Dear Karen , you have no idea how much your Online classes have been my sanctuary, my sanity, my fitness , my peace in this crazy world.I haven’t been able to do much recently as my Mum’s seriously ill , however, just knowing it’s here and waiting is of great solace to me, so thank you.
I recently attended Karen’s class for the first time. To begin with, parking is plentiful, the setting fits perfectly with the ideology of yoga philosophies, the sun was shining brightly into the studio. The feel and ambiance is very welcoming. All equipment is provided, so you only need to “turn up ready to go!” Karen delivered an outstanding lesson. It was thoroughly prepared; the class went through clear sections of warm up, main activities and cool down. Clear instructions were given with each move ensuring that whilst being drawn within ones’ inner self each student could challenge themselves or modify their movements. Karen’s subject knowledge and understanding of biomechanics ensures that there is clear flow of safe movements. She demonstrates, as well as corrects misalignments because she keeps a watchful eye on her students. Safety is paramount, because, I was instructed to watch and learn on a few of the more dynamic and challenging movements, this made me feel safe and cared for. During our class Karen quoted different mantra’s, each significant to each stage of the class. I would highly recommend The Birch Tree Yoga Studio for adults of all ages and ability. Karen is highly qualified and has a clear passion and vocation for her work. It will open doors in your life you never thought existed!
I first attended Birch Tree Yoga 4 years ago. I’d tried numerous classes and teachers over the years and all had been disappointing. I knew what yoga could be like because I had DVD’s of (Gaiam’s) Rodney Yee, White Lotus Foundation & Deb Dobbins – so I’d continued to search for an English teacher who could inspire me. And I found her at Birch Tree Yoga Studio….Karen Percival. I arrived to find Karen’s beautiful private yoga studio, spotlessly clean and well equipped. Karen started me off in the beginners class, and over the months and years I progressed to the strongest class as I gained confidence and technical ability. Karen’s classes are different every week, so you never get bored. You start gently, warming up and extending, flowing to the most difficult pose, and then finally relaxing listening to a spiritual yogic reading or chant. Instruction includes background information to the poses as well as the physical alignment, so you feel you have the complete picture. Karen is also on hand to guide and adjust where necessary – so you always feel safe. I have been lucky enough to experience yoga all over the world, and at some of the well known yoga schools in the USA but Karen’s lessons remain my firm favourite. I particularly enjoy her workshops that run at the weekends, as you get a half day of instruction on a themed topic. So for example the Advent workshop is based around a Star Saluatation “Taranasana” and associated poses. Karen’s instruction has changed my life. As a direct result of her yoga practise my metabolism was kick started again, and I have lost nearly 3 stone gradually over the years. I have also been inspired to train to be a yoga teacher, and when I feel ready to embark on that journey I will definitely be drawing upon Karen’s approach & style – which truly is for the mind body & soul.
Nikki Lynds-Xavier (“Stiff guy” yoga)
Really love going to Karen’s classes at Birch Tree Yoga and have been going on a Friday morning for some years now. Karen is always confident so the class flows really well and she always has interesting things to say. The class is pitched at just the right level, I never want to look at the clock and I always feel good afterwards.
I have been attending classes at Birch Tree Yoga for nearly two years. Karen is excellent, her style of yoga is very dynamic,fluid and suits all levels. I have done workshops with some of the best yoga teacher’s in the world and Karen is definitely up their with them. The yoga studio is set in beautiful surroundings and really adds to the mood of the place.
Having initially tried Yoga at another venue where there where between 28-32 participants with a single teacher. (not recommended)I contacted Karen and asked to be put on her waiting list as she taught to far fewer pupils at one time, which she was happy to do. I was contacted very quickly when a place became available and have been going to my Monday class now for many weeks. The class is excellent and well taught and although I am only a beginner there are pupils at all levels ,which Karen understands and copes well with patience and understanding. I seem to be getting slightly less stressed with life generally and appear to be getting a bit more flexible as well!. I would recommend Yoga as a way of life and I would definitely recommend Karen as a way of getting there. As an added bonus there is plenty of free parking as well.
I started as a complete beginner with Karen 2 years ago and have enjoyed weekly classes since then – I wish I had time to go more often. I have found it to be of huge benefit to my physical fitness and flexibility – I have even managed to stand up on my surfboard again after struggling for a few years with stiffness in my hips and knees. I have also found it to be greatly beneficial in helping me deal with the stresses of my work as a hospital doctor. Karen has a very calming voice and usually ends the class with a thought provoking yoga message which brings one’s life back into perspective. Karen adapts each class appropriately to those attending, whether beginners or more experienced and takes care to demonstrate the moves and emphasises the need to take your body to it’s comfortable limit, but no further and acknowledges that one’s body may behave better on some days than others. She has a beautiful studio with on-site car parking and plays intoxicatingly calm background music. Karen’s classes are all that I could have wished for when starting out as a nervous beginner and although I can still only dream of getting my body into some of the positions that Karen demonstrates I take comfort in the fact that there has been a noticeable improvement in my physical and psychological well-being, to the extent that my wife has been so impressed that she has also started yoga and now goes twice a week.
I have been going to Birch Tree Yoga for 2 years as it was recommended for my MS and really enjoy the classes. The idyllic setting, easy parking and welcoming studio make it an ideal place to practise yoga. Karen takes time to explain the physical postures, giving them context and encouraging you to go ‘to the edge’ of your comfort so that you always get the best out of the practice. The classes are very well structured, sometimes working on a particular area of the body or building up to a particular pose, but always close with relaxation. I leave the class feeling revived, relaxed and rewarded.