Karen Pasquel

Yoga practice is powerful. It has the ability to transform you on multiple levels: muscular, visceral, thought, emotion… I myself have experienced this, and have seen it in many people.

When I first took up yoga, I hadn’t imaged I was so weak physically, mentally and emotionally. Given that since childhood I had been a sporty girl, naturally I had expected I would be much stronger, more flexible and balanced. And yet my first yoga class was really hard for me, I even could not do a downward-facing dog.

I kept going to those yoga classes again and again for two reasons:

  • It was really challenging, and I like a challenge
  • It brought my mind to the present moment, I was more aware of my body, more connected to it. I had grown up in a very competitive environment, as part of my school team in volleyball, basketball and football. Therefore I felt I constantly had to compete.

Yoga taught me not to compare myself with others, and that competition is not the point. Yoga practice is first and foremost individual, it’s working on myself on various levels. We all have different bodies and thus have different abilities, and quirks, and same is obviously valid for me. I consider the essence of Yoga linking Breath and Movement with Intention, and have started seeing Yoga more and more as a way of life — something to practice both on and off the mat. Regular practice has allowed me to become more present and free of stress, to reconnect with my spirit and the truth of who we are. It has given me the courage to leave a secure developer’s job in London for the adventure of a lifetime, on the other side of the world, because although ships are safe in the harbour, it’s not what ships are for.

My biggest passion today is to share the gift of Yoga and Focused Movement. The lineage from which I come is Hatha – Vinyasa yoga, however my practice has evolved in time to incorporate different movement disciplines, toward flows that give the freedom to creatively express oneself and acquire a holistic experience.