In the next installment of our Meet the Crew series, we are excited to introduce our other new yoga teacher and Hydrow Athlete: Owen Henn. Read on to learn a bit more about him and his background in yoga.
How did you get into yoga?
I took my first yoga class in a small studio in New Hampshire shortly after graduating college. In my mind, yoga was this quiet activity that involved sitting on pillows and chanting. What I found instead was a flowing and physically engaging movement practice that left me sweaty and completely re-energised. I was hooked.
When I moved to Boston for grad school, I had the privilege to learn under some of the best teachers in the country and deepen my practice. Along with the physical and mental benefits, I discovered that yoga was a way to make connections and build community. Inspired by my teachers and hoping to share the practice I love, I decided to become a yoga teacher myself.
How would you describe your workout style?
I like to say that I take yoga seriously, but not too seriously. My classes are fun, upbeat, and playful. I teach a style of yoga that emphasises flowing movement matched with steady breathing. I love to challenge people who work out with me to find their edge, but this challenge is always rooted in celebration and acceptance of whatever their physical practice looks like.
What drew you to Hydrow?
I was actually a coxswain on the rowing team at Hobart College - go Statesmen! For those unfamiliar, the cox is the smaller person in the stern of the boat who steers, motivates, and provides feedback to the rowers. Rowing is the perfect example of what can be accomplished when a team is working in unison. When the rowers are in sync, the boat gets lighter and faster. At a certain point in the row, your mind turns off and you’re simply moving and breathing in unison. It’s a beautiful and meditative place to be. My job as a coxswain was to facilitate this state, which is similar to my job as a yoga teacher. I’m excited to work for Hydrow because they’re bringing this rare feeling from the water into your home. Hydrow harnesses the power of community and movement to make people’s lives better, a sentiment that underlies how and why I teach yoga.
Why is it critical to incorporate On the Mat workouts into your fitness regimen?
In my mind, the biggest benefit that yoga brings to a workout regimen is the cultivation of presence and awareness. Yes, On the Mat workouts such as yoga offer a slew of physical benefits including greater flexibility, increased strength and mobility, and stronger breath control. However, the most powerful and challenging aspect of yoga is sitting with stillness. We too often get wrapped up in the mantra that more is better, that we must always be pushing ourselves and working hard. How often throughout the day do we stop and ask ourselves how we’re doing? Yoga teaches us to have that inner dialogue, to slow down and meet ourselves where we are at.
What are some other ways that you stay fit?
I enjoy trail running, resistance training, mountain biking, and city-biking (a most dangerous game). I have tried hip hop dance and am not good at it. I am even worse at rollerblading.
What is a fun fact about you that not many people know?
While I love to talk yoga, I’m also a big nutrition nerd. I work as a registered dietitian at Boston Children’s Hospital coordinating research to improve the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes. I’m super passionate about this work because I have Type 1 myself. I love helping others leverage nutrition to take control of their health, and I hope my work on and off the mat inspires people with diabetes to live a healthy and active life.
Who is your sports hero?
Joe Thomas, former left tackle and future Hall of Famer for the Cleveland Browns football team. I’ve been a huge Browns fan all my life, something I inherited from my dad like a genetic defect. As one of the most ill-fated franchises in the NFL, remaining loyal as a Browns fan is quite the karmic slog. I’ve learned that one can find joy through sports even when your team never wins.
Joe Thomas exemplified this, protecting our rotating carousel of quarterbacks at an elite level for an NFL-record 10,363 consecutive snaps. He rarely won, and it would have been easy to stop caring, but he was about the work rather than the results. He also retired as a Cleveland Brown, a rarity and a testament to how much he cared about the team and the fanbase. I just really appreciate him.
Anything else you want the Hydrow community to know?
Yoga is about connection. I am SO excited to connect with the Hydrow community and be a part of your yoga journey. Please reach out if you have any questions, suggestions, requests, or just want to say hi!