Karen Moss is the founder, owner and director of Better Bodies Yoga, which opened its doors in December 2004. Karen is grounded in a strong athletic foundation and maintains certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that she earned initially in 1995. She started down the yoga path in 2000 while training for the Chicago Marathon, which she ran in memory of her father with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. Karen credits yoga to reviving her back to life after the devastating loss of her beloved father, keeping her injury free before, during, and long after running the grueling 26.2 miles, and for igniting that tiny spark of purpose, which ultimately lead her to light a path for others to travel.
Since opening the studio, Karen has continued to evolve as a teacher, and a disciplined and passionate student of yoga, anatomy, and kinesiology by earning certification in various lineages, and other alternative modalities. Upon receiving the first of several 200-hour, and 500-hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Certifications starting in 2004, she is an E-RYT 500-hour (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance, and a Certified Yoga Therapist with IYAT (The International Association of Yoga Therapists). Trainings include YogaWest 200-hour, YogaWorks 200-hour, The Himalayan Institute 300-hour, Ashtanga Primary Series and Intermediate Series Advanced Teacher Trainings with David Swenson, and Annie Carpenter’s SmartFLOW 500-hour. Therapeutic Yoga Certifications include;, Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors Certification from Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, Yoga for Cancer Certification from MD Anderson in Houston, Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D, and a Therapeutic Wall Yoga Certification with Bryan Legere, founder of the Great Yoga Wall®. In addition, she has trained and become certified in other areas of fitness, strength, health and wellness, sports conditioning, injury prevention, and age specific instruction. In 2015 Karen earned a 500-hour TuiNa Licensed Massage Therapist Certification that qualifies her to become a LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist), which she plans to test for and complete sometime in 2018.
Energetic and athletic, Karen’s students leave her classes energized, motivated, well-taught with attention to alignment details, and relaxed. Although her classes are challenging at any level she teaches, helping her students build a safe foundation with hands on adjustments and correct alignment keeps the very same poses that are meant to heal from hurting her students instead. Karen enjoys teaching fundamentals to newcomers, therapeutic yoga for her physical therapist Anne Stewart’s patients, and advanced postures to intermediate/advanced students. All of her classes are focused on correct diaphragmatic breathing, precision in form and alignment, daily functional yoga and movement, and safety. Karen has found a particular niche and love for teaching any persons recovering from joint replacements especially of the shoulders and knees, carpal tunnel repairs, heart and cancer surgeries, and injured individuals looking to rehabilitate themselves and gain injury prevention tools like amateur and professional athletes. Karen’s compassion, patience, tenacity, and depth of knowledge provide much needed comfort, hope, self empowering knowledge and inner strength to persons especialy enduring brutal cancer treatments or persons recovering from illnesses such as brain damage, and chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, COPD, paralysis, and Parkinson’s Disease, or to any serious student of yoga who wants to travel the yoga path.
Because Karen lost both parents to Cancer, she has a particular connection to those individuals, who are suffering from this disease, have survived cancer, or who have lost someone to this illness. In 1999, Karen lost her beloved father, Louis Kirschner (A”H) to Lymphoma. In 2001 she ran the Chicago Marathon in her dads memory and raised over $46,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In 2006, Karen’s mother, Sylvia Kirschner (A”H), was diagnosed with and quickly died from Leukemia. Karen was given the opportunity to offer her mother some comfort in the hospital through the gift of yoga.
Better Bodies Yoga started and spearheaded what became a community wide fund-raising event with several other yoga studios in Memphis called, “Saluting the Spirit ~ Yoga for Cancer” for two consecutive years with 100% of the funds donated to the Wings Cancer Foundation. In addition, each Saturday Better Bodies Yoga offers free of charge and in memory of Karen’s parents, yoga classes for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer.
All of Karen’s students, three children and husband find her compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, and interested in their individual needs. Because yoga has helped Karen through the most challenging times of her life ~ personal loss, grief, injuries, and the aging process ~ she is truly committed to providing every individual who walks through her doors, with the foundation and guidance to allow yoga to help balance, bring harmony, and inner peace, to their lives as well.
In 2011, Karen added to Better Bodies Yoga a “Healing Garden” with ten flowing and soothing fountains where outdoor yoga and meditation classes are held during the warmer months. In October 2017, “The Salt Caves at Better Bodies Yoga,” a much larger addition was added two doors down from the main studio that houses “Halotherapy,” (Dry Salt). This luxurious Himalayan salt cave is as tranquil as it is therapeutic, and evolved from Karen’s own medical conditions. Offerings consist of salt relaxation sessions, salt yoga classes, and heated salt bed sessions that help a wide variety of issues naturally. In 2019, Karen partnered with the Love Your Brain Foundation, which provides free yoga classes for students who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or concussion. Better Bodies Yoga is the only yoga studio in Memphis who has the privilege to offer LYB teacher trainings and FUNdamentals series.
Since the inception of Better Bodies Yoga, Karen has made her life’s work giving people an opportunity to come to a safe, serene and very healing place to breathe in life, move, and find comfort, gain energy and hope from each other in a sacred space where they do not feel self-conscious but do feel connected and alive. She feels that ultimately this is her Seva (contribution) and the way in which she will leave the world a better place than she found it.