Teacher Spotlight: Kevin Henderson
For starters, a few years ago I never could have imagined I’d be featured in a teacher spotlight by a yoga studio! But I think that’s a good place to begin, because it’s a testament to how positively impactful yoga has been in my life. I didn’t really know anything about yoga until my first year or two in college. I hurt my sciatic nerve playing basketball, was in pain for several months, and thought I’d give yoga a try because I associated yoga simply with stretching at the time. I looked up “yoga for sciatic nerve” on YouTube, found some stretches, and within a couple weeks I was feeling better. I remember thinking, “wow, that was powerful,” but that was it. About a year later, I took an introductory yoga class at El Camino College for a semester. The class touched on some of the philosophical and historical aspects of the practice, but I still hadn’t really “experienced” yoga yet.
Once I graduated, I got an office job, moved into an apartment with one of my buddies, and probably wasn’t taking the best care of myself. Work was stressful and I wasn’t finding much time for exercise. I still played basketball occasionally and it’s a good thing that I did. I was playing one weekend and hurt myself yet again. I went to the doctor for the injury, but while I was there, they told me that I had high blood pressure. It was a wake up call. I didn’t want to take medicine for the rest of my life for something that I felt I could address on my own. My mind immediately went back to yoga. I thought it was something healthy that I could do every day, it was relaxing, and I figured it couldn’t hurt.
Whether it was the catchy inspirational quote on the sidewalk chalkboard outside the Harmony studio, or sheer dumb luck, the first studio yoga class I ever took was at Harmony one weeknight after work. It was Julie’s class (she’ll be the first to tell you I was wearing socks) and the way she taught was different than anything I had encountered with yoga before. She created a welcoming, agenda-free environment, played some killer tunes, and delivered an ass-whooping physical practice, you know, in a good way… and I embraced the challenge. I felt like pushing my focus, balance, and strength were great things, but the more I practiced, the more I felt the deeper benefits that yoga had to offer. I became a regular at the studio. I felt the authenticity behind the practice and all of the studio’s great teachers. Yoga provided me a sense of ease and I loved being challenged while on the mat. It seemed like a great metaphor for an approach to living life.
After a couple years of practicing regularly, I took Harmony’s 200-hour teacher training. I wanted to learn more about the practice and how breath and asana could do so much for a person on more than just a physical level. Harmony and the practice of yoga have taught me so much, continue to push my growth, and I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by our wonderful yoga community. I’m still quite new to the practice, and I find that to be very motivating. To me, yoga is infinite; there’s always something else to learn, a way to improve, and I really dig that.
When I’m off the mat, I keep myself pretty busy. I work a full-time job for the City of Los Angeles and I squeeze as much as I can out of my time away from the office with yoga, of course, and my other passion, which is music. I’ve been playing guitar since I was twelve and music has always been my favorite thing in the world. I play with a local group, write my own music (you may have unknowingly heard some of my tracks if you’ve ever taken my class!), and am constantly trying to create. I’m also an avid sports fan, a foodie, and I’m happy to talk with any of our Harmony community if you want to know more about me. Thanks so much to Harmony for featuring me this month and I’ll see you all in the studio!
Check out Kevin’s class on Saturdays from 4:00-5:15pm to experience his intelligent sequencing and passion for yoga.