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How I Love Yoga, Let Me Count the Ways


The stretches. The muscle building. The focus on the present. Yes, it’s true, those are all great. But what I love most about yoga with Sherry Han is listening to what she has to say. Some call the truths she often spouts during class “Sherryisms.”

This week, one of my favorite Sherryisms was, “You make your body beautiful. Don’t let your body control you.” And although she was helping someone across the room with his form, I knew she was talking to me. Get some control woman, was what she seemed to be saying. She was referring to the bowls of Cheetos and Doritos I had been eating all week, the late night meals I’d been eating with Alan 10 minutes before bed, the 3 desserts I’d been having after dinner.

But, see, it’s not my fault they each keep making their cases so well. The Cheetos and Doritos say, “You need grains and cheese in your diet! Don’t forget your dairy!” And the burritos and tacos before bed are all saying with such incredible sass, “You want Alan to gain weight, right? You should encourage him to eat. You should eat too. No, don’t eat like that. Make it look good, convince him he should have some too. You don’t want to be responsible for him shriveling away do you? Eat! Eat!” And because they have a very good point, I must partake.

You would think the brownies, cookies and ice cream would be screaming the loudest what with all the sugar, but actually they don’t say anything. They don’t need to. They just sort of sit there on counters or in cupboards looking all ridiculously moist, plump, chewy and creamy good. Desserts that look that good are just asking for it.

Aside from the reminders to take control of my body, the other thing I love about doing yoga with Sherry is her hands. I never thought I could be so in love with someone’s hands, but Sherry’s have won my heart. During savasana, the “corpse pose” we end each class with, Sherry turns the overhead lights off so that each of us can get comfortable lying on our backs and to sink into complete relaxation. Now, I don’t know how other yoga classes typically end because I’ve only ever done yoga with Sherry. The way Sherry does it is she will come around to every person and give them a mini back massage. Big deal, you might think. My husband/wife rubs my back all the time. But you don’t know. You don’t know how strong Sherry’s hands are and how she seems to know exactly where to push and knead to release the built up tension in your back.

These mini back rubs are so great they are the stuff dreams are made of. Which is actually what I find myself daydreaming about when I am in savasana. Wouldn’t it be great to own a pair of her hands? If I had an extra pair, I could maybe have them transplanted in place of Alan’s hands, but then again, I don’t think he would like having such small, feminine hands and it might be weird that they are so disproportionate from the rest of his body… so maybe I could get Sherry’s hands for myself…

This is the part where the daydream starts to get too muddled because if I had her hands on myself, I’d need to get really long, flexible arms too in order to reach my back, so this is usually when I snap out of it and by then class is over and everyone is rolling up their mats.

The one thing that gets me every week though, are the people that roll up their mats before savasana. I mean, they will actually pack up their stuff, put on their jacket and shoes and then leave. Without enjoying savasana and without getting their backs rubbed. And every week, the same thought of asking the same question runs through my mind. If I were to ask, I’d say it quietly because you’d know, of course, that everyone else is thinking the same thing. Excuse me, Sherry, may I have her back rub since she left? But then I realize that that would be greedy and in the anti-yoga spirit, but seriously, how are these people missing out on the best part of class?

Yoga and hiking, these are a few of my favorite things:

Trying to teach Nathalie the scorpion pose.

Denise doing the table pose.

Too tired from walking up this hill to do any poses.

No, really. Don’t try to do any poses when you’re tired and on the edge of a hill. This is proof that that can be a very bad idea.

Last modified: January 10, 2019