Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Why are we here?

What are your foundational beliefs about life? Why are we here?

I believe that each human soul has a unique purpose or dharma, with special gifts and talents to offer the world; and that we are born to discover this purpose, and then serve the greater good through our individual expression of the divinity within. I believe that we are all deserving of love, happiness and success; and that our work here on earth is to realize our inherent worth, fearlessly embrace our fullest potential, and humbly uplift others as they attempt to do the same.

What challenges have you had to overcome on your own journey?

Our personal life experiences can form painful and limiting beliefs about ourselves. The challenge for me in realizing my fullest potential has been overcoming the mental constructs of shame, self-doubt, isolation, and fear which were formed out of my early life experiences.

My work has been to recognize when I feel limited due to identifying with my “pain story,” then compassionately shift my awareness. I also practice accepting all my experiences with gratitude; for these experiences gave me reasons to seek ways out of suffering, led me to the spiritual path, and allow me to be a truly empathetic guide to others.

Karina_Mirsky_why are we here Blue Osa Costa Rica

How has yoga impacted your life?

In the late 90’s I began my studies with Rod Stryker and in the Himalayan Tradition. So, it’s important to note that when I speak of Yoga, I’m referring to classical study leading to meditation practice; the primary focus of this being the development of Self-awareness verses Ego-awareness.

Yoga gave me a direct experience of the relief from suffering. It also reshaped my identity and self-worth. Yoga offered me insight into how to obtain greater clarity, personal empowerment, and healing. I’ve learned that although my past experiences have shaped my conditioned reactionary emotions, I have the capacity to witness habitual thoughts and feelings then choose a more compassionate and empowering belief.


What do you believe is your dharma? Your sacred path in life?

My heart longs to be in service, to uplift and empower others. I feel the most present, authentic, and connected to Source when I’m teaching or coaching private clients. In these moments I sense the core of my being. I’m aware of my passion, skills and knowledge, yet also aware of who the Real Teacher is, so I attempt to “get out of the way” in order to be of true service.

I remember telling my teacher Pandit Rajmani Tigunait in 2009 that I believed that teaching yoga was my dharma. Without hesitation he affirmed this for me, and then on the spot, he hired me as a faculty member of the Himalayan Institute and Yoga International.I bow to my teachers, friends, and the studio owners and yoga students who offer me opportunities to share, grow and shine. I’m humbled to them because they also hold me accountable to being who I was born to be.

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About the author

Karina Ayn Mirsky (Devidas), is a widely sought after Yoga and Meditation Educator and SELF-DevelopmentSM Coach. She is the director of Sangha Yoga in Kalamazoo, MI, a teaching faculty member of the Himalayan Institute, and an adjunct professor of Yoga Studies at Antioch University Midwest.

Karina has been teaching yoga since 1998 and training yoga teachers since 2003. She was one of the first certified teachers of Rod Stryker’s ParaYoga®. Karina holds a Master’s degree in East-West Psychology; she also draws from her experiences as a cancer survivor, massage therapist and performance artist to uplift and empower others.

Karina is a regular contributor to Yoga International, of which she graced the Winter 2012 cover. She has also been featured in publications such as the Huffington Post, and Origins. In the March 2008 issue of Yoga Journal, Karina was honored as one of 21 teachers under the age of 40 who is shaping the future of yoga in America.

More Information
Karina hosts teacher training programs and conducts private practice at Sangha Yoga. She leads seminars in the USA and Canada and holds annual retreats in Costa Rica. Karina also offers supervision for yoga teachers and distance coaching via skype.

See her website at Sangha Yoga (



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