Our Namaste Tribe is a powerhouse of wise, talented, and experienced teachers who have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others. We are constantly in awe of the incredible offerings our teachers bring to this community. We are excited to share a new blog series focused on celebrating our teachers and hopefully giving you all a glimpse into the talented team that makes up Namaste Yoga + Wellness.
Meet Ken Breniman
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT NAMASTE?
I have been at Namaste since May 2014. I am six months old!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A YOGA INSTRUCTOR?
My first yoga teacher was a 15 year old psychotherapy client that overcame his anxiety with yoga. He taught me so much and inspired me to get trained as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LITERATURE ON YOGA OR MEDITATION?
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. While not a book on yoga, it does have a talking gorilla and asks us humans to live more mindfully on Mother Earth. To me, that’s as yogic as it gets.
BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED RELATING TO YOUR PRACTICE?
“Stop taking it so seriously!”
YOUR FAVORITE SELF-CARE PRACTICES?
Daily yoga nidra.
WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?
Set an intention, a brief yoga nidra and asana practice and (weather permitting) a bike ride around Lake Merritt.
WHAT ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH OUTSIDE THE STUDIO?
I am a yoga therapist and LCSW with a private practice. I volunteer with the Living/Dying project. And I am aiming to be on my HOA Board (and I am certain yoga will help me there for sure!)
HOW OFTEN DO YOU PRACTICE?
ABSOLUTE FAVORITE ASANA?
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOGA STORY?
It’s more a Buddhist story but I am moved by “the mustard seed” story where a bereaved mother learns how to accept loss as a sacred part of life.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOGA?
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH ALL OF OUR STUDENTS UNDERSTOOD BETTER?
To quote TS Eliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE NAMASTE COMMUNITY?
How warm and friendly everyone is!
THOUGHTS ON WHERE THE YOGA INDUSTRY IS HEADED?
Yikes. That’s a loooong story that I am happy to share but in a nutshell I will paraphrase the wisdom of Daniel Quinn and say either we will figure out a way to deepen our yogic traditions within a capitalist system or we won’t. I am cheering on and believe that we will!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE BAY AREA?
That I can use the words shaman, energy, breath, and journey in one sentence and not be considered too “new agey.”
In his classes, Ken provides eclectic non-denominational Hatha yoga guidance, honoring a variety of traditions, such as Iyengar alignment principles, invigorating Kudalini Kriya, and playful Acroyoga-inspired partner work. He invites you to embrace SIMPLICITY, PATIENCE and COMPASSION as you deepen your practice and your connection with your true Self. Ken offers Yoga Therapy workshops on a variety of topics such as restorative yoga, grief, relationships, stress management and coping with chronic illness. In addition to yoga, Ken also serves as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, clinical supervisor and a private practice yoga therapist in the Bay Area. Daniel Quinn and Paulo Coelho are among his favorite authors.
His life work of service is inspired by Ram Dass’ words: “We are all just walking each other hOMe.”