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My Yoga Journey

Posted on November 20th, 2015 in About by Karen

Yoga makes sense… it just does! In the body, the heart-mind, the soul.

My yoga journey has been eclectic and exciting! I entered into the practice through the philosophy door. An old friend gave me a copy of “How to Know God, The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali”, and I saw that at the University of New Mexico, someone was offering a hatha yoga class, which I immediately signed up for. It was unclear to me at the time how the hatha yoga class and the philosophy of Patanjali were related, but I kept going, as I loved it regardless, and in 1985 began studying with Eddie Modestini in the Iyengar method.

After moving to upstate NY in 1989, I found myself alone with Mr. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga, one of the first books on yoga asana. There were no hatha yoga classes offered anywhere near where I lived in rural upstate NY, so I was left to my own devices for about 10 years-- Then I moved to PA for 3 years, where I attended massage school, started studying anatomy seriously, and found an ashtanga vinyasa class to attend. I was enthralled with the ashtanga vinyasa method, and became an avid student of the system.

In 2001, I moved back to Amherst, MA and began studying with Patty Townsend, at the time, a well-established ashtanga teacher in the area. As Patty began her studies with Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen, her emphasis began to shift from ashtanga vinyasa to what would develop into Embodyoga®.

I became closely involved in the Embodyoga® system that Patty created, assisting her in her teacher trainings, helping organize and create teaching manuals. As a senior Embodyoga® teacher, I soon started leading teacher trainings by myself. The first teacher training I led was with Suzanne Manafort at the Newington Yoga Center in CT, 2009, which we did for 2 years, after which I relocated to northern CA, where I live presently.

I’ve also had the pleasure of studying with Nicki Doane, whom I met through Eddie Modestini in 2001.

One of my passions is bringing yoga to underserved populations. While living in Amherst, I started a yoga program for women at the women’s correctional facility in Holyoke, MA and taught many workshops and classes in the tri-state area. I volunteer at the local juvenile detention facility in Placerville, where I have helped implement yoga programs in juvenile detention facilities in El Dorado County, and elsewhere in CA!

I am an ambassador for Mindful Yoga Therapy, which I teach with Suzanne Manafort in her VA-approved program for Veterans with PTS.

Yoga is so powerful, and has transformed my life; and I feel strongly that we as a community need to offer this to people who otherwise would not have access.

I currently lead and teach in several teacher trainings in both MA and CT, as well as in the greater Sacramento and Foothills area. I have a particular interest in bringing the gifts of yoga to the incarcerated.

I have a particular passion for anatomy and yoga philosophy, and am thrilled to bring the work of Embodyoga® and the other traditions I’ve studied to the area!

I’m currently running 200-hour and 300-hour teacher trainings and in-depth studies in the area, as well as teaching classes and offering workshops!

Come explore your inner space!