Vinyasa Krama (Yoga for Everyone)
Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?
Out in nature
What do you like the most about practicing there?
Connecting with the earth, sun, moon and elements.
How do you practice yoga off the mat?
How do I not? Life is seamless.
The world ends tomorrow. What would you indulge in tonight?
Call the kids and go for a walk with hubby & dog.
What was your first experience as a yoga teacher?
I came to yoga through Transcendental Meditation in my teens. Little did I know that 8 years later, I would be teaching my mother meditation techniques to help manage her pain during the dying process. It ended up being a huge gift to both of us. The physical yoga came after and I was also teaching group aerobics & step. I had a personal practice so was attending yoga classes as a student. At one class, the teacher didn’t show up so they asked me to cover in a pinch. The teacher never came back and it became my class. I’ve been teaching ever since.
What is your favorite food?
Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?
What inspires you to teach yoga?
The first hand experience of years of consistent practice. This was a very gradual process. Here I am with a 54 year old body which is still strong and flexible. Linking body-breath-brain is so natural in my daily movement now that very few things frazzle me. Plus the years of mindfulness have given me clarity of mind and a level of intuition that I didn’t have in my younger years. It has been truly transformational and that inspires me to share the gift of yoga (all 8 limbs) with others.
If you could teach yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Anywhere and everywhere. I love to travel.
What has been your most embarrassing yoga moment as a teacher or practitioner?
I was teaching in a gym and had a pretty good following with 40-50 regularly showing up. I had 2 really young children at the time, was teaching a lot of classes and was really tired. I pre-recorded all my meditations so I could share in the group experience with my class. Someone was gently tapping me when I realized the meditation was over and everyone had left class except for the kind student who decided to wake me up!
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?
Many people still think yoga is about twisting yourself up into a pretzel pose – physical gymnastics. Yet there are 8 limbs to yoga, not just asana (yoga poses). There is a yoga for everyone. Find the right yoga for YOU!
What music are you jamming to right now?
That’s a hard one. I put my music on shuffle so it could be Ashana or AC/DC, Charlie Puth or Iggy Izalea, Pitbull or Poison, MC Yogi or MC Hammer, Keith Urban or Flo Rida, Clannad or Sanskrit chants. Usually, all of them!
What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teaching yoga?
Over the years, I’ve watched so many of my students become yoga teachers. One in particular stands out…I offered free yoga after school to the local teens. There wasn’t much to do in our town and a lot of teens got into trouble. A couple of girls started coming. At the time, these girls were heading down the wrong path. Since I wasn’t their parent, school teacher, clergy, or a paid instructor, I became their non-judgmental sounding board. We’re talking everything from “can you teach me to do headstand” to “what is syphilis”? Then they started bringing their boy friends….so the “old lady” could kick their ass. Many years later, one of the girls showed up in a class and said that 2 of them went on to become yoga teachers and she was continuing on with her yoga therapist training like me. I have been so blessed with great teachers of my own and students who have taught me to be a better person and a better teacher. After 20 years of watching students become teachers, I decided it was time for me to offer my own Yoga Teacher Training which is a unique blend of Yoga, Shamanism and Ayurveda. Watching these teachers-in-training really embody yoga and all it represents is so rewarding and also humbling.
Where else can we find you?
My website: InnerSpacesbyKaren.com
Social media: facebook.com/karenjpierce
Yoga Teacher Training: yogaspace-ct.com/classes/training/
My children’s yoga book: https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Bear-Youngsters-Karen-Pierce/dp/1559718978/ref=sr_1_sc_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1528854395&sr=8-6-spell&keywords=yogabear
Anything else you would like to add?
I am 500 e-RYT, Registered Yoga School and Continuing Education Provider through Yoga Alliance, a certified Yoga Ed instructor, a Professional Yoga Therapist, and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. I have received sacred rites as a guardian and keeper of the earth (pampa mesayok) as well as a medicine woman (alta mesayok) through a lineage of light carriers and Q’ero Shaman of Peru blending Science with the Sacred.
As a professional organizer and shamanic energy worker, I help people create sacred spaces, clearing the mind, heart and clutter. I am also the author of Yoga Bear: Yoga for Youngsters – a children’s book published by Northword Press (2004) and Co-Contributor to Yoga in America (2009).
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