I grew up in Lawrence, MA – a tough little city located 25 miles North of Boston along the Merrimack River. When I was 12 years old, my mother was murdered. This loss ignited within me a quest for truth, peace and nonviolence – that gradually but inevitably led me to yoga.
I was an incredibly curious kid – always wanting to understand everything and everybody. I’ve been told that my mantra when I was little was “Why mom? Why mom? Why mom?” I’ve been in love with books for as long as I can remember and started writing when I was about 13. I was an athlete all throughout my childhood – started playing softball around the age of 5. I was introduced to yoga in 1988 during my sophomore year at Boston University. After graduation, I moved to Los Angeles where I became a personal trainer and played women’s baseball for coach Mike Boyd (brother of Red Sox pitcher – “Oil Can” Boyd).
In 1994, while still in LA, I stumbled across the book, A Return to Love – by Marianne Williamson. The teachings in Marianne’s book, which are reflections on A Course in Miracles, opened a door to forgiveness and profound healing. A few years later, I was blessed to live and work closely with Marianne, who became my spiritual mom, mentor and friend.
I explored yoga on my own through fantastic books (like Erich Schiffman’s above) and various classes until 1996, when I traveled to Egypt with Marianne on a spiritual pilgrimage. Marianne’s friend who was a yoga teacher was also on the trip and she invited me to practice with her.
We rolled out our mats right across from the Great Pyramids of Giza. The dynamic energy of mystical Egypt combined with the postures, breath, meditation and chanting was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had. Both Marianne and A Course in Miracles continue to guide and deeply inspire both my yoga practice and my teaching.
In 1998, I moved back to the East Coast. In 2001, I received my yoga teacher training from Kripalu. Inspired to be of service and share yoga with as many people as I could, I created “The Yoga Show with Karen” on ConcordTV. For the past 13 years, I’ve been hosting “The Yoga Show with Karen” which has brought free yoga into the homes, lives and community of over 15,000 residents, businesses and institutions in Concord, NH.
I opened Quest Yoga in January 2003 and a few months later, went on to do my teacher training in the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga with David Swenson and Shelly Washington. I also completed my Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. I’ve had lots of fun being a presenter at NH Yoga for Peace, Wanderlust Vermont and the Boston Yoga & Chant Fest.
My teaching style has been described as warm and down to earth. I infuse my classes with joy, intention, devotion to the Divine and a sense of humor. My classes and workshops are deeply rooted in this one simple belief: Teach Only Love – For That is What You Are. I’m passionate about encouraging others to play, to be curious, to move beyond limited thinking and to ultimately trust themselves. My intention is to guide students through an experience of courage, compassion, possibility and faith. I hope to inspire students to choose Love over Fear, to celebrate their own unique gifts and to honor the teacher that always resides within their own heart. When teaching and sharing yoga, my aim is for Serenity, Strength and Spirit to become One.
I’ve had a blast working with some of NH’s most talented and dedicated athletes. My Yoga for Athletes classes were originally created for my friend and Ironman Triathlete, Sean Snow. I’m proud to be the yoga teacher for the Manchester Monarchs Hockey Team and love sharing the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga with athletes from all over NH.
In 2008, I became a certified Thai Yoga Practitioner. I’ve studied Thai Yoga Massage extensively with Shai Plonski, founder of the Still Light Centre in Toronto and Kam Thye Chow, founder of the Lotus Palm School in Montreal. I assist Thai Yoga workshops and trainings at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.
I completed my Spiritual Mentoring training with Rev. Stephanie Rutt, Director of The Tree of Life School for Sacred Living. I’ve also been mentoring Yoga Teachers for many years. My approach to mentoring is down to earth and straight forward. A blend of honoring our humanity but also deeply respecting our Divinity. I’m all about the love and support – I’ll be your biggest cheerleader – but I’m also going to give you a little kick in the ass when necessary.
I’m passionate about being a student, so I’ve been lucky to learn from a kaleidoscope 0f powerful teachers from diverse traditions. The list is too long to write out here but I must acknowledge: the beloved Sri Dharma Mittra – whose grace and compassion has forever changed me, also Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath Rangaswamy. Some other beautiful teachers that have left a deep impression on me for various reasons: Natasha Rizopoulos, Manoj Chalam, Leslie Kaminoff, Kathryn Budig and Devarshi Steven Hartman – Thank you.
Although my learning from Swami Kripalu and Eknath Easwaran came posthumously – through lineage and tradition, books, videos and stories – their wisdom is no less important or influential on my life and teaching. I will forever be indebted to Bapuji and Sri Easwaran for their heartfelt, compassionate teachings on how to bring the Divine and Love into everyday living.