Teacher Spotlight


Karen Erstad

Tell us a few things the IFY Community doesn’t know about you.

  • I bought my first house at age 25. It was on the far northeast side of Madison off North Sherman Ave. (though not quite as far as Cherokee Country Club). The view out of our front picture window was a farm field. We loved it! And it was small enough that it only took an hour to clean :)
  • I love Antiques Road Show on PBS, though I barely ever watch TV anymore (this does not include movies).
  • I used to golf A LOT before I had kids. I played in a golf league, and then beyond that, I’d often golf three times a week. I was never really good, but had a lot of fun!
  • I also used to play a lot of softball. One summer (again, before children), I played four nights a week, both slowpitch and fastpitch.

Tell us about jobs you had before teaching yoga.
In college I umpired softball and waited tables. I taught high school English for three years and then moved on to write and edit for a trade publication that was all about pools and spas. I’ve since forgotten all the steps involved, but a few years ago, I could have balanced a pool’s pH and assessed if too much chlorine was being used (the high school chemistry did finally come in handy!).

What has been your favorite place to visit or vacation? So far, one of my favorite destinations is Red Rocks park and amphitheater in Colorado. It is the most amazing place to see a concert. It almost doesn’t matter who you see – the concert is gonna be great! I’ve seen the Steve Miller Band and Thievery Corporation, and hope to see many more there in the future. Cannon Beach in Oregon is my favorite beach thus far (it was sunny when we visited :), but the beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan are also great and much closer. Seeing Mount Rushmore in person is rather sublime. Both Europe and the East are still on the bucket list.

Favorite Films:
I love movies! I can’t pick just three. Here are a few of my faves (in no particular order): Seabiscuit, Office Space, Young Frankenstein, The Natural, Gladiator, A River Runs Through It, Bull Durham, and anything with Clint Eastwood in it.

Favorite things to do in the Madison area when I’m not at Inner Fire:

  • Watch my kids play soccer, baseball, basketball and swim, dance and tumble at gymnastics.
  • Until recently, walking my dogs anywhere and everywhere. Our 13-year-old Springer Spaniel, Kona, now has cancer and is not particularly mobile, and our 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Scout, still enjoys a walk, but no longer a long one.
  • Read a great book (I’m a total homebody). I just read Ann Patchett’s short non-fiction book titled, What Now? and loved it! I always enjoy hearing about great books to read :)
  • Hike around Devil’s Lake.
  • Go to the pool!!
  • Walk down to the Memorial Union Terrace and have a brat and a beer with my family

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