Can Yoga Change Your Body?

My first couple tries at yoga were those sessions offered in the hotel fitness center for business travellers, generally geared at the weary middle-aged over-weight non-athletic guy on a business trip who needed help sitting through another 12 hour conference day. At least, those always seemed to be the other people in the class. While I personally did not really have much range of motion or flexibility, I did like to jog and swim daily. The painfully slow pace and non-challenging stretches that I remember of the “therapeutic yoga” classes offered when travelling gave me no clarity as to why athletic people could possibly find interest in any variation of this exercise modality. I also had zero patience for stillness in meditation so that was also a source of great annoyance and discomfort for me.

When I finally stumbled on teachers who had movement sequences and guided meditations that were engaging to me, I became completely mezmerized and determined to learn as much as possible about the “breath to movement” relationship all traditional and vinyasa flow yoga practices are built on.

Part of that discovery was that the balance I was beginning to find in my body did not allow me to continue putting toxins in- inspired during a weekend workshop led by the great Dharma Mittra, I explored a clean diet that eliminated the digestion problems from my previous meat-rich food intake as well as dehydration and vertigo issues from heavy alcohol consumption.

Karen Elaine supports Dharma Mittra at the Larchmont YogaWorks

About one month into my Ayurvedic diet practice I was COMFORTABLY holding inversions and bending my body in ways I never imagined this old dog could learn! This “ah ha” moment made me determined to share the magic of yoga, leading by example.

The most fun and rewarding experiences I have had are in partner yoga, also known as acrobatic or acro yoga. While I happen to be deeply immersed in professions that can be done alone or with another person (music, scuba diving, Reiki energy work), acro yoga is a modality that one can only do while sharing space with another person.

Daniel Scott supports Karen Elaine on a beautiful Hollywood Hills balcony looking over DTLA

Karen Elaine supports Steve Velez at the December 2017 ACRO YOGA RETREAT ON CATALINA ISLAND

The act of realizing something new in the body, such as flexibility or strength, is made into a magical experience when discovered with another person- you have a witness! It has been in this shared environment that I have seen my personal evolution and enjoy the opening of human flowers as others make their own revelations.

Victor supports Nina in a beautiful backbend

The most recent magical moments on the mats have been this month as I have watched the evolution of my student Victor Gonzalez. I have been blessed with the eager, enthusiastic, strong, spirited,and always uplifting presence of this man Victor~ he has attended all of my Intro To Acro Yoga workshops and classes, making this new connection with humanity part of his healing and evolution process as a multi-tour combat Army Medic in the Middle East. In Victor’s last group session, I gifted him with one the the beautiful custom crafted cork yoga mats in my collection from the Yoloha Yoga Company.

On July 10, 2018 in the YogaMusic Yelp page, Victor wrote the following about his experience so far in the Intro To Acro Yoga sessions led by Karen Elaine~

“Truly a hidden GEM….

I don’t know who she is or what she sees in me but having had the opportunity to work with her has been such an honor, privilege, and a blessing.

She’s been such a blessing and has made such a huge impact in my life over the course of just 4 sessions (I feel like I’ve known her a lifetime though). Not to be dramatic, but she’s like an Angel from God who is ultimately helping to save my life and restore my faith in God and humanity.

She’s the real deal and she keeps it real. She doesn’t pull any punches.

What you see is what you get… But what you see is just the tip of the iceberg… If that makes any sense.

She’s one of those that wants to see you thrive, wants to set you up for success, wants to see you get better, do better, PREVAIL. She leads by example. You can tell that she’s always striving to better herself and she thrives off of you thriving and excelling.

She has this way of lending herself and her energy to you without allowing it deplete her.

Adjectives: Open minded, caring, assertive, respectful, compassionate, inspiring, intimate, transparent, intentional, comfortable, safe, knowledgeable, leader, humble, genuine/ authentic, fair, real, eclectic, kind, understanding, available, reliable, resilient, captivating,STRONG, INSPIRING, MOTIVATING, etc, etc… The list goes on and on.

A mighty fine specimen of a woman and a human being!

Victor, Karen, Cameron, Nicholas smile for the camera after an invigorating Intro To Acro Yoga Workshop.

Here’s to sharing love and light, using that love light energy to make positive change🙏🏾