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Meet Leah Kercheville of Hype Silverlake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leah Kercheville.

Leah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started practicing yoga in the 90s when I was in high school when my step dad’s chiropractor prescribed him three Rodney Yee VHSs. I was never one for sports as I didn’t like fighting for a ball or a goal, but I loved feeling my body in strength and release. I thought it was a miracle to be able to still/soothe my mind after only 30 mins of this strange physical practice–I definitely couldn’t do it through a pure self-will. I tried!

But going through high school and puberty is an extreme circumstance, ya know? I continue to make up my own flows and sequences when I went away to college and it always helped me feel at home. But I never shared it with anyone. It wasn’t a secret, I just had no interest in talking about my experience. I wanted to continue to experience it in newness without using words or labels. Back then it wasn’t something that was cool or impressive, and for the most part, no one ever heard of it anyway or thought it was a weird cult religion.

I went back to CA in 2003 and found my teacher: Jan Hutchins. A buff older black man that had the voice of Morpheus from “The Matrix” . . . and the face of patience. As we transitioned into any pose, he would assign affirmations to declare to ourselves: “I am loved”, “I am resilient”, “I am worthy of rest”, etc. I now know this is the basis for somatic integration for healing trauma. I worked two full-time coffee gigs and probably spent half of it on yoga the next 3 years. I moved to New York where I left parties and friends before 10 pm so I could go to my favorite yoga classes 5 days a week. In 2009 I completed the 200hr certification to teach and moved back to CA–Los Angeles this time.

Honestly, I was disappointed in the yoga scene in LA, to say the least. The studios were filled with model-esque bodies that seemed to be in competition for the best handstand and most chatterings. I started doing privates and corporate yoga and continued in the service industry. This had an expiration date. Things got really bad, and I was fired from 5 restaurant jobs consecutively, and no one would hire me. I kept finding myself in a nervous breakdown over the smallest things and I finally had to deal with some past trauma.

Since I wasn’t working, I was going to classes every day and the manager asked if I want to take the training to teach there, so I did. I started looking for more yoga on craigslist of all places and applied to lead yoga sessions to trauma patients at an eating disorder clinic. I had absolutely no idea what this entailed, but it said “no experience needed” and I needed a job. It took 5 interviews, 6 months, and an intense training to be hired. I continue to research and train so that I can rise to the worthiness of their souls. This is my passion.

Last year I finished my 500 hr Yoga Teacher Training with Wanderlust Hollywood and was able to fully support myself by teaching. Change is constant, and the main studio I taught for–YAS in Silverlake–closed unexpectedly in the fall and I was out of a job again. Two months later, clients from that studio, a couple David and Adrienne, decided to take over the lease without having any background in fitness simply because they loved the community. These were my kind of people–community as number one. They hired me as the yoga director and now I’m learning the next role in my journey.

I started leading my own 200 hr teacher trying to certify others to teach yoga. I am humbled being the one people ask questions to; they really have no idea that there are way better resources than me. But I am comfortable with not being the best and not being the worst. I am one amongst many. I don’t know what I don’t know, but I know what I do and it gives the joy to share it. I teach 14-20 classes a week between Hype Silverlake, Reasons Eating Disorder Clinic, and Equinox DTLA; and lead the teacher training sessions on Saturday and Sunday. I can’t believe this is real life! I actually love my job! Weird.

Has it been a smooth road?
I guess I pretty much explained that in the last question. But dealing with depression and past trauma was and still is my biggest challenge in life. And I’m so grateful that there are good resources and tools out there.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Hype Silverlake – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am the Yoga Director at Hype Silverlake. We offer Yoga, Indoor Cycling, Pilates, and Strength training.

Our M. O. is to offer fitness that is intelligently designed and backed by science so that you can live your best life. We workout to live, not live to work out–and we want you to have a blast doing it. Completely body positive: it’s not a race to look good, it’s a marathon to feel good long term. Cuz lets be honest, being skinny will not make the world a better place, but taking care of yourself will allow you to be more present in order to create crazy positive effects.

My goal in the yoga program is to give people a place to cultivate freedom in their bodies and an oasis for life’s challenges within. All the yoga teachers at Hype create thoughtfully designed classes that are accessible no matter where you are right now. We also offer meditation and regular specialized workshops to deepen your practice.

Yoga is so important for health and well being. Yes, you will become stronger and more flexible. But the reason why even western medicine is endorsing yoga is the mindful movement and stillness connected to breath. This breathing and type of practice lowers your cortisol levels from daily stress and even intense workouts such as cycling. Chronic high cortisol levels weaken the immune system, cause weight gain but prevents muscle growth, impairs brain function, contributes to cardiovascular disease, and feed anxiety and depression.

I am constantly telling my clients that if you feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your fitness, try The Three Free: Breath, Water, and Sleep. You don’t need to spend money to feel good. 😉

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Someone told me I would start enjoying LA once I stopped comparing it to any other city. And they were right. We don’t have good public transit and the rent is sky high if you want to live in a convenient neighborhood. A 30 min drive to the west side will take 2 hours after 4p. But when you find your people here, man is it good.

I have a group of friends that are my family. We get together every week for family dinner. We support each other, we tell teacher truths, and then we shut up and listen without judgment. I know Los Angeles isn’t known for the trustworthy and loyal, but that’s what I found, and that’s why I stay.

Oh and the food. The food is really stinking’ good.

Pricing:

  • $5 for your Fist Class or $20 for the First Week Unlimited
  • $69 Unlimited Yoga Special

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1932 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Website: hypesilverlake.com
  • Phone: 323.913.0030
  • Email: hello@hypesilverlake.com
  • Instagram: @hypesilverlake
  • Facebook: Hype Silverlake

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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