Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amber Kyliuk, Founder of Critical Movement YYC, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Chronic pain is exhausting; if you understand this, I am with you. I suffer from chronic low back pain, though; in the last few years, it has been managed. Not by surgery, not with injections and prescriptions... but with knowledge, practice, movement, and more practice.

Critical Movement YYC is a physical therapy business that blends yoga therapy and natural movement fitness with chronic pain education. It goes that step beyond physiotherapy toward coaching clients who are experiencing life with persistent pain.

Pain is complex; it is extremely rare that there is just one structural cause of the pain. There are also psychological and social factors that need to be added to the bigger picture. Critical Movement YYC is a client-centered approach that coaches everyone individually and works with you to build your path back to wellness.

Tell us about yourself

After finishing my Kinesiology degree in Winnipeg in 1997, moving to Calgary and being introduced to Ashtanga Yoga... then competing in the sport of Skeleton for five years. This led me to a few injuries and the discovery of Critical Alignment Therapy (yoga therapy). Fitting all the pieces together with back pain was an interesting journey and one that I could talk about for hours. Let's just say that when I added in the pain science education and natural movement fitness, it was a bigger picture of what I needed.

Moving my body, finding the fun in playgrounds, maintaining the curious aspect of how we age, how we grow, and how movement is, so key to health (physical and mental health) is what keeps me a lifelong learner. On top of that, I love teaching and helping others live a healthier life that they enjoy!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Currently, my biggest accomplishment is the positive impact that each of my clients now has in their lives. I am also grateful to continue building on what I have as well as creating new programs and projects to expand the idea that you don't need to live in pain.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Taking the time to stop thinking and creating. I am getting better at finding the balance, though there are days I would love to have 100 hours to work on specific projects.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. As cliche as it is... follow your passion. It will help to lead you to the right people who will help inspire and teach you.
  2. Never stop being open to new ideas and learning. The saying 'The more you know, the more you know you don't know is so true!
    *Disclaimer: At the same time... don't get overwhelmed.
  3. If there is something within running your business that you know you aren't the greatest at, find someone to help or hire. This also blends into the time management idea that you can't do everything yourself.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Creating, starting, and running your own business is hard, time-consuming, and highly gratifying. Have a good support system! Also... always keep a paper trail. Receipts, ideas, schedules, mistakes, wins, and anything else you can write down!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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