ABOUT BRIAN HENDERSON
500 hr Kripalu Yoga Teacher
200 hr Kripalu Meditation Teacher
RYT 500 Yoga Alliance
I truly love yoga. I love what it has done and continues to do for my body, for my mind and for my spirit. That love of yoga has made me want to share it with others – to help others discover and explore yoga in their own lives, in their own experiences.
I chose to do my teacher’s training at Kripalu – a yoga and Ayurvedic school and wellness centre in western Massachusetts – because of their 40-year plus history in educating yoga teachers. Kripalu translates from the Sanskrit as Compassion. The Kripalu lineage of yoga emphasizes radical self-acceptance, non-judgement and self-reflection. It involves strong and deeply supportive practices of pranayama (modulating energy using breathing techniques), asana (postures) and dhyana (meditation or contemplation). I believe in lifelong learning, so continually study and take courses to share with my students even more of the wonders of yoga.
I teach with no judgement. Every age, every shape, every personality, every ability, every fitness level, every range of flexibility, every attention span – every single person can benefit from and enjoy yoga. And while everyone wants to be the best possible version of themselves, to me, that is about understanding and loving yourself in this moment, in all your complexity and wonder. I teach to cultivate those things. And if you can find that on the mat, through yogic practices, you can surely move in the world with greater ease.
New to Yoga?
WHAT TO AVOID -
As a student, I’ve attended many a class where a curious new participant bravely has shown up and valiantly attempts to keep up with poses everyone seems to be doing. Sometimes they have a frantic look on their face, darting their eyes to the front of the class or to the mat beside them in an attempt to keep up. Sometimes their faces turn red from holding their breath. That can’t be a pleasant introduction, nor can it be safe. It is a rare class when a teacher can stop and help a newcomer in a focused way. And I’ve spoken to many people whose first experiences with yoga looked like that, and it turned them off yoga altogether. What a shame.
A GREAT OPTION -
While yoga is accessible to everyone regardless of fitness level, experience, body shape, personality, and ability, as with many things, it is best to start out right by getting the proper foundations: understand some history of yoga, learn how to focus on breath, learn the most common poses with proper alignment and options to modify, and understand and explore the basics of meditation. Most important of all, learn to listen to your own body's wisdom and begin to trust it and believe in it as your guide.
Usually within about 8 or 10 private lessons, beginners can have the fundamentals in place to enjoy a solid basic yoga practice from which they can explore group classes at any yoga studio, continue with a home practice on their own or with friends, or continue with more advanced private lessons.
Already Have a Practice?
Yoga is a lifelong practice of learning and discovery. I love attending classes and advanced courses from a lot of different teachers. There is always something new to explore, sometimes for the first time or sometimes just in a deeper way.
If you already practice yoga and want to take the time to delve deeper into breathing technique or pranayama, brush up on certain asana or learn modifications, be guided through centering and meditation or some combination thereof, then a few private lessons might be a great option.
Private Lessons & Group Classes
Private lessons are normally 75 minutes in length and are tailored to your specific needs and interests. They are normally one on one, or I can teach two people at once, which is great for couples, or friends, or mom and daughter for example.
I travel to your home or office, or meet up in a park or any other area where you are comfortable and where we can focus and learn. I also can welcome you to my studio in Toronto.
I feel strongly that there should be no barriers to being able to learn, so I am happy to negotiate a fee that makes sense for you. I'm also happy to barter or be creative about payment. For example, some of my students donate to their favourite charity in return for lessons. I consider that great karma all around.
"I’ve been practicing Yoga for several years and found that through Brian’s patience and guidance I have truly experienced what I have been seeking in my Yoga practice; permission to relax, breathe and be in the moment! Namaste"
Cheryl B. - Bobcaygeon, ON
"Brian is a gifted teacher, offering clear guidance, supportive affirmation and a peaceful environment."
David W. - Toronto, ON
"Brian is amazing! Our classes were easily transitioned from beginner to gentle flow. Making simple suggestions to better our practice and slight variations for anything from knee pain to pregnancy. Would highly recommend!"
Mikki W. - Lindsay, ON
"I've practiced yoga with several instructors over the course of my life, however, my sessions with Brian are unlike any I've experienced. Brian has helped me to restore my mind, body and spirit connection, to find inner peace, to pay attention to my body and to slow down and enjoy the journey. His calm, soothing voice, his commitment to our practice, his warm caring manner and his sense of humour make every session together meaningful."
Jane D. - Toronto, ON
"Brian teaches strong foundations that will help foster a safe practice, whether you are a beginner or are working on a more advanced practice. His sense of calm and humour make his classes a joy to wake up too. I look forward to what he brings to each session."
Ivy W. - Kawartha Lakes, ON
“I have recently started practicing with Brian in private lessons and I cannot say enough about his instruction and the benefits I’m already experiencing. Brian’s approach is to provide a very solid understanding of the fundamentals and from there build your skill set at a pace that is personalized and based on your own goals.”
Patty F. - Toronto, ON