Denise Karsen

Denise is a Massage and Yoga Instructor who is passionate about helping others achieve optimal health through the use of yoga, Reiki, Tai Chi and meditation. She completed her 500-hour Professional Level Teacher Training in the Kripalu Tradition at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in August 2014. She is striving to use yoga and all its tenets on and off the mat to be fully awake and alive by seeing the extraordinary in every day. Denise understands the importance of the body’s story in the healing process and invites deeper exploration through present-moment awareness, breath, movement, and dialogue. She has taught yoga since 2009.  She teaches at various businesses and hospitals throughout West Michigan

Denise lives in Grand Rapids Michigan with her husband and foster son and has two adult sons. She helps students see the reflection of their own possibility by guiding them with compassion, permission, acceptance, and patience. Her additional trainings and certifications include multiple body-oriented energy healing techniques and modalities.


RYT 500 Hour Kripalu Yoga Instructor

Certified Thai~Shiatsu Massage

Certified Yoga4Cancer™ Instructor

Certified Yoga Nidra Instructor

Meditation Instructor

Certified Reiki Practitioner

Tai Chi

Oncology Massage

Restorative Yoga Instructor


As the director of a busy medical group practice I wanted to offer my colleagues something to promote stress reduction and health last Christmas so I asked Denise to provide a guided mindful centering experience. It was only about 10 or 15 minutes at the beginning of a shift but staff reporting feeling refreshed and calm after the experience. If only we could take the time to do this at the beginning of every day. I’m convinced we’d enhance both work productivity and outcomes as well as our own health.
Denise did a really nice job. She has a very calming presence and expertly took the group through the guided meditation. I would not hesitate to use her again.
Helen Berghoef

Region 6 Trauma Coordinator, State of Michigan DHHS

“I have enjoyed the benefits of Denise’s Shiatsu massage. Working on a computer causes lots of tightness in my neck, shoulders and back. She always questions me about what I hope to get out of the massage and gives me ideas for helping me stay healthy every day. After a session with Denise I am relaxed, flexible and refreshed! She is a blessing in my life.”
Deb Scherphorn

“Denise Karsen gave me back the ability to work each day. Calm and supportive and by her touch, she can feel everything that may be bothering you.  She was a lifesaver for me.  I had neck surgery and a few months after I was still very stiff and frozen, it was painful every day.  Denise was the only person that was able to unfreeze my neck and shoulders and give me the joyful day that I was longing for.  She is amazing and her technique of Thai-Shiatsu continues to not only relax any stiffness from computer work, but also aids in easing my chronic back issues. I urge you to see her. My life has been changed because of Denise.”
Sue Warriner

Spectrum Health

“Yoga Nidra is a profound experience combining deep relaxation with physical, emotional and mental connection.  While laying down, your breathing and awareness deepen and you are able to focus in the present moment. Denise Karsen guides you with a soft, soothing and reassuring voice and has a remarkable sense of good timing to help you explore your body, mind, and spirit. In my daily life, I find I have improved concentration, improved memory, and improved ability to make better decisions. Yoga Nidra has also helped me in relieving anxiety and depression I experience at times.  I feel revived and refreshed with an increase in peace of mind.”
Judy Joseph

“I have experienced the pleasure of Shiatsu massage therapy with Denise.  I have come to realize the importance of a skilled therapeutic massage executed by a professional, trained individual.  Beyond her professionalism, I find that Denise truly cares about each individual, their health, their circumstances – mind body and spirit.  She is dedicated to her profession and is, simply stated, one of the best!!!”
Courtney C Morton

“Denise creates a very comfortable and relaxing environment while receiving her skillful Thai Shiatsu massage. Denise has a innate ability to easily connect with what your body needs. It’s such a nice experience to be able to receive a good stretching, full body, Thai Shiatsu session. I highly recommend a Thai Shiatsu massage with Denise!”
Amanda Cabasaan

Denise is an exceptionally fine yoga instructor. She is accommodating and creative in her approach to teaching, encouraging and always available to give individualized solutions to particular problems.
Judy Posthumus

“We feel very fortunate to have Denise Karsen teaching her Kripalu style yoga classes for Spectrum Health. Denise’s kindness and generosity to all fosters a sense of compassion and community.  I regularly hear her students remark about how positive the experience is. She teaches in a way that makes everyone feel welcome and she supports them whatever their yoga level may be.   With Denise anyone can do it. Participants report reduced stress, and they always leave feeling more relaxed and restored. The technique she uses moves you through poses in a fluid and easy to follow way while she guides you through breath work and introspection ending with an inspiring reading.  Her classes are gentle, yet extremely effective for strengthening the body and relaxing the mind. She always strives to make her classes better and better. You can’t imagine how much better you’ll feel.”
Irene Franowicz RD CDE

Instructor, Eating The Mediterranean Way Series

“Denise provides excellent service and very caring treatment.  I always leave feeling very relaxed.”
Abby Darwin

“Denise Karsen’s skills in providing Shiatsu massage is unparalleled. Not only is she extremely competent, Denise is deeply kind, and patient; always working at her client’s level, never pushing too hard or crossing boundaries. Because of Denise’s skills, compassion, and individualized approach to Shiatsu massage, I trust her without exception. Most importantly, with each passing session I have with Denise, I feel better longer, and am better able to maintain this sense of wellness until our next session.”
Amy Wagenfeld, PhD, OTR/L, SCEM, CAPS, FAOTA