Teacher Profile - Karen Pierce Part 2

Karen Pierce, a teacher who’s been at Yogaspace for 16 years is doing it! What? Yoga Teacher Training! Very exciting, as her expertise and dedication has spanned over 4 decades. She is a student as well as a teacher- that’s one more reason her offering is so unique- her connection to the universe is a daily practice.

Teacher training may be because you’d like to teach OR it may be that you want to deepen your own yoga experience. Either, works just fine. Thank you Karen for diving into what Yoga Teacher Training means to you and what you hope it will mean to those who join you.


Extending Your Own Practice, Also Known as Yoga Teacher Training

What prompted you to offer training? (Karen’s been wanting to offer training for over a decade and Yogaspace’s bigger, two room space meant that her dreams could come true.) 

I have many layers of knowledge and information to share as I began practicing when I was 15 and I'm now 53.  Having devoted and invested thousands of hours and dollars into my practice and my yoga education, I knew it was time to share it with others who were interested.  A story that illustrates being both a student and teacher happened several years ago. I introduced my family to my yoga teacher at Shaktifest in California and when we were leaving, my teacher gave me a hug and told my husband that I was an awesome student.  My husband responded with "She's an awesome teacher!"

Karen’s Thoughts On Why We Need One More Teaching Training


Having seen so many of my own students go to other yoga training, and knowing I have something different to offer with my extensive yoga knowledge (as well as Ayurveda and Shamanism), I’m more than ready. With a comprehensive blending of information that I’ve gathered over the decades of being a student and teacher, I know this: there’s a bigger picture.


Curriculum will include students learning the 5 Principles of yoga which can be applied to ANY style of practice as well as Sequencing in 7 directions or the 7 asana families.  (In Vinyasa Krama, there is an order (krama) in which to sequence and within that order, you have complete freedom and flexibility. Union, yoga, of opposites. The sequencing is a handy format for practitioners in that it includes every direction the body can move in and inherently includes the counterposes.  This format also aligns to the 7 directions of the universe – East, South, West, North, Earth below, Sky above and then within to the heart center, the hridaya.) Pretty cool stuff, that I’m excited to share!


Questions You May Have About Training

How knowledgeable does one need to know to take the training that you’re offering?  Zero. You just need to be interested. This training will appeal to anyone who is interested in learning and deepening their personal connection to yoga and the extreme intelligence or divine consciousness. Don’t worry for a moment about your knowledge base or ability (or inability) to do any particular asana. A basic premise for the training is that the training is to learned not to already know.


How much asana (poses) will the training cover? The format of the training includes about 50% of course work is asana, (because that’s required by the Yoga Alliance). There will be lots of time focusing on the spiritual aspect- one question we will explore- what yoga’s initial purpose was or is now. This is to deepen an understanding of yoga, of self, and of the universe. Training is to deepen understanding internally and externally and the connection to the sacred.


What will I have to give up?  Anything I need to give up? No, nothing! Coffee, all foods, whatever you’re used to, it’s all good. The training will encourage you to live one’s own truth, not following anyone else’s restrictions including Karen’s.  In Tantra Yoga, we don't avoid or abstain from worldly pleasure nor do we indulge.  We are meant to explore life and live with passion but without attachment, and without excess or aberration.  Embodiment is a gift to be enjoyed.   Tantra’s aim is to use everything around us as a means to increase consciousness.   We will discuss Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga, and how knowing about your dosha can inform you on making healthy decisions.  (We'll even look at the tongue to determine the health of the body systems and organs.)


Testing (self knowledge), is there a way to fail? No failing. Students must show up and they must do the homework.  There will be Reflection papers, 3 required books, 60 minute video of student teaching which will be peer reviewed, attend 20 of Karen's classes (2 a month, 20 hours) peer teaching with each other, teaching in front of someone else; important to note-teaching curriculum will be flexible if student isn’t interested in training in order to teach. Training will happen from wherever any student begins.


What styles of yoga will be covered? We will review all the styles and basic differences, knowing there really are only 3 "types of yoga" in the US.  Alignment based like iyengar, Vinyasa based as with Patabi jois' Ashtanga and the "nandas" (more religious or spiritual teachers).  We will also discuss how to use Trauma Informed yoga, Restorative Yoga, Shamanic Yoga, Chakra Yoga, Chair Yoga, Yoga on the Ball, etc. to accommodate specialty populations.


How is your training different than other trainings? My very favorite module (not typically present in a yoga teacher training) is the time we will spend on the Energy body – exploring the subtle anatomy of chakras through experiential, muscle testing (called kinesiology) to see how different energy and vibration can weaken or strengthen the body.  One reason I love it? It's really fun!  This piece will be open to the public (2 hours are open during the Saturday training for students and yoga teachers.)  Yoga teachers will receive, Continuing Ed credits. CPR training is also included in YTT and will be open for anyone to register that needs CPR or needs to renew it.

  1. How will it affect my religious belief system? A deeply religious (or completely non-religious) person will not be affected by this training as it’s for the religious and non-religious.
  2. Is your hope that this training is going to make me a better yogi, better person or to be a teacher? Not better. More experienced, expanded, whatever it is you are looking for- as a person, as a living being. My hope is to make this training a deeply personal experience for each individual who chooses to join us.

Please contact Karen with any questions you have regarding the training. She’ll be delighted to discuss all the possibilities with you!  karenJpierce@earthlink.net

Categories: Teacher Profile

Tags: Yoga Teacher Training, yogaspace

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Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa is certified by Lotus Gardens Yoga School with Lara Ward and is a member of the Yoga Alliance (RYT200). She practices daily, with an emphasis on Viniyoga and Vinyasa. For the past few years Lisa has been developing the Fertile Yoga program at YogaSpace in conjunction with her work at Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT, where she is also the editor-in-chief of their patient advocacy blog, Path To Fertility. Lisa and Fertile Yoga were featured on Eye Witness News Chanel 3 in May of 2011. She is currently a conributing writer for the Huffington Post. You can find out more about Lisa and her classes at YogaSpace at www.yogaspace-ct.com/about/instructors/.

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