:00] What services Kimberly offers and her philosophy of “meeting people where they are”

[1:06:00] Shannon’s wrap-up and key takeaways


Kimberly’s Email: info@kimberlycastelloyoga.com

Kimberly’s Website: Kimberly Castello Yoga

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Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training September 22nd and 23rd, 2018

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