Meet Yoga Teacher: Sheryl McGourty
EYR Teacher Feature: Sheryl McGourty
Our Exotic Yoga Retreats teachers are incredible – and we would love for you to know more about them! As such, we have decided to create a series of features for each teacher.
SHERYL McGOURTY, On Yoga and Meditation
Colorado based yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, Sheryl McGourty, is owner of YogaDurango, with two studios focusing on a variety of vinyasa and hatha yoga classes. Sheryl also leads retreats and teacher trainings and is considered a “teacher’s teacher.” She strives to bring the art of teaching to life in her yoga classes, addressing the diverse needs and challenges of each student present, while providing well-rounded instruction to all. Sheryl’s first official training was in Nasik,
India at Yoga Vidya Dham. Since then, she has taken countless hours of trainings and workshops and considers herself open to learning from all styles and disciplines. She works to foster a community of self-explorers that goes beyond the walls of the studio.
What was your first experience with yoga and/or meditation? Did you know right away that it would become a big part of your life – or did it take a little time or a few tries?
I took my first class in college 1992, it was Kundalini class taught at a local performing arts theater. Unfortunately, I had a very congested nose at the time and all the breathing exercises felt impossible. I grew up dancing and discovering yoga felt very natural. I was drawn to yoga as an extension of embodiment and was moved by the connection to spirit. Yoga as a self-realization practice is the reason that I have continued to be intrigued and dedicated to the practice for the past 20 years.
If you could only practice one yoga posture for a whole year, what would it be? Why?
I would choose to sit in a seated asana for meditation. I can imagine this would be the most revealing for me for an entire year, wrought with difficulty, confrontation and insight.
What’s the strangest / craziest / funniest place you’ve ever done a yoga posture? And what pose was it?
This one is not coming super easy to me. I have done some great sequences on airplanes (you need to get pretty creative in a confined seat) — agni stambasana (fire logs) is perfect. I also always do yoga before a flight in the terminal.
What yoga asana is the most challenging for you? (And why, if you’d like to share.)
Paschimottasana, seated forward fold. I have tight hamstrings and always have despite growing up dancing and stretching. I find this gives me an opportunity to talk to people about ‘what is yoga.’ Someone recently asked me, “You teach yoga – are you bendy?” To which I replied, “How long do you have to chat about what yoga is to me?” I’ve seen people in my classes that are naturally flexible without enough strength and structure and others with excess musculature and not enough flexibility and suppleness. Yoga is being in relationship with our own unique physical expressions, examining what comes easily to us and what is challenging so we may discover an optimal balance.
What are your three favorite things to do (aside from yoga/meditation)?
Being outside in the natural world (hiking, biking, skiing…), playing with my son and connecting with others.
What EYR retreat(s) are you teaching this year? If you have been to this destination before, what is your favorite thing about it?
Bhutan, a dream come true!