Arriving on my mat is like pulling up a set to brunch with an old friend. Just as brunch straddles between two experiences, taking favorite parts from breakfast and lunch, so does Kerri’s yoga class. She pulls classic foundational postures and concepts from traditional yoga and serves them up with modern stretching and exercise, solid positive talk coaching, and a non-judgmental pace usually found only in the company of an old friend that accepts you just as you. On my mat with Kerri, I forget to be self-conscious about my “too-much” belly, my “too full” chest, my not-quite-getting-there reach toward my toes. She reminds me of the greater purpose of our gathering. I feel connected to my soul-self. I am beautiful, powerful, loved, connected to a higher power. I feel really okay with myself, and that is such a rare gift these days with stress and demand constantly pressuring me to do more, be more, and that I’m not ok. Kerri interrupts all that and says “hey, let’s re-write that script.” She reminds me to let go, to breathe, to remember I am so much more than these things. She laughs and invites me to be in on the fun. She reads a quick poem or poignant song lyrics, shares a personal realization or a hardship. She is open and honest and real. In doing this she holds space for the rest of us to be the same. You feel her authenticity rippling through the rest of us on our mats, little candles lighting up one at a time from her first brave, kind candle lighting the way for others.