DIXON – Teaching is in Lori Hendrickson's blood, only now she doesn't have to grade papers or spend long hours at work.
A former science teacher at Allen Junior High School in LaMoille, Hendrickson now is running her own show with an activity she enjoys and wishes to share with everyone.
Hendrickson, 42, owns Yoga For Everyone on the second floor above the Traditional Wellness Center and Ginko Tree Cafe, 216 W. First Street. It offers traditional yoga classes, beginning classes, lunch classes to aid in digestion, personal training; specialized classes such as pregnancy yoga, chair yoga, meditation and yoga philosophy; and Thai bodywork sessions.
“When I encourage people to come to yoga class, they’ll say things like, ‘I’m too tight,” but that’s why you come to yoga,” Hendrickson said. “[It’s for] everybody. Every age, every size, every fitness level. There’s no one too young, too old, or too anything for yoga.”
Hendrickson's love for yoga started after post-pregnancy complications hindered her ability to run and needed to find another way to keep in shape. She took classes at Austin Parker Naturals in Princeton and it turned out to be a life-changing experience.
“I had to be gentle with myself and needed something to get my body back in shape,” she said. “Soon I was in better shape than I had ever been in my life. Instead of getting older, it was like I was getting younger.”
Once she began doing it often, others around her became interested and soon she taught classes of her own.
She has taught yoga on the side at Anytime Fitness and Balance Body in Dixon, Sauk Valley Community College, with the DeKalb and Sycamore park districts, and most recently with her school coordinator position in Ohio, where she taught kids from kindergarten to fifth grade.
When the rigors of school teaching became stressful, Hendrickson tried to find out what made her happiest. She had plans to establish a wellness center once she retired as a teacher, but decided to start now to help herself and find time to provide for her daughter.
“The best part of my family, besides my family and my friends, is teaching yoga,” she said. “This is what I love to do, and what I’ve always planned to do.”
There were seven kids in her first children’s class Friday evening, and their adults got to participate in the fun as well. Hendrickson created a storyline where the children engaged in movements such as driving a car, riding a bicycle, swimming to an island and slithering like a snake.
Tess Fleming of Dixon teaches yoga exercises to her four children, who she brought to Hendrickson’s class for the first time.
“She was really patient with the kids, and very engaging,” Fleming said.
Knox Fleming, 8, loves to play soccer, and yoga helps his soccer skills.
“We did all of the yoga poses, like the fish and other animals,” Knox said. “We made animals that we see.”
Hendrickson thought the first children’s session went well enough to make it a monthly event. She plans to have another one in December at a later date.
The energy and excitement of her students after exercises are over is especially gratifying for Hendrickson.
“When I teach a yoga class, at the end I watch my students glow and look refreshed and relaxed, more alive an energetic than when they came in,” she said. “They look restored, and at the same time I’m restored. If they are feeling a hundred times better, then I’m feeling a hundred times better.”
She has found her “true calling,” Hendrickson said
“It’s so cool to find your life’s purpose, your soul path, and to walk it. I’m living my dream."
Yoga for Everyone
Lori Hendrickson offers traditional yoga classes, beginning classes, lunch classes to aid in digestion, personal training, and specialized classes such as pregnancy yoga, chair yoga, meditation and yoga philosophy, as well as Thai bodywork sessions. Monthly children’s yoga classes will continue at a later date in December.
Sessions are on the second floor at 216 W. First Street in Dixon.
Find Yoga is 4 Everyone on Facebook or call 815-878-5374 for class times, prices and more information.