While our Mysore Director Sarah Hatcher is on maternity leave, Mysore practitioners will have a wonderful three months of instruction from Karen Kirkness, Owner of Meadowlark Yoga and Anatomist extraordinaire.
Karen will be assisted by Meadowlark’s Mysore team Kirsten Waugh, Jo Ewen, Clare Fulton, Sarah Urquhart Taylor, Jenn Usher and Devon Taylor. Karen will be teaching the early slot from 6:30-8:30 am through till the end of April.
You can also find Amy Hughes teaching from 8:30-9:30 and Authorised Level 2 KPJAYI Teacher Emma Isokivi teaching from 9:30-11:30. In the Mysore room you can find seasoned yogis practising from 5 am alongside beginners starting their yoga journey in a beginner’s course starting at 9:30. Each morning (other than Saturdays and new and full moon days) we have the Sun studio warm and ready for our teachers and our students to practice.
Karen’s time in Mysore (four trips: 2003, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2016) to study with our late guru, S.K. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois – along with her deep trainings with David Keil are an example of how Karen has had a sound history of dedication and commitment to Ashtanga Yoga. Since 2015 she’s studied with Dena Kingsberg both in Europe and as a resident in her Australian shala in Byron Bay. Her teaching practice is, “about connecting with each student to help them discover how to joyfully progress in their practice while minimising injury and maximizing the flow factor.” She says she loves receiving adjustments and giving them, “crafted through personal experience, research and creative play.” Karen’s favourite adjustment to give is Supta Vajrasana and her favourite one to receive is Dwipada Sirsasana.
Karen’s irascible hunger for creativity (her first degrees were in fine art) and research (with her second Masters in classical Human Anatomy) influences her current teaching practice: not only does Karen run a tight Mysore room, she also offers body painting anatomy workshops, adjustment workshops and runs Meadowlark’s Teacher Training along with Nadine Watton and Amy Hughes. She describes her love of yoga and the body as an “interconnected matrix of spirals” and is inspired by hands-on creative ways to explore yoga practice and anatomy.
Karen is in the deep end with finishing her first book for Handspring Publishing “Spiral Bound: Integrated Anatomy for Yoga” as well as working on her PhD in Medical Sciences at Hull York Medical School. Juggling teaching yoga, writing about yoga anatomy while staying committed to her own daily yoga practice, she is also a mother to Owen (14 months old) and is balancing parenthood and the seventh series beautifully.
Daily her practice consists of primary, intermediate and the beginning of the Advanced A series or also called Sthira Bhaga. Karen is hard working, compassionate and intelligent; her assists are thoughtful, crafted and clean.
Our Mysore programme is lucky to have such skilled practitioners in the shala sharing their experience and love of ashtanga yoga: many have been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 2000 and have been practicing daily for over fifteen years. What students may not know is the sacrifice it takes to be in the room every day rain or shine – sharing the method of Ashtanga Yoga without breaks and dedicatedly over a long period of time.
Karen has done just this: she first started teaching in Edinburgh in 2004 and opened Bristo Yoga in 2007. Many practitioners here in Edinburgh started their yogic journeys with Karen in the basement walls so finely painted with bindi dots and photographs from her trips to Mysore. She opened Meadowlark Yoga at Argyle Place in the Autumn of 2012.
Karen has also studied Sanskrit with Dr M.A. Jayashree in Mysore during her trips to study there. She will be covering the regular chanting and philosophy classes at Meadowlark: Wednesday’s at 4 pm and Friday’s at 9:15. Did you know that if you are a regular practitioner in the Meadowlark Mysore room you are able to come to these Sanskrit chanting and theory classes for free? For those wanting to chant who aren’t in our Mysore programme, chanting classes are £5.
Are you going to be away this winter? Missing an opportunity to study directly with Karen? Another way to study with Karen is during her small group 6-day intensive held 3-7 June followed by her Level 2 Anatomy Weekend Course. If you miss Karen in the early morning Mysore room during Sarah’s maternity leave, don’t miss these magical extra opportunities to study with Karen: her experience and highly skilled knowledge of anatomy and yoga, Sanskrit, and creative outlook of the practice of yoga may just be the right recipe for your wellness.
Can’t make the mornings with Karen? You’re in luck: she is also teaching Thursday evening Heated Ashtanga Restorative and Heated Gentle Vinyasa.