Just This. Just Now. Cheri Weber.

I met Cheri Weber years ago just as we were both finding our niche in the suburban yoga teaching industry. We shared emails and texts and moments after classes discussing what it’s like to be part of this teaching community and how to put ourselves “out there”.  Cheri began teaching at Reach Monday evenings a few years back, which is not my ideal time to practice, so I hadn’t been to her class in some time. She recently subbed for a 6am (now, THIS is my hour!) , and I was so blown away by her knowledge, pace, guidance and sequence that she inspired me to challenge my habitual practice of same classes, same teachers, same postures (which is not a bad thing, just routine) and seek out some “new”.  After reading below about Cheri, I challenge YOU to check out her Monday evening class at the studio…I have no doubt she will inspire you too! 

How did you get into practicing yoga?

Very begrudgingly. 2 close friends who regularly practiced yoga kept telling me I should go, I would like it. I avoided going, thinking it was a waste of time and a wimpy workout. I loved running marathons, triathalons, doing interval classes, and intense work outs; the harder the better. In the meantime, we went on a girls trip to climb Mt Whitney, 14,500 ft high, and we’re planning to do this in an up and down 8-16 hour period. I trained hard until the day we left: spin classes, sprinting hills and running the beach. I thought for sure I would be on the 8-10 hour end of that time. I never summited. My altitude sickness was so bad that descending was my only option. Out of the 14 of us that went, only 4 people summited with out issue. They were my 2 yogi friends, another friend who was a big yoga advocate, and a yoga teacher. This was humbling, and made me think yoga had something going on and I should check it out. I went to a few classes with them and signed up for a retreat with them that Jessica Sandstrom and Jenny Kaufman were leading and became hooked. I found the zone which I normally got in running, yet so much more. Things started to piece together from so many areas of my life.

What made you want to teach?

I was a personal trainer and in the midst of a year long health coaching program when I found out Jenny Kaufman and Sharyn Galindo were leading a teacher training. I thought it would be a perfect holistic approach to my wellness interest. I just wanted to share my passion and hopefully help others to find the ah-ha moments I have found in yoga.

What would you consider your yoga style and who were a few teachers that influenced you the most?

I don’t think there is a teacher I’ve taken a class or workshop from that didn’t influence me. A yoga class is like a kids birthday party with a goodie bag. You always get something to take with you. That being said Jenny and Sharyn’s incredible depth of knowledge and experience in the teacher training greatly influenced me as well as the classes of Jessica Sandstrom, Missy Hebson, Laura Merlo, Deb Wineman, Sara Strother and Claire Mark. It’s great to hear different cues and styles that resonate with me at different points. I love to learn from webinars of some well-known teachers nationally as well.

Overall my style is strength and alignment based, but I love spending time building the pose slowly to activate ancillary muscles to create imprints in the mind of what the pose feels like for when we connect the poses in a flow. Creating space and length with the breath is really important to me.

Why do you love teaching at Reach?
It’s just such happy energy to walk into whether I am teaching or taking. Sometimes teaching on Monday night seems like added chaos before I arrive, but after the class I’m always happy and zen myself. The Reach community is supportive, friendly and really connected to each other. I love that Reach is always looking to grow with new ideas and offers many options for everyone.

What was one of the funniest or most humbling moments you’ve had while teaching a class?
I cued a class to meet up in Down Dog ( or so I thought) I really said Child’s Pose. After letting them linger in Child’s pose for a minute, assuming that was what they needed, I repeated myself again, only once again unknowingly saying Child’s pose. I started to question my sequence and wondered it was too hard or the room too hot and after the 3rd time of saying it wrong and no one moving, I realized what I had been saying and literally laughed out loud. Nice to know everyone really does listen to you.

What is your favorite non-yoga activity?
Family and friends doing anything outdoors is my trifecta. I love anything in the mountains.

Favorite mantra? Just this. Just now

Guilty Pleasure? A great margarita with lots of fresh lime

Proudest Moment? I organized a series of yoga sessions for Chicago Public Schools with Urban Initiatives, (a non-profit that provides coaching and mentoring youth soccer programs for under privileged areas within CPS). The first time I showed up they had me in the gym with 75+ kids ages 1st -4th grade. I wondered how the heck they thought I would get any group this size and this age to listen and follow for 20 minutes, but I figured something was better than nothing for them. Their non stop chatter and wiggles turned into fun with the poses, and they actually sat silently to breathe and meditate for 2 minutes followed by a 3 minute savasana where they didn’t move a muscle. On the way to the car, several of the kids saw me and thanked me for the yoga. I don’t know if proud is the word, but sheer excitement to be a part of something that can make a difference.

Coffee or Tea? I always wanted to like coffee but just never could so Tea for sure.

Find Cheri at Reach Monday Evenings 6:30-7:45 All Level Vinyasa Flow. 

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