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Karen Zelin

Years ago, I initially began studying yoga & meditation because “it felt great.” It didn’t take long to realize how much I was benefiting far beyond the physical. I was grateful for my yoga and meditation practice as I went through many of life’s big transitions and challenges: marriage, the birth of my twins, death of my father, my own various injuries and illnesses, shifts in career, and the ever-deepening realizations that life is mysterious, sacred, and over way too quickly.

What I hold most dear: love, friendship, community, and kindness have all been supported through my yoga and mindfulness practices.


Mindfulness and yoga have become the steady thread in my life that keeps my feet on the ground, my heart open, and my soul finding its place in the scope of being. Big stuff! It is from this place that I have come to love teaching.

are designed to bring compassion to the body/mind while increasing strength and flexibility, and deepening awareness. Through this steady exploration of strength and flexibility, yoga helps to clear the mind and live deeper into health and well-being. Beware: a regular yoga practice has also been known to cause great happiness!

My MINDFULNESS MEDITATION CLASSES are similar: they are designed to bring compassion to the body/mind, help settle the thoughts, find steadiness, resilience, and flexibility even in the midst of life’s ups and downs. Developing a healthy response to stress is one of life’s most treasured skills.

Besides teaching, my husband Bill and I are the parents of two wonderful young men. As many people know, being in a marriage and being a parent are the greatest mindfulness practices imaginable!  I am also a painter—when not practicing, I often am lost in color, form and energy.

In my previous jobs, II’ve always worked as a catalyst for change, no matter the profession. I have worked as an organizational development consultant, teaching leadership and team-building skills.  The longest job of my life was spent as the CEO of the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, a unique non-profit community based financial institution dedicated to serving those traditionally under-served by banks. This institution was a forerunner in developing micro lending to empower many individuals and small business owners in Santa Cruz. Prior to this position, I was the CEO of one of the first Feminist Credit Unions in the country—this was in the 1970’s, when the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed.  This law made it illegal to discriminate against women. Before that, women could not get credit in their own names!    

Iyengar Yoga Institute San Francisco Teacher Training, 2000-2002
Kofi Busia’s Yoga Teacher Training Program, 2003
MBSR Teacher Training with Bob Stahl, 1993
U of Mass Center for Mindfulness MBSR Training 1995
Center for Mindfulness MBSR Teacher Development Intensive, 2005
Certfied Relax and Renew restorative yoga instructor with Judith Lasater, 2009

Areas of Interest:
Buddhist Psychology
Anatomy & Physiology
Therapeutic Yoga
Yoga Philosophy
Restorative Yoga

With great appreciation to all the MBSR students at El Camino Hospital, Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula, Dominican Hospital, and the Santa Cruz Medical Clinic, as well as my local yoga students who continue to trust me to guide them in their practices.

With love to my fellow meditation & yoga buddies who inspire, teach and support me:  Karyn Bristol, Abbey Asher, Amey Matthews, Bill Underwood and Bob Stahl.

And with deep gratitude to my teachers, particularly to Kofi Busia for his patient and brilliant guidance, Bob Stahl for epitomizing loving kindness, Maya Lev for being my first yoga teacher, and my first life teacher Gilda Zelin.


copyright © 2015 Karen Zelin
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