Instructor Highlight: Karen Hansen



What's your movement specialty? (yoga, pilates, TRX, etc)

I’ve been studying various styles of yoga for almost 20 years. Time and hyper-mobility eventually took its toll on my shoulders, so I sought out Pilates as a way to gain balance between strength and flexibility. I think they’re a magical duo.



Within your specialty, what drives your passion and creativity?

Watching the moments of clarity wash over a student’s face. We are all creatures of habit and how we move on the mat is generally how we move in our lives. When we slow down and focus, we get stronger and we become more aware of our own motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and intentions. It’s juicy stuff.


Tell us about a client experience that stands out to you.

There are so many! We all experience life transitions, injuries, emotional and physical ups and downs. Your practice can become a refuge in the midst of chaos. A dedicated time to create space and reconnect. I’ve had clients going through the most extraordinary circumstances whose practice gave them the tools to navigate each moment. On a lighter note, I also love breaking down elusive and complex postures. Most can be accomplished if you’re willing to slow down, listen, and do the work. I’m consistency inspired by clients who are willing to do so. It’s not always unicorns and rainbows, but it’s worth it.


What do you love most about the Niche family?

There’s a lot to love. The instructors are experienced, grounded, and supportive of the clients and each other. This genuine kindness and lack of pretension lends to a delightful, “just show up and do the work” attitude. And we laugh. A lot.


Outside of your instructor life, what are your passions and how do they keep you balanced and inspired?

I’m fortunate that my days are filled with inspiration! I have two beautiful and interesting children and a partner that elevates me. My involvement with local non-profit, Milk River Arts, and the Richmond arts community keeps me consistently in awe of those who are brave and vulnerable to create for a living. I also love a good punk show.