outdoor yoga montana

The Right Time for Yoga | Karen Oberg

Welcome to the latest interview post from the True Nature Tribe. If you’re new here, head back and check out the earlier True Nature Tribe blog posts for some of the other stories. Throughout this project we photograph and interview yogis about yoga in nature. We’re excited to share Karens story and photos from Montana. It’s time for yoga, Let’s start how we’ve been starting by asking the question, what is yoga?

“Yoga is quietness, connection, and moving into stillness.”

Sometimes finding the way it’s about seeing something at the right time. You know how you never knew what yoga was and then after you took your first class you start seeing advertisements for it everywhere? Well, one day Karen saw a poster offering yoga classes. Always having been curious about yoga, she went to a class above a woman’s garage bringing along her dad and her husband. The three of them started practicing at the woman’s house long before yoga was on every street corner. Karen now integrates yoga into her life both personally and professionally.

montana yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga Karen always had a lot of different health problems and was acutely aware of the impact that stress had on her health. At the time the she began practicing yoga, she had undergone various surgeries for her allergies and the many medications she was on didn’t seem like good long-term solutions for her life. She realized she wanted to be in control of her health. Thus, with yoga on her mind, she found that poster and discovered her first teacher. She quickly found that practicing yoga made her feel so much better, more alive, and able to cope with things. As you can imagine, the emotional and spiritual part of yoga has become really important to Karen. However, she admits she continually to underestimates the physical part. After all, she knows how much better her body feels when she is practicing regularly.

It seems like an inevitable progression that Karen would end up utilizing the therapeutic aspects of yoga. In occupational therapy school, Karen did a project on yoga for senior citizens. Then, early in her career, Karen was working at a chronic pain clinic and the hospital sent her through her first yoga teacher training. After that, Karen discovered Integrated Movement Therapy, something she became interested in for her own benefit as well as to help her patients.

Now, Karen works mostly with kids. In some of her sessions she’ll integrate yoga or yoga stories. In addition, Karen teaches a group social yoga session to girls with autism or anxiety. Karen thinks that the most important thing is her mindset in how she works with people rather than actually doing what other people might consider yoga. Using the philosophy of yoga helps her develop relationships, have compassion, respect boundaries for herself and others, and be curious when she’s working with her patients.

Karen went into occupational therapy because it fascinated her and seemed to fit her personality. It seemed like a really hands-on healing therapy. People often think it’s about jobs but really it’s about our daily occupation and how we take care of ourselves and what’s important to us. It can be about what you’re passionate about whether that’s work or leisure. It could be anything from brushing our teeth or even being able to go to a dance class or a yoga class. She’s learned that there is a lot of cross-over between occupational therapy and yoga therapy. They’re both a lot about self-care and they both include spirituality and healing, being aware of yourself.

Early on, she had the mindset of yoga being really physical and gradually recognized the multifaceted aspects of yoga. It has become a spiritual practice that she follows. It’s become a practice of life, self-care, and community care. Karen emphasizes the importance of bringing mindfulness to her relationships, specifically the ability to pause, step-back, and see the bigger picture.

montana outdoor yoga

outdoor yoga montana

“Self-awareness is really big.”

Karen reflected on feeling like her life can get out of balance when work takes up more of her time than she feels is healthy. She believes that yoga helps give her the ability to recognize when that’s happening so that she can decide how to find balance. Sometimes it’s about stress and noticing what’s happening physically. Other times it’s noticing changes in her immediate relationships such as how present she can be with her own kids.

“I think a lot about the sutras, the yamas and niyamas, because I feel like if I can’t be mindful and work through and understand some of those things and how they incorporate into my daily life, then I think my life is too busy.”

Karen grew up surrounded by water and tress, especially in the summertime. She has always felt a connection to the earth in the place where she lives. That connection reminds her of the importance of taking care of it. Additionally, her relationship with her husband has a strong basis in nature as they enjoy hiking together. Karen discussed that it can be easy to feel loss and emptiness without nature. It is difficult to feel energy in the middle of a busy city. Conversely, there is a beauty in being able to let go in a place that feels sacred.

Nature is bigger than us. It inspires connection and calmness, both a connection to earth and a connection to other people. As she practiced under the big Montana clouds, she commented on the joy of doing poses while being able to look up at the sky. It brought a different connection to the poses.

“I think nature brought me to a place of calmness and meditation early on without me necessarily having the words to describe that.”

outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana outdoor yoga montana

Thanks Karen! And thanks to the rest of you for tuning in! Be sure to visit our website for more information on what we are doing with the True Nature Tribe project about yoga in nature. You’ll see glimpses of the stories ahead and well as ways to get involved. We would be honored if you would support our project in whatever way you are able. Join our newsletter below. We’ve also created a Postcard Pack that is available for purchase. 100% of the profits will be donated to land conservation.

love adventurously bergreen photography

Similar Posts