Kristy Scher: Lila Teacher Feature
1. How did you find your way to yoga?
We’d just had our first son, Isaac, and moved Massachusetts to L.A. when he was 5 weeks old. We knew no one, had no family on the West Coast, and I was pretty desperate for some kind of nurturing and replenishing (though I didn’t really understand it in those terms at that time.) There was a Kundalini yoga studio within a few blocks of our apartment in the heart of Los Angeles (Pico-Roberston area, for those of you who know L.A.!)
I went to my first class one dark winter evening and thought is was pretty out-there: everyone dressed in all-white, big turbans on their heads, smelling like ginger and incense. But it felt good. One of the women I met held mom-and-baby yoga classes in her apartment, so Isaac started yoga at a really young age (he may yet find his way back to it!) It was lovely and nurturing, and just what I needed, a balm for a young, lonely new mother. Gurmukh served us chai and cookies after class and we sat around and breastfed our babies. She recommended mantras and music that, again, was totally foreign and a bit kooky, but somehow made me feel safer, more grounded.
It was years before yoga became anything more than a physical practice for me, or more integrated in my life, but it has fundamentally altered who I am and who I hope to be in this life.
2. What is your practice like off the mat? How do you live your yoga?
For me there is little distinction between on and off the mat. Everything is an asana, a practice. My intention is to live a life of daily devotion to The One, God, Source, Love, Grace – whatever you want to call it. I have a morning practice of ritual, prayer, and meditation that is essential on so many levels.
Over the years I have come to believe that I am here to serve; my yoga, both on and off the mat, is largely a practice to be a more capable vessel – heart, body, mind – a clearer, stronger conduit for the workings of Grace in this world. I want to live in such a way that my life is an offering of healing and love to any one or anything that Source intends. I look for ways to put this into action in all areas of my life – parenting, partnering, friendships, family, teaching, work, volunteering, random encounters with the world’s inhabitants.
3. What’s your favorite thing about the Lila yoga community?
I love the open-hearted community; the general playful and “game for anything” attitude of the students. There is a sweet sincerity and desire to learn and up-level mind and body wellness. Lila peeps have become some of my dearest, most beloved friends. I feel a deep kinship with people I practice with, even if we don’t share many words. Sharing the practice of yoga is powerful way to connect with others.
4. Which pose is your “asana nemesis,” the one that you loathe, but should probably be doing more?
Warrior III, ugh!! My hamstrings whine and complain, they’re generally freaking out about 10 seconds into the pose.