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What People Say About Us…

   Pheonix Rising Yoga

“Longer, slower out breath…be present to yourself” In the past few years I’ve come to hear these words over and over, first as an occasional yoga student at ABT Yoga, and now as a weekly practitioner. These words , the studio’s calming atmosphere and Ken’s compassionate, wise and down to earth manner have encouraged me to open more and more deeply to my life and practice. Through a series of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy sessions with Ken, I found the courage to start my own art business  and  expand my healing arts practice after having been a stay at home mom for 13 years.  The sessions emboldened me to move beyond self imposed limits and beliefs. Regular daily practice whether at the studio or at home, creates a wonderful consistency and balance to my life that enriches  my mental and physical well being. The benefits of my yoga practice extend well beyond the mat and into my personal and professional relationships and have especially empowered my relationship with myself.   Stay at home mom grows roots and wings….

A Healing Testimonial - J.P. Salem

Surviving sexual abuse and recovering from anorexia, which nearly took my life is only a ‘tid-bit” of my healing journey. It wasn’t till I began Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT) that the real work of my healing journey began to manifest. 

After years of working with psychotherapists, I was still searching for ways of reconnecting with the deepest part of myself that was lost in early childhood.

For a while – I turned to yoga, massage, and bio-energetics to support my healing journey, and though it inspired some positive lifestyle changes and helped to relieve a lot of tension and stress, I still felt stuck moving forward in a lot of areas in my life; living a sedentary lifestyle while feeling lifeless and terrified of my inner world and self expression.

Frustrated to say the least, my need to connect to that deeper part of myself – “my life force” (or lack of) was what led me to Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. When I began working with Ken I felt I was at the crossroads of transformation yet had no inclination how powerful the work would be. I was beginning to feel that my old ways of being were obsolete. I was recognizing parts that were no longer “who I was” while feeling threatened to explore the unconscious. Within … wondering … “Who am I”? I knew, on a deeper level, that the work I had to do would be to reveal and expose a false self that I held secret even from myself and the shame underneath it all.

My sessions with Ken have been about learning to identify myself as my body, my feelings and the life within. For years my life-force and self expression were suffocated, I stopped living in order to preserve my life and hid my neediness while disconnecting from all of life’s functions: my body, feelings, intimacy, food, etc. …giving to others my heart’s yearning  – giving life – all of what I disowned within myself. Little did I know my false self and sedentary lifestyle was a defense against the flow of energy in my body.

I practiced yoga the same way I “did” life – going through the motions blindly – doing without feeling, experiencing, being, or focusing inward, while denying my own needs. I used yoga to escape from my internal world and to avoid the pain and rage of my self-betrayal and emotional abandonment. I deprived myself of my own life-force – terrified of feeling any energy and/or bodily sensations within.

While the truth that Phoenix Rising reveals may at times feel raw and overwhelming, it is this same truth that sets us free from the bondage of ourselves.

Ken has supported me in many ways through the process, helping me to stay with the work when it became difficult for me to contain through his presence, while providing me with an experience of being safely held and soothed – something I never had as a child.

Feeling deeply challenged with feelings and energy around my core while practicing yoga, I needed not only to learn – but practice patience and acceptance, while finding a way to be with myself. While this work has been extremely challenging in many ways, it has provided me with an opportunity of experiencing and embracing a whole new way of being. I need to learn to trust that I will not be annihilated by my feelings, energy, and bodily sensations. It is important for me to remind myself that this ‘energy” doesn’t threaten my life:; rather it’s my aliveness – my life force – the “deepest part of myself” that was lost – that I’ve been searching for all those years. “What I thought was outside was inside of me all along!”

Thanks to Phoenix Rising, I am slowly but surely beginning to regain feelings and sensations in my body – a sense of aliveness which even I  never thought possible. I am learning how to let go and allow myself to feel and be supported.

In my yoga practice now with Ken, I am learning to feel my ground, lengthen, engage and feel certain muscles in my body connecting me to my core, my centre, my life-force – while learning how to tolerate being with the reality of my life one breathe at a time. Key for me is moving ever so slowly keeping my focus inward while experiencing and feeling the movement from the inside out. Practicing patience, acceptance and trust as I let go of “controlling my experience” allowing my breath to be my guide. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is awakening to the true self.


Phoenix Rising has been one of the most valuable experiences in my life. Ken is  amazing in his ability to be present, intuitive and empathic and at the same time his guidance allows me to find my own answers and healing which is empowering. I have used what information I learn in the sessions to support me in my life and in my yoga practice. Thank you. EE, L.I.C.S.W.


Yoga at ABT has truly allowed me to develop my inner and outer strength, to be peaceful yet more effective in the day to day. The Phoenix Rising experience created an opportunity for self- reflection and to give myself permission to stop struggling. Ken has extensive knowledge of the body and how it works which he uses to modify yoga postures and tailor the experience toward individual needs. His desire to bring all that yoga has to offer to each and every person shines through and one leaves every class with lighter footsteps! – Susan, Danvers.


Since I began working with Ken and engaging in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, I’ve discovered a heightened awareness of just how many opportunities I have to get to know my true self on a deeper level–not only on the mat, but in my everyday life. The body holds stories that are longing to be acknowledged. To discover and tend to them in a safe, nurturing environment allowed me to become more honest, which was the beginning of a very beautiful healing process. It is an act of courage, and also a tremendous blessing.” – Jade, a recent college graduate and yoga student of 3 years

“The end of the rollercoaster, an odd feeling, like Alice looking into the rabbit hole not once, but each week, to find the scary got safer and safer.” – S.A. after a 10 week program.


“Having great respect for his students and himself, Ken is an exceptional teacher of yoga and facilitator of Phoenix Rising.  Yoga has changed my life….feeling stronger mind, body, and spirit.  Phoenix Rising has allowed me to reconnect with my intuition, trusting the strength of my knowing; unfolding the beliefs of others, that have accumulated over the years, and finding myself sitting in the middle waiting to express my true self.” – Hip Topsfield Mom with 3 children.

I have been attending classes at ABT Yoga for close to three years.

My experience has been life changing.  Ken, the owner and teacher guides you into a safe and fun practice. One that makes you strong and flexible at the same time. I recently have been able to say I am pain free and have been so for the last 6 months. I started out with some physical restrictions. So with time and consistency I am in the best shape of my life. I also took it up a notch and participated in private classes called Phoenix Rising. It proved to be a blessing for me. I realized a lot of my pain was emotional. The emotional pain manifested in physical forms in differing parts of my body, ex. hips, shoulders. As I was guided into positions, the postures and technique allowed my body an outlet for releasing pent up stress. I am a freer, more relaxed form of myself, which is ultimately what I have been truly working towards.

Lastly, Ken is a fabulous teacher as well as a fabulous soul.

I was lucky to have found ABT YOGA!!

Jane Barry, Beverly


I have been coming to ABT Yoga for over a year and half on Monday and Wednesday and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I often work 10 hour days which make it a long day, however, on Monday and Wednesday, no matter what mood, tone, stress from the day’s events when I enter ABT studio, I leave ABT yoga class with a smile on my face.  Ken makes the class enjoyable, engages with the students, teaches how to listen to your body for signs of stress or pain points. I could go on and on about why this has been a wonderful experience for me and how incredible Ken is as a teacher. I have always wanted to try yoga and I am glad that I found ABT and Ken.  Thank You! – A.A.

I used to escape to yoga retreats on weekends one or two times a year.  While that was wonderful, I was frustrated and disappointed that my feeling of peaceful serenity didn’t last once I returned to the multitasking, overcommitted lifestyle that is typical for a mom with three kids, a husband, and a career.  ABT Yoga helps me bring a small measure of calm, peace, relaxation, and tranquility into my daily life.  And it feels great too!  After several years, I have by now probably attended every class with every teacher.  They each have their own unique style and personality, which keeps me engaged and not bored, but they all have a common underlying philosophy. – Elizabeth

Yoga at ABT is like playing the piano, it doesn’t matter if there’s a few wrong notes, you don’t have to be a mozart, you just play it from the heart.  From the very first day to now I have always felt very comfortable doing my yoga at ABT and greatly appreciate all that Ken does to make me feel that way. – Lesley

As a ’50ish’ retired businessman, I began working with Ken 2 1/2 years ago with two goals; to become more present and more flexible.  I knew that I had spent most of my life living in the past and the future and not fully enjoying now.  A former athlete, I was visiting the chiropractor 1-2x a month and was always very stiff.  I immediately connected with Ken’s easy going teaching style and personal approach.  He easily facilitates classes where each student can work at his/her own level.  Yoga has become an important part of my life and routine; I am more relaxed, more present, more flexible and more happy.  I feel more connected to myself and my body.  I cannot imagine going back to how I was.

I have been “trying” to like yoga ever since I was 16 years old. Every year, I would try a different class, a different teacher, and nothing ever felt right to me. But…there was something in me that felt I “should” like yoga, so I kept trying. When yet another yoga studio opened, I felt I had to give this one a chance, and it didn’t hurt that it was right down the street from me! From the first few minutes I was in Ken’s class, I felt I was “home.” Such care was taken to make sure I honored MY own body!  I was never encouraged to do what anyone else was doing. In fact, I was honored more for when I didn’t! My body just doesn’t *do* some of the things that others can do, and there were also alternative suggestions. Emphasis is always put on listening to your body “today”, as that changes from day to day, minute to minute. I am SO grateful to have found a practice that I really love!  – 50 something Topsfield local.

I am a 68 year old woman who 5 years ago was suffering from chronic pain from Fibromyalgia for 18 months.  I was advised to try Yoga and got involved with ABT Yoga in 2007. Ken Lidden is an incredible teacher.  He worked with me, as he does with everyone, to improve my health issues. However, it is not necessary to have a problem to benefit from Yoga.  I am more flexible and stronger and have the peace of mind that I can work through any health situation that may arise. Ken is a compassionate instructor who is extremely concerned that you not hurt yourself and work at your own pace.  I have recommended Ken to many friends and they have been impressed with him and are now attending classes. I suggest you give ABT Yoga an opportunity to improve your life in many ways,  It has been a very rewarding experience for me. – Om Shanti. Golfing Grandmother of 8


I started my yoga practice at ABT Yoga with Ken more than two years ago.  I had thought about it and read about it for years.  It is one of the best decisions I have ever made; I just don’t know why I waited so long. Ken has provided a comfortable and safe environment for me to grow as a yoga practitioner.   I remember my first day.  Ken gave me a blanket for my head because I could not lie flat, and I had to hold my pant leg rather than my foot to stretch my thigh.  But that was then. I kept going and I realized early on that in any class there will be people with less and more experience than me, and Ken has taught me how to adjust the intensity of each posture based on what I am feeling that day.   Ken truly loves what he does. 

My practice has added so much to my life: Physically: I can sleep on my stomach and not wake up with a crooked neck and in pain; I have cut down on the use of NSAIDs for arthritis in my hands and knees; I have gained ½” of my height back, have lost weight; Gained confidence in my footing when I walk;  I Stand and sit with my back straight; Postures I thought I would never be able to do, I can do now, and the list keeps growing as I practice. And then . . .

There is a spiritual component that I cannot explain; I am calmer most of the time, and quickly recognize when I’m not; I am more patient and tolerant; That weight of stress that lingered across my upper back and between my shoulder blades for years is mostly gone; I feel more open and accepting of things I cannot change; And I like to think I smile more. – Carol

“Yoga has had a profound effect on my life.  Since I started practicing yoga, I have experienced an increase in energy level, greater strength and flexibility, better ability to concentrate for long periods of time, reduced stress levels and overall I just feel better.  I was introduced to yoga at ABT about six years ago and continue to attend classes while also practicing at home.  I noticed “something was happening” from my first class at ABT.  Ken has a unique ability to assess a student’s individual needs and help guide them on their own path, all with a focus on safety” – Business professional

Ken has conscientiously and lovingly created a safe and welcoming yoga studio for people of all ages and abilities.  The open studio that allows someone to come to any available class has allowed me to return to yoga after many years.  Ken truly encourages students to listen to their own inner truths’ whether that means challenging yourself to new heights, or acknowledging the need to pull back and be especially gentle with yourself at any particular moment.  The classes are both structured and spontaneous, they are joyful and challenging.  I am grateful to Ken to have yoga back in my weekly schedule, I am  stronger, healthier, more flexible, and balanced as a result. – Eva Wax, CNM

I am on the waning end of 50, working & commuting long days in the city, spending hours staring at a computer screen. My life is busy and has lots of bumps. My stress is cumulative, in my neck, back, and stomach. Ken’s methods and practices at ABT Yoga focus on stretching and strengthening the body and clearing the mind of clutter. His practices reach my inner core and move me back off the precipice. My body loosens, my mind clears and my sleep is restful. He encourages awareness and acceptance. ABT Yoga is truly the best commitment I could have made to manage my self. Thanks, Ken!

I came to ABT yoga (and yoga in general) in September 2007, nearly 10 months after making a New Year’s resolution to add yoga to my life, (but who’s counting?)  Prior to beginning my yoga practice I had spent 3 years working with a Personal Trainer in an effort to gain strength following a long period of serious back issues.  Frankly, I thought I had the strength thing taken care of, so wasn’t really sure what yoga would have to offer, but my trainer had suggested I give it a try, so I walked into the studio for the first time on a weekday in September.  I loved Ken’s approach – careful, thoughtful teaching, expertly tailored to each and every class.

Since then, I have made a commitment to practice yoga at least twice a week.  My level of strength has increased, and I love feeling aware of and supported by my core.  I’m probably one of the least flexible people to ever attempt yoga, so I’m not sure if that has improved at all, but the beauty of it is that I just don’t care.  I feel good, so I do it. Perhaps the most important benefit I’ve received from yoga however, was something I became acquainted with during that very first class – the long slow outbreath.  A simple concept, and a tool that is available to all – why had I never heard of it before?  I currently employ the long slow outbreath during times of stress, when I’m trying to get to sleep, when I just need  to relax.  I can’t believe the depth of relaxation that it provides – and I am so grateful to have it in my life.  Yoga – I’m hooked! – MB

   Private Yoga Instruction

We are four youthful but differentiated retirees. Ken has reintroduced us to muscles we haven’t spoken with since childhood. We yoga as a group but Ken is able to modify his instructions on the fly to meet the talents of each.

We now celebrate unbirthdays instead of birthdays. – The Fearsome Foursome, Susan Donovan, Julie Southard, Barbara Stobbs, and Charlie Stobbs.

It was a great pleasure to discover ABT Yoga soon after it opened.  I had dabbled in yoga in the past but at 57 had never worked with one instructor over time.  Ken is both informative and careful.  He challenges the classes and is individually instructive in private lessons.  I’ve recommended ABT Yoga many times to friends both experienced with or new to yoga. – Working Mom from Wenham

Working with Ken Lidden at ABT Yoga has been an essential part of restoring my health and well-being. Yoga, under Ken’s guidance, has helped me become healthier, stronger, more flexible, more focussed, more relaxed, and more at peace. Ken is an insightful and skillful instructor who is very skilled at understanding individual situations and who will appropriately challenge students, or modify routines and poses. My experience in almost four years at ABT has been wonderful. I have recommended ABT Yoga to many people. – Retired Wenham Businessman.

My name is Peggy. I was introduced to ABT Yoga and Private Instruction over a year ago. Although I was apprehensive and fearful I went forward. Practicing yoga was something I have always wanted to do, but have never been comfortable doing anything for myself. Since I have been practicing I have become more relaxed and healthier in body and mind. Everyone in my life has noticed a change in me. For me this has been and will continue to be a life altering experience. Each week I learn something new about myself. With every challenge there comes opportunity. Thank you, ABT Yoga.