Everyone is a Karma Teacher!
Almost two years ago, a journey began that would change the lives of many. We have a vibrant community of students and teachers that lovingly interact with each other. Some have become close friends, other have become support networks. At Karma Teachers we greet everyone with arms wide open. We have heard hundreds of inspiring stories from many of our students and teachers that touched our hearts and keeps us hearts glowing and smiles bright. We are blurring the lines between teachers and students. In solidarity, everyone is a Karma Teacher and here are some of our stories.
Read Jo’s Inspirational Story
“What Karmateachers means to my life: I have felt welcomed and comfortable from the first time I walked up the stairs to the studio in the Phoenix Building.New to the downtown eastside, and forced on disability due to serious health issues I was depressed and afraid. I went to my first yoga class more or less just to get out of my small apartment. I had no idea what great things would follow. Karmateachers has allowed me to explore many of the flavours of yoga, including hatha, power, ecstatic, yin and meditation. I have taken restorative, sound and one odd class that I mostly slept through.Without Karma’s free or by donation policy there is no way I could afford yoga at all. The various instructors always have time after class to offer encouragement and answer questions, and Derek is always a welcoming presence at the backdoor entrance. It is important that I have never been made to feel self-conscious or bad for not paying. Equally important is that I have never felt judged for not having what I had always considered a pre-requisite for Yoga: a perfect size 4 body and a pair of lulemon yoga pants! When I started Yoga I wore my pyjama bottoms! Over the past year many of the people I met at Karma have become friends.My mental health has vastly improved and although my health condition will likely not improve, it has certainly not gotten any worse, I have lost fifteen pounds and I feel much healthier overall. Karma is an important part of the DTES community. I personally know a number of people who have incorporated yoga into there recovery from substance abuse. They too, would be lost to yoga without Karmateachers. I am so grateful for what Emerson, Derek and the volunteer instructors have created. They are truly changing lives, they have certainly changed mine.” – Jo
“There is no destination to get to but the journey is what makes the experience grander”. This is what I learned in the environment that is Karma Teachers. I was first introduced to the yoga space of karma Teachers by a wise man that I have practiced with at karma Teachers, and he and others that followed had provided a space that was welcoming, encouraging, thorough and as always inspirational with words of sentiment. “It is only you and your mat” he had said to others and myself that rainy Vancouver day, and those words psychologically implemented a new shed of skin beneath my practice, opening me to endless possibilities physically, mentally and emotionally. And, as I grew through the walls of Karma, I allowed myself to release my inhibitions, ambition, passion and make connections with the teachers that have always been inspirational leaders, and continue to be to this day. I believe my practice has blossomed from my tenacity that followed with Karma; the opportunity to feel free in a welcoming space brings me drive, altruism, kindness, karma and a sense of pride in my community. Here is where my heart lies on the floors of Karma, where I’m comfortably able to shoot my heart to the sky and release my love to those around me. Namaste” Julian Edwards
I was introduced to Karma Teachers through my work with at-risk youth. Often in Vancouver health and wellness practices are reserved exclusively for those with financial wealth. Karma Teachers defines wealth in a different way and offers an experience that’s open to anyone from any walk of life as long as they’re willing to embrace the kindness of another and send that feeling forward. – Kevin Kokoska (Youth Worker at Covenant House)
My Karma Teacher’s story started around December 2012 when we met Emerson at the Yoga Conference while organizing Buddha Rave. I didn’t formally meet him for a few weeks later but when I did, I knew I’d known him before. After his warm welcoming smile and hug on New Year’s eve I knew we would know each other for a very long time and do amazing things together. Over the last 9 months Emerson whole hardheartedly welcomed me into a previously very close knit yoga community, he’s broken barriers, brought people together in love, inspired and simply shown me the true meaning of selfless seva. Karma Teachers is one of the most magnificent creation out of love of service, his desire to share yoga with the world and his undying enthusiasm inspires me each day. Emerson’s faith in me restored my faith in myself and in my practice and my devotion to the path. We have shared guru stories, hugs, tears, laughter, dance, music and I am eternally grateful to be a part of this beautiful community and a part of this Karma story. Thank you for allowing me to teach meditation at Karma Teachers, you’ve reminded me at how fortunate I am to be given these gifts. – Navi Gill
I heard about Karma Teachers when my friend Corrine started teaching with Karma and I attended her classes with my friend. I the met Emerson and all the other amazing, friendly, and wonderful teachers and students at Karma. It was awesome to be able to try many different kinds of yoga and different classes for free or by-donation, as I had stopped going to other studio classes because of the cost. I love going to Karma Studio because of the great feeling of community and inclusiveness and recommend it to anyone who wants to try yoga or already is an avid yoga practioner – there’s something for everyone at Karma. I can definitely say that coming here has made me happier, healthier, more confident and more loving person. I am so happy and grateful for everything Karma Teachers does for this community.
Being introduced to Karma Teachers has been a blessing. There is nothing that can compare to the gratifying feeling of contentment, love, center and balance. Thank you Emerson and Karma Teachers for giving back your gift of love