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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).

Sep 17, 2012

The Yoga of Parenting and Teaching

Chris and I are working together, planning a year long Yoga Immersion that starts in 5 weeks – “The Yoga of Conscious Parenting”. (I’ll have to work on finding a word other than Immersion.  "Intensive" is so intense; "Dunking" won't do; "Engagement" is so marital; "Seminar" is so academic.  "Immersion" will have to be it for the time being).

We are doing this project together as a natural outgrowth of what we've been doing together for our entire married life.  It is part of a long-term shared mission really, to look into and bring consciousness, care, sanity and kindness to education and to children.  This "mission" was and is at the very root of how we met 25 years ago. We met as teachers. Actually - Chris hired me. He was head of the lower school and taught 5th grade and he hired me to teach 6th grade. We had an immediate resonance on a lot of levels – including a resonance with one another’s radical perspective and passion to speak up for and act in alignment with the importance of conscious teaching and parenting. 

Hindsight is 20/20. Chris and I always felt like we were bumbling our way along in our parenting and in our teaching.  But we did know that the standard and culturally approved way was neither sane nor kind.   Our bumbling was a response to that knowing,  We would never have thought of ourselves as on a "mission".  I don't really think of it that way now. "Mission" sounds a bit inflated.  Really - it's just an organic thing - it's what we do. It's dharma I suppose.

We have shared a long-standing vision and work project of teaching and parenting towards radical change in the way popular culture has ghettoized child raising and education - and driven many parents to outsource their care. 

Chris is now a professor in the doctoral program in leadership studies. I'm still a Yoga teacher – which is part of what I was doing when we first met.

Chris puts it this way:  “I want to teach this Immersion because I believe in the power of teaching and of parenting and I believe that they are the same thing. Sometimes I think I should go back to teaching grade school….it’s that important.”

As for me – “me too”.  But to add on to that: “I want to bring a Yoga perspective to  teaching and parenting – and do whatever I can to speak up for a way that provides sanctuary and respect for our children, our friends, our students and even our elder parents. 

We will be using the text Conscious Parenting by Lee Lozowick as well as books, essays and articles by a variety of authors including Alice Miller, Jane Goodall, Wendell Berry, Lalitha Thomas, Red Hawk, Joseph Chilton Pearce and others.  
 Yoga – as a philosophy and as a practice - is the ground and root for this immersion, but we are incorporating a wide variety of perspectives, eastern and western, scientific and spiritual.  The Yoga aspects of this seminar will include philosophy, dialogue, mindfulness training, meditation, breath and body awareness, simple asana and puja.

It’s going to be a great 9 months of gestation and conversation, practice and contemplation.  I am so very grateful to be able to do this work with my wonderful husband and with Yoga people.......the BEST company. 

1 comment:

  1. can't wait for another adventure with the BEST company and the BEST teachers!!