Karen’s background

Karen Douglas de Fenzi

I teach Somatic Education, in the tradition of Thomas Hanna, because it guides us into experiencing deeply satisfying and wonderfully effortless whole body movement. Hanna Somatic Education can help through difficult times and at the same time enhance your personal sense of balance in life. My vision is to make Hanna Somatic Education a ‘household name’ and share with you the lovely feeling of knowing yourself better.

It was three years ago when my first experience of Hanna Somatic Education changed my life. I had been experiencing debilitating pain in my lower back and an MRI scan showed I had spondylosis (degeneration of vertebral structure) in my lower spine. I was offered high dose steroid injections to numb the pain and told I had to stop doing any kind of movement, in other words, stop doing everything I enjoyed. All my instincts told me to keep moving; to me movement is health.

Gentle practice of Hanna Somatics each day, for a few minutes, has enabled me to regain full mobility in my spine. As the movements have slowly integrated into my everyday life, I have realised a number of subtle benefits that accompany them. I now cannot think of a single aspect of human existence that would not benefit from the movements.

I am currently training with Eleanor Criswell Hanna at The Novato Institute in California. Although I am a fully certified yoga teacher with over thirty years of experience in practice, I have decided to not teach yoga asana (posture) any further. To me Hanna Somatics underpins any other movement activity we may choose.

I originally trained in Biological Sciences and spent many years teaching Science and A level Biology to high school students. After taking a break from work to bring up my three children as a full-time mum, I studied for a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology and later gained a Certificate of Professional Study in Child and Adolescent Counselling Skills.

What excites me most about Hanna Somatic Education, is the link between simple, slow movement and leading a free, healthy life. Hanna Somatic Education helps you get back in touch with the fun and enjoyment of moving your body. It is simply the ancient feeling of your humanness; being aware of who you are from within.