About Ashtanga Yoga Plymouth
Karen is a very experienced, approachable and supportive teacher who aims to make Ashtanga Yoga accessible to everyone. Having practised many forms of yoga throughout her life, she discovered Ashtanga Yoga in her 40's after it was suggested as a solution to her back problems, and immediately noticed that it differed from other forms of yoga and exercise in the way it had a huge positive effect on her emotional as well as her physical well being. Her own practice has led her to a newfound stillness, peace and acceptance in sometimes stressful times as a carer to her learning disabled daughter and more recently to her elderly mother now too.
So, as a secondary school teacher of 25 years and, once she had a regular practice of several years, she felt she wanted to share this practice so others could also experience the many amazing benefits to both body and mind, and was privileged to be able to train as a teacher for 9 months with Brian Cooper, the renowned author of 'The Art of Adjusting', and also the founder of Yoga Alliance Professionals, an organisation which ensures teachers meet the highest of standards to teach yoga.
Karen is a registered RYT 200 teacher and now also designated as an 'Experienced Yoga Teacher' by the Yoga Alliance Professionals. She teaches a multi-level approach so classes are accessible to all levels of ability, and she has a great deal of experience with complete beginners, modifying and assisting with postures as necessary. She aims to help build awareness of the inner body and its energies through the use of bandha (core muscles) and breath, and her encouraging support and guidance helps students to discover the many benefits of the practice, working with the energy of the body, creating space and openness naturally over time.
Over the last decade Karen has been lucky enough to further train with many leading Ashtanga teachers around the World such as Sharath Jois (paramaguru/lineage holder) of Ashtanga Yoga), Manju Jois, Kino Macgregor, David Swenson, Doug Swenson, Kathy Cooper and Ryan Spielman....and feels honoured to continue to share their teachings with an amazing community of students.
Ashtanga yoga was introduced to the modern world by T. Krishnamacharya, who taught the method to Pattabhi Jois, and is informed by the philosophy and teachings of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Sharath Jois is the current lineage holder.
Ashtanga is a dynamic form of yoga in which postures are linked in a flowing sequence through careful synchronisation of deep, regular breathing that uses the whole lung capacity - a process producing intense internal heat and a purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs.
This sequence provides routine and structure as well as a physical challenge and, with the additional focus of listening to the breath, as well as 'gaze points', the senses are actively drawn inward allowing practitioners to move through the Ashtanga primary series with complete awareness and presence, transforming the physical practice into a 'moving meditation'
These three focal points of breath, asanas (postures and bandhas) and dristi (gazing point), known as the Tristhana method, sets Ashtanga Yoga apart from other systems of yoga.
The physical benefits of regular Ashtanga Yoga practice include improved circulation, improved digestion, increased oxygenation of the blood, greater strength and flexibility in muscles (especially core muscles), as well as spinal flexibility and improved posture. The result is a light and strong body, and a calm mind. So you feel better in both mind and body after a relatively short time!
Karen loves being able to share this practice and to watch students progress. The great thing is that it is accessible to everyone....you don’t have to be flexible or have any experience to start.....you just need to start.