Kick Asana Yoga Instructor #1: Karen

As I’ve been mentioning (and quite possibly annoying you with) all over my blog and social media, I was chosen as a Yoga Challenge Leader for prAna’s #TaketheLeap 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I’ve been taking my role VERY seriously; not just because prAna rocks and I want to do a good job for them, but because I think the message they are trying to send is such an important one. I’m thrilled to be included in anything that might help get people interested in yoga. It has changed my life, after all.

When I found out about the Challenge it got my mind working on more things I could do  – more posts I could write – to shine an even brighter light on how marvelous yoga is. That’s when I came up with this little series that I’m kicking off today…let’s call it KICK ASANA!  Because I’m a huge dork and I love puns.

For this series I have interviewed 4 yoga teachers and will be featuring their interviews over the next 4 Thursdays. I am so inspired by these women and I’m happy to be able to call each of them a friend. I hope you enjoy hearing about what yoga means to them! I bet you’ll be inspired too. 


I’m kicking (hee hee) off the series with an awesome lady whom I have known for quite a few years. I credit her with making me fall in love with Bikram yoga. Even though we always worked hard in class, her fun sense of humor and teaching style always kept me coming back.

Please welcome Karen Shinnick to Run Salt Run!

Salt: HoFullSizeRenderw long have you been practicing & how did you get started? 

Karen: All together I’ve been practicing yoga for about 13 years. I first started with various types of yoga at the local YMCA when I received a knee injury from training for a marathon.  I was introduced to Bikram Yoga 11 years ago. After my first class I knew this was the yoga for me. I couldn’t get enough of it. I went every day of my intro week and from that point dropped everything else I was doing. I was hooked!

Salt: What do you enjoy most about Bikram?

Karen: I love the fact that the class is always the same but the way my body responds to the heat, the instructor, the people around me and to a different spot in the room always changes. No two classes are alike and there’s always something to work on whether it be physical, mental or emotional.

Salt: What do you love most about teaching?

Karen: I absolutely love to see the light in people’s eyes when they understand a correction. When their mind body connects and they understand what a posture is all about. I love to see how proud they are of themselves. I learn just as much from teaching my clients as they learn from me.

Salt: What has yoga done for you as a person?

Karen: Where do I begin! It’s made me calmer, more humble and open to change. For the past year and a half my family has been through many major life stresses. Bikram Yoga has been my rock. My one point of stability. I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without my practice and without my yoga family.

Salt: In your opinion what are the greatest health benefits of a regular practice?

Karen: Less dependence on pharmaceutical drugs. I’ve had clients who’ve lowered their blood pressure medicine, cholesterol meds, many drugs all from a regular practice. I think just the mental and emotional clarity alone are well worth practicing everyday.

Salt: Do you have any words of advice for someone who may be contemplating going to a class?

Karen: I think before starting any type of yoga you should come to class with an open mind.  Let go of any preconceived notion of what the class may be like. Take more than one class. You can’t decide after just one class if this is for you or not. Be prepared to feel better and just have fun.

Doesn’t this just make you want to get to a Bikram class right now?! Hearing Karen’s responses put the BIGGEST smile on my face. It must be such a wonderful feeling as a teacher to watch people understand and feel pride in their practice. I completely agree with her stance on health benefits as well. Over the years yoga has helped me in ways that doctors or prescriptions couldn’t.

Thank you so much to Karen for taking the time to answer my questions and for just being such an all around great person. (YOU ROCK, KAREN!) And if you are ever in the Baltimore area and looking to take a Bikram class either for the first or thousandth time, look her up! You will love every hot minute.



22 thoughts on “Kick Asana Yoga Instructor #1: Karen

  1. SuzLyfe says:

    Kick Asana is a magical name. SIMPLY MAGICAL. I love Bikram–I practiced it exclusively for a while. I think a lot of people don’t have great experiences with it–people can be a bit intense about it, but I loved it!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hehehe THANK YOU! Graphic design nerd needed to make a logo for it too. I LOVE Bikram. I wish all hot classes were that hot and I love that it’s so measurable…I can see myself getting better from class to class.

  2. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    Even though I have done hot vinyasa a million times I’ve actually never tried Bikram! I really need to get around to it one of these days. Maybe I’ll get to try the one in Parkville through classpass, but it would have to be on a weekend since I wouldn’t want to have to fight 695 traffic during the week to get there!

  3. Michele @ PaleoRunningMomma says:

    As I’m just getting into yoga I loved reading this! Very inspiring. After just 2 months of regular practice I can 100% see the physical and mental health benefits. I have been practicing at home and would like to find an affordable studio around me to practice in a class setting too.

    • runsaltrun says:

      If you have a Groupon locally I would check them out. Also a lot of studios have introductory student rates where you can go for a month for a very limited price. Worth looking into for sure! (I wish I had known all that when I started going!)

  4. DarlinRae says:

    Great interview! I’ve done “heated power yoga,” but never an actual Bikram class. First of all, I’m nervous about the even higher temps–I already often feel woozy in a heated environment. Secondly, I can’t see going to a class where the poses are the same every.single.time. I feel like that would get old super fast.

  5. irishrunnerchick says:

    Way to kick-asana! I think it’s great when someone finds the sport/activity that provides them with such rewards – and it’s obvious when you find a great yoga teacher who has made yoga such an integral part of their life. But I am not a fan of Bikram. This Irish girl just cannot deal with the heat!

  6. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs (@cowgirlruns) says:

    Vinyasa is where my heart it, but I do love Bikram. I love that I can measurably see improvement (or fall on my face in Dancer, whatever) from class to class. I love that I know what to expect but every class is different because I’m different.
    Dang you, now I need to get my arse back to yoga. I struggle in fitting regular practice in with running and strength training.

  7. kristenk says:

    Love this post idea! And I really liked reading her advice. It’s hard not to judge yoga (or a studio) on one class but I’m making myself try each place more than once so that I can get a good sense of what it’s like. I’m on a mission to find the best studio for me in Anchorage!

  8. Jess@Flying Feet In Faith says:

    Loving your play on words lol thanks for sharing this interview. I’ve contemplated on trying Bikram yoga a time or two but trying to set aside the extra cash on too of our regular gym membership has been difficult….so I usually just practice Vinyasa flow yoga at home. I shut the door and tell my family if they bother me, they will pay dire consequences lol happy Friday Salt!!

  9. Sun says:

    Nice interview! Seeing all these yoga posts has inspired me to try a yoga class in the month of February. There’s certainly no arguing with the mind, body and spirit benefits 🙂

  10. she's going the distance says:

    My sister in LA does Bikram exclusively, we are so crazy opposite with our fitness, but she loves it and i’d love to try a class with her. I’m visiting out there at the end of the month–bring on the warm weather and workouts!

I want to hear from YOU!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s