Instructor Spotlight: Sherri Montgomery Jones

Sherri is one of the first teachers Yoga One owners Amy & Michael Caldwell practiced with when they arrived in San Diego back in 2001. She is also one of the best teachers they have had the fortune of knowing. What she teaches in the classroom is fantastic, but what she teachers through her living example is the real lesson. Vibrant, positive, active, athletic, spiritual, fun, humorous, beautiful, intelligent…you get the picture!

Sign up for her upcoming class and workshop June 6th and 7th at Yoga One here!

Sherri headshot

1. What is your favorite style of yoga? 

I love pose-by-pose practice, as in the Iyengar style. There’s so much refinement for the physical body that can happen in the depth and precision of that method, and the mind has specific points to concentrate on, which brings a natural calm. Really, I’m very grateful for having Iyengar as my beginning in yoga.

Over the years I’ve woven into my personal practice a more dance-like, fluid approach, mixing spontaneous movements with asana (yoga poses) to create a daily practice that changes and evolves along with me as my body and heart transform on this journey of life.

2. What first attracted you to yoga when you began your practice?

The physicality of Hatha Yoga drew me in – as a child cartwheels and splits and walking down the hall in a backbend were all part of a normal day for me.

But more significantly, yoga slowed me down. I was limited to the area of a mat, instead of the whole wide world that I’d been moving through, and in that confinement my soul came to the surface. I was captivated by the pain, the tenderness, and the vitality that poured out from my heart, within the stillness of practicing yoga. I’ve been following that inner thread every since, discovering more and more of my true qualities as my journey through life’s challenges and joys continues.

3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?

That’s a difficult question for me! None of my students or friends would be surprised to hear me say downward dog! Someone quoted me as exclaiming in class one day, “You can never do enough downward dog!” or something to that effect, which is probably not at all the case, right?!

But I love practicing a simple inversion sequence like downward dog, arm balance, forearm balance, and shoulder stand to energize me and to build the internal muscles of perseverance and determination, two spiritual qualities I constantly seek.

4. What pose is still the most challenging?

Headstand for sure! I’ve had a lot of whiplash throughout my life, and then I’ve got a L-O-N-G neck – yikes. A number of years back a chiropractor friend told me my neck is giraffe-like! So it’s a challenging combination. Still, I am once again pursuing this pose with the help of some of my incredible yoga teacher friends here in town. So stay tuned for an update in this area.

5. If you were an animal, you would be: Not a giraffe – although I used to daydream as a child growing up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, of constructing a special saddle to be able to ride my imaginary pet giraffe. May we all find our way back to that level of innocence and creativity!

I feel very deeply that I would be a horse. Noble, wild, high-strung, courageous in the face of fear.

6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: Yoga: strength for soul’s journey Home.

7. What might your students be surprised to learn about you?

My first teaching career was in Russian language, and I’m blessed to have a son-in-law and two-year-old grandson in my life to help me deepen my love affair with that phenomenal language. Thank you to Kolya and Misha for being part of my life path, and of course thank you to my daughter, Rhea, who made it all happen. She is one of my biggest teachers of all.

8. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new students?

Listen to your heart! Find the rhythm of your unique soul’s journey and expression in this life and on this material plane. Manifest your destiny, and don’t let anything stop you. This world needs our love, our care, our passion, our compassion. Give your heart and soul to what really matters to you. Show others how that’s done –  and stoke the fire of change and growth and transformation. Don’t lead a shallow life! As my wise sister Pat says, the Nike slogan pretty much sums it up: Just do it.

Yoga & Beyond - Yogo One June 2015 Sunday 2-4pm

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