I only recently started following yogis on Instagram and came to find Kerri late last year when my friend invited me to join her in a 30-day challenge. Kerri’s posts are always encouraging and following the challenge has introduced me to new poses – some that I could do, some that need some work and others that I never thought possible and surprised me by being attainable.
Friday after work, I packed up my gear and jumped on the 6 train uptown. As I was walking across town I saw two people with yoga mats and figured they might be headed in the same direction as me. Suddenly the woman said hello and it was Kerri herself. I chatted with her and her husband for the next few blocks. Coming from Florida, our conversation centered around how cold NYC has been and how she was surprised we New Yorkers were able to bend in to the simplest yoga pose, let alone some of the more complicated postures. Made me feel better about my sad attempt at Pelican Pose from earlier in the day.
This was my first time visiting the House of Jai. I walked in with Kerri and it was sweet to see how excited they were to have her – she was their first visiting teacher and they were super psyched to have her. The studio itself is very clean if oddly laid-out. The changing rooms and bathrooms are on the first floor when you enter, the yoga studio is downstairs.
Kerri has thousands of followers so I’m not sure why I was surprised to walk in the studio and see it PACKED with mats. I think I was imagining it would be more like the workshop I took at Yoga Vida. While that workshop had 20 people in a huge room and this one was more like 50 packed in to a small one, Kerri did a great job leading us through exercises to help build core strength and postures to work up to inversions and eventually handstands.
The Friday class was more advanced – some other Instagram famous yogis were in attendance (like Laura Sykora). The Saturday class was more lowkey. Each day people posed at the end of class with Kerri and she was gracious to each and every one of us. On Saturday, some people took some selfies with Kerri behind them in a forearm stand. That was a little surreal.
While I learned more about actual inversions at the Yoga Vida class, I had a great time with Kerri and would certainly take a class with her again should she ever decided to brave these cold NYC streets.
At the end of the first class, during Savasana, Kerri once again, inspired us all – she reminded us that being able to float up in to a handstand doesn’t make us better people. That we want to be remembered for our kindness, not our ability to post gorgeous photos of inversions on Instagram. “Accept where you’re at. Lose the ego. Maybe just stay here (she is upside-down talking to us) and say, you know what? I’m going to hang out here and get strong and one day my other foot may float up. Be OK with who you are.”