Karen Kirkness is a yogi and artist fascinated by the gross and subtle design principles that underpin modern postural yoga practice. She teaches anatomy for yoga with a special interest in working with the body’s natural spirals to safely increase range of motion for the Ashtanga yoga practice.

Using a range of innovative teaching techniques, such as life drawing and body painting, Karen offers unparalleled instruction in her Anatomy for Yoga trainings perfect for anyone interested in the connection between geometry, anatomy, and yoga.



In her Cadaveric Anatomy for Yoga courses and workshops, Karen works jointly with the University of Edinburgh Anatomy to Department to  bring yoga practitioners the unique opportunity to work with cadaveric specimen to discover yoga-specific anatomical concepts together with anatomists.

Learn more about Karen here.

Anatomy for Yoga

Karen Kirkness brings her interactive, hands-on approach to the study of anatomy for yoga teachers. Her workshops and trainings involve the use of body painting, props, illustrations, and group activities in class that bring human anatomy concepts to life for teachers and students of yoga. Read on for more about Karen’s cadaver-based trainings that bring yoga practitioners closer to the real anatomy than ever before…

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Pregnancy and practice: 11 things I learned in 11 weeks

As I write this, I’m 11 weeks pregnant and emerging from a delightfully uneventful first trimester. It has been a voyage of discovery, listening, learning, researching, fretting, and letting go. Speaking of scheduling: one lesson I learned early on is that things change. Planning is useful as an exercise in attenuating mental energy, but the …

Dark night of the meniscus

So many yogis are dealing with knee issues. I’ve heard these maladies described as: clunky, dodgy, sore, noisy, tight, overstretched, tender, and painful. One of the common sources of these sensations is the meniscus. The meniscus of the knee is a fibrocartilaginous disc whose name is derived from the Greek “meniskos” or crescent, for its …


Karen Kirkness, MFA, MSc

Author, Spiral Bound: biotensegrity for yoga (available 2018)
Ashtanga Yoga practitioner
Meadowlark Yoga founding teacher
Member of the Anatomical Society

My professional and personal life revolve around the continued study of yoga as a method of self-transformation.

Meadowlark Yoga, on the Meadows in Edinburgh, Scotland. My HQ!

I work with a team to maintain an Ashtanga yoga practice community based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Meadowlark Yoga is a not-for-profit yoga studio built over the years in service to this practice that has given me so much. The studio gets its name from its location on the edge of the iconic Edinburgh Meadows, on the south side of the city centre.

On this lifelong journey, I thank my teachers for their support and encouragement. Having first studied Yoga with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore in 2003, the Ashtanga method is close to my heart and I love being in India as part of a long-term dedication to yoga studentship.

My first trip to Mysore, 2003. Guruji still went to the old shala in the afternoons even though the family had already moved to Gokulam.

Dena Kingsberg and her family are a source of continuous light and inspiration to both myself and my husband. Simon and I are grateful to our home team teacher and friend, Sarah Hatcher, for introducing us to Dena’s teachings. I have learned so much from both Sarah and Dena, who embody all the grace and strength it takes to raise a yoga family.

My passion for anatomy encompasses the study of biotensegrity to explore the unifying principles of the body in nature. Through the mentorship of Susan Lowell and the work of Dr. Stephen Levin in biotensegrity, I have come to more fully understand how biological tissues are diagrams of force attenuation. Human anatomy is no different, and in our lifespan we can experience firsthand the emerging properties of sacred geometry.

I met my first Anatomy teacher, David Keil, in 2003 at what was then called Centered Yoga Teacher Training in Koh Samui, Thailand.

TT with Paul Dallaghan and OP Tiwari. 2003

I got most of the Intermediate series from David, and have learned much about anatomy in the gross and subtle aspects from his teachings. I have also studied yoga anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff in his amazing online course and in person.  My art teacher Robert Rivers has also been a key mentor. He taught me the importance of learning how to look at reality and value the process of seeing. Life drawing is still a meditation for me.

relatively recent life drawings

My art practice and passion for all things anatomical sort of organically developed as I moved to Edinburgh from Florida to complete my first masters degree from the edinburgh college of art. The degree was called “Art, Space and Nature.” At the time, I really had no idea what I would possibly do with myself after obtaining this degree, but pressed on anyway. I pursued an art career for a short time after graduation before finally settling in Edinburgh with some hard-won perspective.

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