ABOUT THE TEACHER
Sheryl Abrams has practiced yoga since 1992 and Iyengar Yoga exclusively since 2001. Sheryl has recently returned to Austin from Chicago and the Twin Cities. She will continue to offer classes in a home studio setting and other studios in the Austin area.
Sheryl and her family are originally from Austin, Texas. She is married and has three children, one working twenty-something and two more in college. Husband Brian has just returned to the corporate sector, doing what he does best: sales and marketing.
She received her Introductory II Teaching Certification in August 2011 and is working towards her Junior I certification.
Sheryl’s Personal Yoga Testimony :
I arrived on my yoga mat at the age of 36 pregnant with my third child. I had run the gamut from ballerina to aerobics class queen to 40 mile-a-week runner and all-around gym-addict. It is clear to me now that I was searching for a deeper, clearer perspective of the world and my role in it and to answer that all pervading question: “why am I here on this earth?”
I figured out on my yoga mat that all the exercise I had done in the past was just that – physical exercise. Nearing 40 and a busy mother of three, I was hungering after spiritual knowledge and self-control, a practice that would nuture both body and soul. It most certainly was not coincidental that just prior to my first exposure to yoga, I had a born-again experience in my Christian walk. Having been raised Lutheran, I experienced a renewal of my faith when I joined a non-denominational women’s bible study while living in Singapore. It was this renewal of faith that compelled me to seek yoga. I felt a closeness to God during my early morning sadhana that I had never before experienced. I began to feel the need to extend the time I spent on my knees silencing my mind to as to able to hear His plan for my life. I knew there had to be more to life than being a wife, a mother, advertising executive or freelance journalist. Why had he brought me to this place?
It took three years of steady practice to discover His plan. I now know my first yoga teacher was a gift from God. Erica was a Buddhist of Chinese descent with a deep cultural understanding and awareness of how yoga transcends all religion. I considered myself a devout Christian and protective of my faith. In my first class, Erica asked that we focus on our Supreme Being, whether it was God, Jesus Christ, Allah, Buddha – it didn’t matter – simply focus on “your” one true God. At that instant, all the mysticism that veiled my mind about yoga vanished and what was revealed was infinitely more vital to me as a Christian practicing yoga…I could join others of every color, race and creed in this celebration of God’s love. I would be able to witness to others that the body is our temple and we must work on asana and pranayama to keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside within. I was being led to witness to others about God’s love right on my yoga mat!
I began teaching one class a week after a 10-week instructor’s training course and in the words of Geeta Iyengar realized all too quickly the certificate simply qualified me to keep learning. From mid-2003 to mid-2010, I found myself teaching as many as 11 classes a week. It’s been a spiritual journey that has equipped me well to face the vicissitudes of life as well as its joys with poise and equanimity.
My yoga practice brings a perfect balance in my body and mind. I know it makes my “body healthy” (I have not had a cold or fever since 1999! ) in order “to cooperate with the mind,” so that I am steady, composed and firm in my resolve. I have this awakened mind and heart that have helped me come to the realization that when we surrender to His plan for us, we realize our own true self. And then, and only then, can we answer that question, “why are we here on this earth.”
I’ve got my answer but neither these words or others can convey the value of yoga. In the words of BKS Iyengar, “it has to be experienced.” It’s hard work but I love letting go of the life of desire, the “craving, clinging and grasping” that fills up so much of our lives. There is sweet freedom in relinquishing a life of materialism and instead learning to live life present in the moment. This is when I realized my true self, the one who was meant to devote her passion to teaching others how yoga can improve the quality of life and in the words of Geeta Iyengar, perform the greatest service to mankind through the teaching of yoga.
I hope that you will join me in the quest for your True Self so that you may experience a deep opening of your heart and an unutterable sense of well-being.
The Ethos of Sheryl: