Author Tags: Health, Publishing

Born in 1941, Kareen Zebroff was encouraging the practice of yoga when most people thought it was something to eat. A widely-known television personality in Vancouver during the 1970s, her exercise program devoted to yoga led to many internationally published guides such as ABC Of Yoga, Yoga and Nutrition, Beauty Through Yoga, Back Fitness The Yoga Way and The ABC of Natural Cooking. All her books were published by Fforbez Publications of Vancouver (Fforbez is Zebroff spelled backwards), a company operated by her husband, a former school principal in the B.C. Interior. According to her website, The ABC of Yoga held the #2 spot on the German Spiegel best-seller list for all of 1974, second only to Alexander Solzhenytsin’s Gulag Archipelago. As a result, Kareen Zebroff became only the fifth woman in the magazine’s history to be featured with a cover-story -- in the select company of Golda Meir, Indira Ghandi, Marilyn Monroe and Vera Bruehne (a beautiful murderess). She continues to write and has produced a Yoga-Over-40 video.


ABC of Yoga (1974) [A new and revised edition became available under the British title A Gentle Introduction to Yoga (Foulsham, 2002).]
Yoga for Kids, by Kareen Zebroff, Lo Linkert, Duncan McDougall, Peter Zebroff (1978)
Yoga and Nutrition (1979)
Beauty Through Yoga (1989)
Back Fitness The Yoga Way
The ABC of Natural Cooking
Controlling Hip and Tummy Fat Through Yoga Activity (1989)
Yoga for Everyone (1995)

[BCBW 2004] "Health" "Publishing" "Classic"

Personal Background
Author's Promotional Website Material

"Kareen [Zebroff] was born in Germany during the war to a brilliant and dedicated M.D. father and a great natural beauty of a charming temperamental mother – a strict but loving upbringing in which it was hard to live up to the bigger-than-life templates. Both parents had been married before, and each had a child of six years of age – siblings to Kareen which are not, however, related to one another. When she was four years old the family, including her older brother, younger sister and maternal grandmother with 200 festering bomb-splinters in her leg, had had to flee the Russians from their home in Marienbad (now Czechia) with barely the clothes on their back. Luckily it was the months of May/June and Kareen’s father was able to barter his services as a doctor to farmers whose cherry-trees were over-burdened with fruit. As 'fleelings' the family was living for awhile in a filthy barn in southern Germany when, because the little town needed a doctor, they finally got lodgings -- in a 900 year-old medieval 'citadel' with a portcullis, moat, torture-chamber, hunger-tower, Iron Maiden, crypt, meter-thick window-sills, horses, buggies, dogs, children, her father’s amphibian VW jeep for crossing rivers without bridges, and many other intriguing aspects of castle-living to stimulate the imagination.

"At age nine, Kareen got TB of the mesentery (a membrane that enfolds most of the small intestine and secures it to the rear abdominal wall) from infected cow’s milk, and she was forced to spend many months in hospital. At age ten, she and her little sister, for complicated family reasons, had to spend a year in an orphanage where she was made to sing at funerals. At twelve, her parents divorced and a beloved housekeeper came into Kareen’s life with a child of her own for three years – a wonderful template for ideal motherhood. At fifteen, Kareen, her mother and older brother emigrated to Canada -- a country, where the streets were said to be 'paved with gold'. From Heidelberg to Dawson Creek, B.C.! The isolation-pay was good for adults who spoke little English, but it was a bit of a culture-shock for the young girl. With Mom’s hard work as an example, Kareen worked every holiday either in Old Age Homes, at the Post Office, or as chamber-maid/waitress at local hotels– one renowned New Year’s Eve at a temperature of minus 62F.

"But, it was American Graffiti time, and the kids at school were kind to 'Blondie' with an accent, and Drama-class 'saved her life', and the North was sunny in winter and smelled wonderful in summer. Was there ever anything more delicious in the world than exotic new food like grapefruit-juice, BLT’s, buttery corns-on-the-cob, or cherry milkshakes with the rare drop of naughty cherry-brandy in it? And, could there possibly be anything more refreshing and wonderful on a hot day than swimming in the grand Peace River, singing to a guitar around the fire on its sandy beaches, or crossing the treacherously round pipe-line bridge and getting kissed by a gorgeous hunk in the middle?

"University, a family tradition for both sexes, was next. Vancouver was chosen by Kareen over Edmonton, because it was said to be green in summer and warm in winter. Working for her room-and-board for three years, Kareen wasn’t able to act or date much, but fate sent her Peter anyway. Marriage and three children followed in rapid succession, and she began teaching Yoga at Agassiz’s night-school in the Fraser Valley. It had often happened in that small town, however, that only seven or eight people signed up for a night-class where ten was the minimum. Kareen, eager to spread the word about the beauty and efficacy of the Yoga that had helped her so much with her depression, overweight, and exhaustion in Hudson's Hope, wrote an article about all of that in the local newspaper in the hope of attracting at least ten ladies.

"As a result, seventy-eight people paid on registration-night, and Kareen had to hold three separate classes. Popular Yoga’s time had come, it seemed. Unbeknownst to Kareen, the Harrison Hotel had started to advertise for a Yoga-teacher to give classes during one-week weight-reducing sessions. One of Kareen’s students suggested her to the Assistant Manager. He, the Chef and Kareen were invited onto a BCTV talk-show to advertise, and the rest is TV history."

For additional info, see www.kareenzebroff.com.