Karen volunteered with the Peace Corps after graduating from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. She lived and worked in Senegal and Guinea, West Africa teaching English and supporting female literacy and women’s rights. Later, she worked as an educator for children with learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and Dyslexia . She also directed an education-based aftercare program for at-risk youth for several years. At the same time, she was studying Yoga and Reiki, the traditional Japanese method of energy healing in order to better serve the populations with whom she worked and maintained her own mind/body and life/work balance. She was certified in Yoga Therapy in 2000 and became certified as a Reiki Master in 2008.
In 2010, she graduated with a Master’s of Science Degree in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hoping to integrate yoga therapy, and other Eastern healing modalities as complementary medicine into the clinical psychology setting. While working on her Master’s degree she conducted relaxation and restorative yoga classes for community members who are HIV positive, also for people suffering chronic pain and experiencing related affective disorders, dealing with addiction, and coping with stress. She is currently completing her PhD. in Clinical Psychology at Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her dissertation focus is on operationalizing yoga therapy to make it more understood and accessible to the medical community.