Karen Johns, eRYT500
Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance. The "e" means that the number of hours I have been teaching since I was certified at the 500 hour level gives me the status to "educate" so that my workshops and trainings count toward contact hour requirements for YA certified teachers.
My trainings and personal practice have been deeply rooted in alignment-based yoga systems. I began with Iyengar in the late 90's, and immersed myself in Anusara in 2002.
My personal yoga practice includes:
- Hatha yoga (asana)
- Raja yoga (meditation)
- Bhakti yoga (devotional chanting)
I’ve been on this path for a pretty long time. I started taking classes in my mid 30’s in the attic of a music studio. I wore overalls I had purchased in triplicate from the Gap outlet. There was no such thing as “performance fabric”. Then a very serious, passionate, young Iyengar teacher showed up and I studied with her in various church basements for three years. In 2002, an Anusara yoga center opened and changed my world. My perspective changed. My body changed, and so did my relationship to it. I felt what it was like to be part of a community. 90% of it was about the physical stuff. 10% was about yoga philosophy, which completely lit me up. It opened the door for me to send a deep taproot into a personal spiritual practice (sadhana) that veered a bit to the East.
Why I practice
Well friends, I ain't no spring chicken. We are given this one vehicle for this one lifetime, and we'd do well to maintain it as best we can. Yoga is to my body kind of like what flossing is to my teeth. Moving helps to keep unwanted energy from collecting in my body and causing a bit of "decay" so to speak. It keeps energy centers clear so that I can maintain a level of function that I call "feeling good."
The older I get, the more sassy my body gets. Kind of like an eccentric lady in a red hat. It doesn't take the kind of abuse I used to give it as a younger person without a glimmer of my own mortality. It's demanding, discriminating and discerning. It likes to be moved, it likes for me to eat certain things, and it likes to keep a pretty regular schedule. And I am so awestruck by its generous service, how can I refuse? I bow to my body in such deep gratitude. You go, girl.
Why I teach
The older I get, the more I believe that we are here to love and be of service to one another. We will all age. What will it look like on each of us in 20 - 30 years? We've generally been taught that youth trumps age. There's quite a thriving market that is banking on it. Pharmaceuticals, makeup, supplements, miracle creams, hair dye, surgeries. The subtext is that something is always wrong. I believe we have the power to make a difference in how we FEEL in our bodies AND how we PERCEIVE ourselves as our wisdom starts to expose its powerful beauty.
Is it possible to love and appreciate our bodies with deep humility and awe? Is it possible to age with a sense of humor? Yes. Is it possible to age Grace-fully? Yes.
I teach because it helps people to feel good, stand tall, and reduce or maybe even eradicate pain. And because there's nothing quite as potent as the medicinal properties of a good laugh. At the end of every class, I thank my teachers, our bodies and my lucky stars for giving me the opportunity to love and serve the cool people who attend my classes. How fortunate am I?