Meet The Faculty
Kimberly Carson, MPH, C-IAYT, E-RYT
Within Awareness, life presents itself as an ocean upon which countless waves are constantly arising, peaking, and subsiding… The challenge of life is to learn to ride, to skillfully navigate, all of life’s waves. ~ Kimberly
Thirty years ago when Kimberly took her first hatha yoga class, turiya, the state of pure Consciousness, spontaneously revealed itself. Since then Kimberly has dedicated her spiritual and professional life to deepening her clarity into this recognition, and how the energies of consciousness can be cultivated and creatively expressed. Through working with groundbreaking research teams at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, and Oregon Health & Science University, Kimberly delved deeply into the health and wellbeing implications of mental and emotional energies. In the midst of her academic pursuits, Kimberly met Jim and was initiated into the Siddha Yoga spiritual lineage when Swami Muktananda took her as a student of “light” in a powerfully numinous dream—before she had ever heard his name or seen his face. Kimberly has continued to explore many realms of consciousness via the privilege of personal study with Michael Singer, Lee Lyon, and Joel Morwood, as well as immersion in the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, and profound guidance from the subtle energetic realms. Together, Kimberly and Jim lead meditation retreats and spiritual practice groups focusing on the teachings and practices of the great mystical traditions.
Kimberly serves as a mindfulness teacher and yoga therapist at Oregon Health & Science University, in Portland, OR. Clinically, she specializes in the therapeutic use and scientific study of mindfulness and yoga for people with medical challenges, with expertise in pain and cancer. Kimberly has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for over 20 years and developed the Mindfulness Breath by Breath program offered three times weekly for 10 years at OHSU. In addition to co-developing the Mindful Yoga program, which has been shown in research trials to significantly reduce pain and fatigue in those living with chronic pain, Kimberly has co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and, beginning in 2008, has co-directed national professional trainings for yoga teachers and allied health professionals at OHSU, Duke Integrative Medicine, VA Centers, Kripalu and other locations around the country.
With Carol Krucoff, Kimberly co-authored Relax Into Yoga for Seniors. The second book in this series, Relax Into Yoga for Chronic Pain, co-authored by Jim & Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff was published January 2020 by New Harbinger. In addition to a wild tapestry of professional roles, Kimberly humbly navigates the waves of parenting twin teenagers, two cats and two dogs while feeding the crows in her neighborhood breakfast every morning.
Jim Carson, PHD
The sense of Presence, of ‘I am’, is always with you, at any given moment, across all your life experiences. As you cultivate awareness of Presence, you discover that connecting to this unchanging part of yourself provides a powerful doorway to deep inner resources—of wholeness, ease, energy, love, and insight. ~ Jim
Jim is an author, meditation teacher, and psychologist who has taught the practices and philosophy of yoga worldwide for 45+ years. At age 12, Jim experienced a profound spiritual awakening and began exploring the Sufi teachings of Meher Baba, and the path of Zen. In 1972 Baba Ram Dass instructed Jim to meet Swami Muktananda, “he will be your Guru”. Finally in 1975 he met Muktananda—an enlightened master in the Siddha Yoga lineage—who through shaktipat (descent of grace) initiated a very powerful inner awakening in Jim. He spent the next 7 years travelling with Muktananda in the U.S. and India, while receiving intensive training in the non-dual yoga philosophy schools of Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism. In 1982 Muktananda initiated Jim into the traditional Saraswati monastic order of swamis (“masters”) and gave him the name Swami Vimarshananda (“bliss of Self-awareness”). Over the following 12 years, he led meditation courses and retreats in the U.S., India, Canada, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.
In 1993 Jim was inspired to resign from his monastic role in order to become a psychologist, with the aim of helping integrate meditation into health care. While completing his PhD at UNC-Chapel Hill, he met Kimberly in person (having met her in a dream in Australia 4 years earlier). In collaboration with Kimberly, Jim has applied his expertise to the development and evaluation of innovative yoga and meditation-based clinical treatments, including the first mindfulness program for couples, the first loving-kindness meditation program for medical patients, and the Mindful Yoga program. Jim is now a clinical health psychologist and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, and of Psychiatry, at Oregon Health & Science (OHSU) in Portland. Jim works extensively with patients to help them cope effectively with persistent pain, cancer, and other challenging health concerns. Jim co-directs with Kimberly national professional trainings for yoga teachers and allied health professionals at OHSU, Duke Integrative Medicine, and VA Centers. Together with Kimberly and Duke colleague Carol Krucoff, Jim authored the book Relax Into Yoga for Chronic Pain.
Since 2010 Jim and Kimberly have trained numerous meditation teachers as a central requirement for being certified as Mindful Yoga teachers. Jim and Kimberly also lead week-long meditation retreats and ongoing spiritual practice groups, in which they emphasize the non-dual teachings of Kashmir Shaivism supplemented with the universal teachings of the great wisdom traditions, such as Sufism, Buddhism, and mystical Christianity.
Mindful Yoga Works, LLC sponsors the offerings of Kimberly and Jim Carson who live in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. Together, they have dedicated their lives to helping others cultivate peace and joy, and ease suffering with the practices of mindfulness and yoga. From the moment of their wedding vows, they have considered their union as an offering to the unfolding grace of life.