Meet Karen Murtagh ~ Yoga Instructor, Yoga Ayurvedic Specialist

Always enjoying listening to people’s stories (every life is a story), my training has been a weaving of natural healing practices and counselling. Having worked in a religious environment counselling and developing educational and social programs after completing a 4-year degree in Religious Education, I then worked in a law department, studying to be a Law Clerk and ended my time there managing the administration team.  Both career paths included tons of daily interactions with people and I came to realize that these interactions often were more focused on people’s lives and what they wanted instead of religion or of law per se.

And so, I followed my desire to help people discover their heart’s desire for their life and trained as a Career Development Practitioner (Conestoga College, Kitchener), taking counselling and career process courses.  From a personal interest with the plant world, I trained to be a Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional (through JoyEssence Aromatherapy, Joy Watson) and found that I loved being an Aromatherapist!  Then, I continued on to become a Certified Reflexologist (through Haelen School of the Creative and Healing Arts, Margaret Bell) and Reiki Practitioner (through Soul Connection, Barbara McKell) in order to further help people balance not just their careers but themselves as well.   To see people immediately relax and feel better is deeply gratifying.  I work with people utilizing both my training and my intuition propelled by my desire to leave each encounter assisting people to move forward in a positive way.

Yoga was a natural progression as it is a life practice that can be with you always, helping balance  mind and body. My first teacher, Sharon Burke taught in Fergus, ON and my formal teacher training was with Rita Cupitt who teaches in Guelph, Ontario and then advanced my teacher training with the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania.  Others have influenced and brought different perspectives along the way through many workshops, trainings and classes in various styles of yoga.  I have taken and continue to take various styles of yoga classes over the years but I personally teach with a softer, more restful approach.

Then came Ayurveda and the realization I had come full circle!  Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga, focusing on one’s well-being perhaps most readily physically but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Ayurveda really is the all encompassing knowledge of life.  Its scope is vast while its simplicity  profound.  Based on viewing people and nature as varying combinations of five elements, namely: ether, air, fire, water and earth, we seek to find balance by cooperating with the seasons, our environment, our food and our lifestyle.  Ayurveda prepares the body both for Yoga and for more ease in our life journey.  My yoga teaching style in informed by the Ayurvedic principles of calming Vata (wind) which relates to a time of day, a time of year but also a time of life.  This time of life is where I am and where the people who come to my classes are.  Our approach to our bodies changes throughout our life to best suit our current situation.

I trained in Ayurveda massage through Caish in Toronto and as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist with the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania as well as David Frawley’s Ayurveda program.

Karen lives with her husband and their dog in Centre Wellington in southwestern Ontario.  Besides reading and learning, Karen enjoys nothing more than a long bike ride in nature, walks and of course, exploring her own practice of Yoga as well as other activities.  Being in nature and being with family and friends leads to the most satisfying life…oh, and good food, don’t forget good food!