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Yoga with Karen in Edinburgh

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga “Mysore style” forms the basis of my own daily personal practice and I teach as part of the Mysore Team with Sarah Hatcher and Emma Isokivi at Meadowlark Yoga. Ashtanga yoga is known for its flowing physicality and challenging sequences that serious practitioners of yoga will learn by heart along with a breathing technique through years of dedicated practice. I also teach restorative methods for healing and research, perfect for people trying to coax their bodies into progression without injury. Since having our first baby, I’ve come to appreciate antenatal yoga and yoga for postpartum recovery as well.

Over the years, I have developed my own sequences based on what I’ve learned from other teachers mixed with the lessons of personal experience; these I teach depending on the circumstances.

I was once known in certain circles for teaching vigorous power yoga style classes, which consisted of sequences I developed to help me get strong and open for the postures I was struggling with in my Ashtanga practice. I still enjoy teaching this style of yoga, which I do occasionally when I’m covering for other teachers in the evening at my home studio, Meadowlark Yoga.

I occasionally still teach drop-in classes, check this link to see the Full Timetable

Meadowlark Yoga

I teach workshops and courses at Meadowlark Yoga and internationally, check my Events page for a full listing. If you’re looking for a one-to-one yoga session in Edinburgh, contact Meadowlark Yoga reception for booking.

Are you a beginner? Welcome!

If you are a Beginner to Ashtanga Yoga and wish to start practice with us, please contact Meadowlark Yoga so we can get you in the right place. My husband, Simon, offers a short video introducing the movement sequence that forms the basis of our yoga classes: Surya Namaskara (the Sun Salutations).

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Simon Kirkness demonstrating Sun Salutations for beginners

Here are a few basic FAQs about starting a Mysore style Ashtanga Practice:

What is the minimum commitment?

Great question. ?

We require a minimum of one month in the Mysore program, or the full duration of your Beginner’s Course, whichever pertains to you. This is to ensure that a mutual understanding of the practice takes root between teacher and student. It takes time to learn the basics properly.

Is there a video I can watch to at least get some idea of what I’m supposed to do?

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is traditionally taught directly from teacher to student, in what is called parampara, or a lineage of teachings. The best way to learn and synthesise your practice is in the hands-on approach vis-a-vis with your teacher. That said, the internet (and video instruction) is an emerging tool to aid in this process, and can be very useful! So here is a humble offering to my friends and family, and faraway students, who have asked for some online resource to get them started:

What do I wear?

Comfortable clothing, as natural as possible. Material should be breathable and supportive of the body’s contours, as well as covering of all the vulnerable areas. What you’re wearing isn’t as important as the fact of its cleanliness!

What if I don’t know the sequence?

If you’re coming to practice with us with no prior experience of Ashtanga Yoga, we recommend you first come to observe a morning session for 30 minutes. You can learn a lot by watching first! You will then be given the very first instruction to learn Surya Namaskara A. That might be all you do for that day. In the days that follow, you’ll be given more pieces of the puzzle at pace with your adaptation to it.

How often should I practice?

Well, I practice 6 days per week and take off the days of the New and Full Moon, and ladies’ holiday. My fellow yogis do the same. We all adapt to the changing needs of our bodies, for example in the time leading up to and following childbirth. Like anything else worth doing, for anyone interested in progressing deeper into the real benefits of yoga practice, you need to be prepared to make it a daily routine.

Can I come to practice after my workout?

As long as you’ve showered before entering our practice room, sure. Personal hygiene, including your mat, clothing, attitude, and aroma, are all crucial for everyone in the communal space to have the best chance for a positive experience while we are together. No shower, no entry!

Antenatal Yoga

Yoga practice is an invaluable tool for all stages of life at any age. I found the practice especially suitable during my pregnancy, and as a primer for preparing my body well before conception. Yoga is well known for its transformational qualities, and it can be especially powerful for couples trying to conceive and during all stages of pregnancy.

My husband and I practice yoga together as part of our family routine and I strongly feel that my yoga practice has been the key to a healthy pregnancy. We regularly encourage our students to establish a regular practice especially during pregnancy as the practice keeps mum-to-be strong and supple both physically and mentally. Yoga is an excellent preparation not only for the miracle event of childbirth but for the years of parenting that follow!

I offer a series of videos intended to share my practice ideas during pregnancy to help other women discover the benefits of yoga during pregnancy.