Text + photograph by Evan McGlinn
NAME: Kimberly Mahan
Occupation: Sacred Sweat Instructor
How did you get involved in the wellness business?
I had always been incredibly athletic and taken very good care of myself. I was working for a gym in Rhode Island, and I instantly related to the clients and was very inspired to connect with them. But there was this piece missing. Although these people were trying to become healthier, they were only dealing with one aspect of their lives—they would still drink too much, eat too much—they were lost. They were spiritually bankrupt.
Tell us about Sacred Sweat at High Mountain Hall in Camden.
Sacred Sweat is about tapping into other aspects of your life—not just fitness. It includes yoga, stillness, breathing work, meditation, Pilates, plyometrics, and both anaerobic and aerobic exercise. There is also a spiritual and questioning component built in at the end. When you go really deep inside of yourself and you’re working very hard, you’re not thinking about the laundry or the car or the dishes; you’re very present for yourself. I’ve found there are very few times in a day when people are that present. This creates a window of opportunity for me to infuse a message or a question into people while we share that space. No class is ever the same because we are never the same.
What sort of question would you infuse? A spiritual question?
Every week I come up with three different readings. It’s very organic. I read the room. I do not teach. I am a part of them, and I am an advocate for them to grow.
Are you religious? Or are you talking about something different when you discuss spirituality?
I think about spirituality as my alignment to a higher source that uses me as a vessel to go out and do this work with people.
Alignment seems to be a buzzword of late. What does it mean to you, specifically?
To me, alignment is looking at all the different aspects of my life, whether it’s spirituality, home cooking, friendships, education, or my job. When I start to look at all those pieces of the pie, if I see discord or unhappiness within one aspect, alignment is going in there and taking a look at it.
Do you think that you have a special gift for reading people?
Absolutely, or I wouldn’t do the work I do. I’m not fearful of going to dark places and asking hard questions—I embrace it. I love it. I’ve had it in my life. I feel that I’m the sounding board and the advocate for that to come out. They already have the answers. I just shine the light on the path. They walk it