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Writing: A labour of love… and a blessing!

Sherry Brourman, Yoga Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer, Physical Therapist and Author shares her experience of writing for Handspring Publishing.

I am deep in a project that is taking years and requiring serious energy and sacrifice.  But this intense immersion, it turns out, is a wonderful thing.

I am loving the vast amounts of time for introspection, the huge chunks of quiet, and time slowing down so much that I can see the leaves changing outside my window. It was a wrestling match that took the better part of the first 9 months to get me here, and now, it feels sort of like a long deep meditation – and I love it.

The project in question is the new book I am writing, which will be called Using Yoga Therapeutically (working title). As it was the title of a professional course that I taught for 10 years it feels pretty comfortable as the name for the last 15 years of my work. The book will encompass physical therapy, yoga therapy and gait therapy (yes – a chapter that will update Walk Yourself Well and look at gait through the perspective of yoga!). I am very blessed that my publisher, Handspring Publishing, came to me and asked me to write this book. I suspect I have less than a year to go to finish the writing, and I imagine it will take them a few months to produce the book once they have it. So hopefully you will be able to see it in the summer of 2014.

I have an amazing team for this book including some brilliant counsel and contributions from Eleanor Criswell, who was recently president of the International Association of Yoga Therapy. She is a prominent figure in the field of somatics and teaches many university-level courses on Yoga and Somatics. Eleanor is also my dear friend.

I also get to work with and learn from Kelly Birch, my editor, who is a seasoned yoga teacher and the editor of the magazine Yoga Therapy Today, the Journal of Yoga Service, and other books in the field. Kelly has the difficult task of teaching me to organize my thoughts and palette. Good luck, Kelly!

Keri of Sherry with skeleton!

And, I have Keri Frankenstein as my brilliant photographer. Keri is an accomplished massage therapist and anatomy educator, and a former intern of mine who understands my work deeply. She manages somehow to make me feel comfortable and laugh, whether I’m demonstrating a pose that is supposed to show perfection or have to crank my body into something I’m teaching that is a common misalignment. Honestly, at my age?! Hundreds of photos in yoga togs in my already heart-outpouring, very vulnerable-feeling book, even before the pictures begin – insane! But Keri makes me laugh and the project is progressing – 7 shoots completed so far.

I also have several of my precious interns, including Elyse Lauren and Wendy Obstler, stepping in as stylists and sitting for poses that my body just won’t do. I’m lucky!

In my private practice, most of you know that I encounter quite a lot of folks in wicked pain. This has led me to a deep and intricate study of how the world view and paradigm on pain is changing. It is a loaded and complicated subject, in large part because people in pain (I understand this so well because I’ve been there) need to know that their pain is real, and the idea that there is a different way to respond to it makes pretty much everyone feel tested and resistant. Who wouldn’t? One of the figures empowering people in this enormous shift is one of my professional heroes, Dr. Lorimer Moseley. I attended his workshop recently. Stay tuned – I am learning, so we can talk!

Thank you for reading this. In gratitude and to your health,

Sherry Brourman, June 2013

Post Script

As you can imagine, I have bowed out of almost all outside teaching to devote myself to the book, so very few classes coming up, albeit choice good ones!

June 12-16 I will have the luxury of being a pure student at SYTAR2013, one of the IAYT conferences in Boston.

June 21-23 I will teach a 3-day yoga therapy training at One Aum Yoga for my deeply missed friend and yoga scholar, Shannon Von Burns.

Finally, I hope you are all aware of the beautiful small yoga therapy classes I have going on here 6 times a week. They are honestly jewel like, but not because of me. The group heart that seems to make everyone want to jump in and understand their bodies and get well is a big gasp for me to get to see, every time. I highly recommend you join us even now and then. Check with me, and I will tune you in to the best class for you. And usually—all we hear is birds…