Meet Sherry, a dedicated mother, yoga instructor, accomplished author, and skilled facilitator of transformative experiences.
Sherry passionately believes that deep within each individual resides a heartful warrior with a profound purpose in this earthly existence. She firmly advocates that life should offer more than mere day-to-day existence. With the appropriate guidance, whether it be through movement, communal gatherings, or the written word, Sherry asserts that physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual healing is not only attainable but an inherent birthright for all. She harbors an unwavering aspiration to journey into these realms and warmly invites you to accompany her.
Drawing inspiration from her beloved grandfather, Stanley, Sherry echoes his wisdom: “Live within the layers of life, not amidst its clutter.” In her pursuit of purpose and healing, Sherry Sidoti strives to inspire others to embark on this meaningful exploration.
Find out more about this fantastic person in the latest MysticMag interview.
Can you describe your approach to teaching and facilitating yoga classes or workshops? How do you create a supportive and inclusive environment for your students or participants?
With respectful guidance, true transformation, and the courage to step out of our comfort zones and step into our own healing is called forward. In my programs, I believe my role is to skillfully craft a brave environment for my students to kindly track their experiences, down to the deepest wounds, so that we listen to what they want to teach us about our lives and purpose for being here. Through physical movement, meditations, mantra and chanting, self-study, group connection, and breath work, the practice is to honor what shows up first and follow that with yogic tools to transmute our limitations and transform them into the strength we need for greater truth-living. We return to our true nature: Already Whole and Already Healed.
While this is a worthy journey within itself, I believe we must then take our truth, and learn how to openly share it with others for the greater good of all. As my teacher says, “If you want to measure how your spiritual practice is going, look at your relationships.” When we ask ourselves: “What is my purpose? What am I here to do?” we are encouraged to see ourselves within the greater Whole. As stewards of the planet, we become co-creators of a more loving world.
What is your personal philosophy or understanding of yoga, and how does it influence your teaching and writing? Are there specific yoga traditions or philosophies that resonate with you?
I believe that yoga does not add any special magic ingredient to our lives, nor does it make us more improved versions of ourselves. Yoga simply illuminates the layers of protection, coping mechanisms, and survival mechanisms that get in the way of us realizing we are already perfect souls, simply having a human experience. My personal teaching philosophy is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for the teachings of yoga to find us in our everyday lives, to support a stronger and inclusive community, to re-harmonize our nervous system, learn to honor, and heal ourselves and the world around us, and mostly to be curious about and enjoy this journey called life in the process! The exercises of the yoga practice simply remind us of who we are, when all the interferences of life are harnessed and we experience the truth of our experience, without self-sabotage, self-hatred, and judgment. The mystical teachings are life-affirming for the body, mind & soul— accessible to all. Like a loving best friend, yoga will always meet us exactly where we are. Like a soulmate, it will demand from us a willingness to show up, be open and present to our experience, and digest what is here in the now for greater truth-living.
As a book author, how do you approach the process of writing about yoga and wellness topics? Can you provide examples of your written work or publications in this field?
I find it most useful to be raw, vulnerable, and open about my own pain points and healing journey as a mirror for my readers to reflect on their own. As Ram Dass said, “We are all just walking each other home.”
With many publications in journals, magazines, and anthologies as a yoga “expert,” my greatest accomplishment as a writer is my memoir, A Smoke and a Song (She Writes Press, 2023). A Smoke and a Song is my quest to make meaning from the memories home in my body. In January 2021, ten months into the global pandemic, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer—so I prioritized a trip to Manhattan over long-awaited empty-nesting and a “second chance” with my fiancé Jevon. With new life blooming and loss looming, I am beckoned to answer the question that has haunted me since childhood: Is freedom found in “letting go,” as the spiritual teachers (and my mother) insist—or is it found by digging our heels deeper into the Earth and holding on to our humanness?
Told with tenacity, tenderness, and wry humor, I stumble towards self-actualization, spiritual awakening—and, despite it all, love. This is a story steeped in art and spirituality that explores the complexities of transgenerational maternal bonds, womanhood, attachment, loss, and leaning into our wounds to find wisdom.
Who is the intended audience for your yoga book(s), and what key messages or insights do you hope to convey through your writing?
I believe most of my audience is others not that different from me— people who are curious seekers on a quest to find tools to self-actualize and heal.
How do you stay current with developments in the field of yoga and wellness? Are there any recent certifications, workshops, or courses you have completed to enhance your knowledge and teaching abilities?
After twenty-plus years of practice and teaching, studying, and participating in various trainings, I have learned to trust that whatever is showing up for me personally is typically an area for further study. I practice with other teachers, partake in workshops and trainings, and read current research on a given topic in my field. This has led me to layer my yoga learning with additional studies and certifications, as a Birth Doula, Addiction Recovery Coach, and Trauma Resilience Facilitator, and most recently I completed a certification in Somatic Attachment Theory Healing.
Maintaining your own physical and mental well-being is crucial in these roles. How do you prioritize self-care and personal yoga practice to ensure you’re at your best when teaching, facilitating, or writing?
I have a dedicated yoga and meditation practice that helps to keep me grounded and connected. Equally necessary is having a circle of people— close friends, my husband, my son, a therapist, my spiritual teachers, etc. that I trust to lean into during trying times. My connection to nature is a huge resource for me. Walking on the beach and in the woods always offers me perspective and mental and emotional spaciousness.