What is Yoga?
After years of "searching" and thousands of yoga classes with many well known and not so well known but nonetheless fabulous teachers, I came to realize that Yoga is a living, breathing art that grows constantly through experience and one's experimentation; it is as diverse as there are stars in the universe. Yoga is not spiritual or mental gymnastics. It is not language and philosophy. It is not commercial. Nor is it the solution/salvation to all your problems sold by yoga "celebrities". It is not you and Guru, someone who makes you feel "less than". Believing in a "higher power" assumes you are a lower power. There is nothing between us and the source (God). There is no seeking, no searching. There are no steps to be taken. Seeking is the problem. Searching for that "something" presumes it does not exist. The quest for "enlightenment" assumes you don't already have it. Yoga begins when you let go of ideology and accept the self in its natural state. There is only one path: Yours.

The essence of yoga is best described as: Authentic Yoga is based on the belief that there is a nurturing source that beats in the heart and moves the breath. You don’t have to look for it…it’s already there. It a is a non-dual practice of your direct participation in this divine source. You are not here to realize the divine, you already are! You are the full blown wonder of life. Do you believe that you are part and one with this extreme intelligence? Can that source be absent from this physical expression that is you?

Author's Bio: 

Karen was introduced to meditation and yoga as a teen and has continued to deepen her practice over nearly 3 decades. She holds many certifications including her 500 e-RYT through Yoga Alliance, is a certified Yoga Ed instructor, a Professional Yoga Therapist, and a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is dedicated to bringing the practice of therapeutic yoga to all populations in a safe format that is rooted in exercise science. Her style is based on being safe and includes many modifications and adaptations. You will learn when to push, when to surrender and when to rest. Her approach focuses on falling in love with yoga and her students love her challenging, ever-changing classes and her upbeat, relaxing style. Karen is 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).

A life-long student of yoga, she has been blessed to have learned from many world renowned yogi masters. Her style is based on her extensive teaching experience and her studying with multiple lineages, teachers and styles of yoga. Karen takes what is most helpful and meaningful from a vast array of different sources and styles... but her heart belongs to the teachings of Krishnamacharya and her dedication to her mentor Mark Whitwell. Mark is a gifted teacher and she is fortunate to have the experience of the true spirit of yoga and the authentic essence of how it was taught over 100 years ago by Krishnamacharya who was a true pioneer in his ability to translate ancient teachings and make them relevant in a modern context. He inspired thousands of practitioners worldwide and today his teachings are very popular through his many students including his son TKV Desikachar (Viniyoga), BKS Iyengar (Iyengar), Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga), and Srivatsa Ramaswami (Vinyasa Krama).

Karen is a master of progressive teaching (breaking poses down in a systematic way and teaching series classes that train students to master the actions and the inner attitude to progress in a logical and balanced way over time.) Karen works with movement sequencing (asana and somatics), breath work (pranayama), mudras, energy work, and the wisdom of Ayurveda (Indian Medicine) so that the yoga can be adapted to all levels of ability. Every class has an intention or sequencing (krama) that is unique to the group and follows Krishnamacharya's principle to "teach what is inside you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other." Yoga should always be adapted to the unique needs of each individual.