Across the street from the cleaners where Raphael and his two sons Raphael Jr. and Marlon are serving neighborhood customers on a busy Saturday morning, behind the historic Doc Thomas house in a dense upland forest, you can hear a pineneedle drop.
There, under a chickee of palm fronds on a pinewood floor, Suzen Gerrish, the yoga guide, rhythmically leads us through ancient yoga postures in the tradition of Tantra Hatha Yoga. “It is a form of the ancient practice which reflects the human form and spiritual form as one,” she explains.
And indeed this tranquil oasis in the middle of bustling South Miami is a perfect metaphor for the way Yoga finds a quiet place inside our busy lives – a place where we can be at peace even when our daily pressures are the most intense.
Gerrish, a brunette with a warm smile and a Master’s in Spiritual Psychology, recently brought her Yoga classes to Tropical Audubon Society’s home at the Doc Thomas House, on Sunset Road just east of Red Road. Audubon’s Executive Director Laura Reynolds was seeking a Yoga instructor when she met Gerrish, intuiting that the outdoor chickee would be the ideal spot for such a meditative practice.
In my case, my physician, Dr. Leonard Zwerling of South Miami Heart Specialists, had advised me to take up yoga and meditation as a way of lowering my blood presssure. “You already play tennis, don’t drink or smoke, and eat reasonably,” Zwerling told me, “so other than medication, the logical thing for you is meditation and yoga.”
I read about Gerrish’s new Yoga program in Tropical Audubon’s monthly members’ newsletter. It only took one session to make a believer of me.
I now go twice a week, my blood pressure’s down, and my spirits are up.
My fellow practicioners range from teenagers to mothers to grandfathers. Gerrish gives her personal attention to each one of us, and tailors our moves accordingly.
Classes are held Monday through Saturday from 9 to 10:30 am, and on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 pm. Cost is $12 per session, reservations not necessary.
For more information on this program, visit www.tropicalaudubon.org/TASYoga.pdf or contact Suzen at 305.333.4703.
David Pearson is a public relations consultant and a longtime member of Tropical Audubon.