Karen Armstrong C-IAYT, E-RYT, LVCYT, YACEP
Karen Armstrong is a cancer “thriver”. Certified International Association Yoga Therapist, Certified Yoga Alliance Teacher, lecturer, educator, guest speaker, consultant, writer/author, baker and volunteer master gardener.
I started my yoga practice in 1987. In 2002 I was diagnosed with late stage cancer – over aggressive treatments left multiple challenges and damages from head to toe – one of them being spinal cord injury – not only was the pain debilitating but I was left with dragging my left side and not being able to lift my feet. Through my Yoga practice I not only regained my mobility, but brought back my range of motion. Through and in-between 21 surgeries, nearly twice in surgical procedures, I enrolled in numerous Teacher Training’s to further my understanding and knowledge and to receive various certifications so I can bring everything I’ve experienced and learned to help another person. It is true to say that Yoga is strong medicine for the mind, for the body and for the spirit. It opens you up to all the possibilities that you hold within, it brings you further, helping you to put one foot in front of the other joyously.
I teach and guide one on one and in groups. The Yoga I teach is gentle, strengthening and restorative and I gear it for anyone, all ages, and ability. For personalized/individual sessions I take into account current health, challenges and past surgeries and bring together a session to target particular areas of concern for that person. I simply say, “yoga, walking, knowing you can help yourself – you are not a victim or prisoner in your body or mind – you are the jail keeper and hold the keys with what you do and what you feed your mind, spirit and body”.
I believe in teaching to a person’s abilities, not disabilities…and from there it is nothing but upward. To help, encourage and motivate others to find their strength; teach them and show them that getting well, getting stronger is in their hands with how they actively participate in their well-being and how they think and view things. To share the gifts that yoga gives – the gift of strength, flexibility, mobility; exhilaration & rejuvenation to the spirit and the body. The numerous health and wellness benefits that accompany the practice of yoga are additional benefits – relieving stress, pain, depression and sleep disturbances as an example.
To teach other people that they do not have to live uncomfortably in their bodies. That they have the power within themselves to make not only a good but a noticeable difference in how they feel mentally and physically.