Karina is a yoga & meditation educator, retreat and seminar leader, and Self-Development coach. She specializes in training yoga teachers, supporting health care professionals, and coaching cancer patients.
Karina has been teaching yoga since 1998 and training yoga teachers since 2004. She runs popular training programs in Kalamazoo, MI and guest teaches in a number of training programs across the US and abroad.
She has served as a faculty member of the Himalayan Institute and Antioch University’s Yoga Studies Program. She also produces a wide range of video content for YogaInternational.com.
Karina grew up singing and dancing in Ludington, MI. In 1998 she completed a BBA in Management from Western Michigan University (WMU). From 1999-2007 she practiced massage therapy, specializing in disabilities management. In 1999, Karina began legally officiating wedding ceremonies in the state of Michigan.
She was first introduced to yoga by her grandmother at age five. Karina began teaching in 1998, shortly before meeting master teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker. She served as Rod's teaching assistant from 2001-2005, and was one of the first certified teachers of Rod Stryker's Para Yoga. In 2006, Rod gave Karina the spiritual name "Devidas" (Servant of the Divine Mother).
In January of 2003 Karina was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. Yoga and meditation played key roles in both the discovery and recovery from her illness. She now draws from this experience to aid others facing similar life challenges. (see left for videos)Karina opened Sangha Yoga in downtown Kalamazoo in October 2003. In July 2009, she completed a Masters degree in East-West Psychology through Antioch University. Her unique style of coaching blends yogic wisdom with "Parts Work," a process based on Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy.
Karina is a favorite guest lecturer in WMU's Holistic Health Department.
She regularly presents concepts from the Yoga Sutra to 1000 college students each semester. Always a student herself, Karina continues her studies with master teachers in the Himalayn Tradition. She is also a mentee of spiritual psychologist, Tom Holmes PhD in Kalamazoo.
Karina's teachings reflect her understanding of yoga as both a modern therapeutic science and an ancient spiritual system, as well as, a catalyst for personal transformation. Her life story and service work have inspired thousands of others to live with passion and purpose.
Karina has been interviewed for and featured in numerous pulications. In the March 2008 issue of Yoga Journal, she was named as one of 21 top yoga teachers shaping the future of yoga in America.