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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Jun 25, 2012

Summer Fallow

After I came back from retreat in April, I was full of plans and I got right to work.  Plans for a second studio and for a 500 hour school were two of the big ones. I did the necessary prep work but those plans and several other are now in "summer fallow". 

In June, four of my close family members died - my mom, brother-in-law, aunt and cousin. And of course, Anusara as a national organization apparently died.

The family thing is a whole subject unto itself.  Just a week ago today I said goodbye to my brother-in-law who knew he was going to die that very day. I held his hand. He was clear as a bell - and we were able to truly be present with love and to say goodbye.  He said good bye to people he loved all day. Amazing. He was not afraid.  Amazing.  I could go on and on (but I won't) because the other losses also brought me strong teachings and big gifts.  I am blown open and amazed and grateful.

Regarding my Yoga work,  I have mourned the mess of AY on High -  have had some bad days for sure - but not so much anymore.  Mostly I feel OK.  I think that the students and teachers in Coeur d'Alene are holding steady and doing good ground work.   And I am cultivating my remembrance of my Yoga roots by staying steady and deepening in to my own practice.  I have added more chanting lately  - and more harmonium.....because I ADORE it.  It is good summer fallow practice for me to do something I adore just for that reason and not because I am going to incorporate it into my teaching.  My practice is very squarely grounded in being my practice - my sadhana - and I am not letting my mind grab it and feed it to the hungry "Yoga teaching plans and projections" bear.

I am also working diligently on the teaching projects already in swing. For example......

We have an awesome group of teacher training students (T.T. Peeps :) this summer for the 100 hour training.  I am excited - truly - as I am reminded of the key features that make for really good teaching. I love being reminded.......again and again and again!  Repetition is the language of the Goddess for sure. So many people have asked me "are you teaching everything differently now?"  I understand the curiosity. I thought I might in fact teach the Teacher Training differently. But - in fact - the answer is "I am teaching about the same".  The method, which by any other name will work as well, is still working well... REMARKABLY well. I am blown away to remember just how well it does work - after all the hullabaloo of the past 6 months.

Yes - I will need to clarify how I say what we are doing - what we are teaching. And I will speak clearly about lineage.  All of that will happen.......and will be supported by the rich soil of summer fallow.

Chris - my husband - spent probably 50 hours of his time (which is deep with experience, knowledge  and just plain generosity) creating a virtual classroom component for Garden Street Yoga Immersions and Teacher Trainings and for the possible 500 hour school or other advanced trainings.    I am VERY excited. This is designed to support students I know well and work with in person mostly - but who can stay more connected and do good work in between the in-the-classroom days.  For example, right now the T.T. Peeps - who are all quite brilliant by the way - are engaged in web-supported, online classroom work between the June session at Garden Street and the August session at Garden Street.  It is incredible to see lights go in when T.T. students do - for example - sequences and post them. They get feedback from me and their peers. They get a chance to percolate and consider what techniques, words, sequences, etc. work - and which really do NOT - when you are aiming to teach a class which will support people to become strong, open, and more able to tether their attention into their body. 

Thanks for reading.