Why drive all the way from Ball Ground to Atlanta for yoga, friends have asked me. The reason, of course, is Karen Thomson, my yoga teacher. Karen not only explains and models perfect asanas with her amazingly strong and flexible body; she also is attentive to each of us, giving individual help as needed. She emphasizes that there is no competition in yoga, and that if you feel pain, stop. She leads us in breathing techniques, stressing their importance. Most important, perhaps, is that Karen establishes an atmosphere of calm and peace in her Buckhead Yoga Room. As we enter, Karen herself radiates peace and joy. Yoga can be hard work for some of us, so the meditations Karen leads during savasana are a delight we look forward to at the end of each class. Because she is a talented musician as well as one skilled in leading meditations, Karen uses a variety of techniques and sounds during savasana. There may be music or a guided visualization, or drumming or chimes and other sounds. I was surprised to learn that drumming, for example, could be an aid, a way into meditation. Karen’s understanding, her sense of humor, and her gentle way of helping each of us advance in the practice of yoga and meditation make every yoga class a special event of the week.