3 Cheers: Yoga For Every Body

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CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (CBS) – Inspired by her late son, Kerri Hanlon of Conshohocken is helping people of all abilities benefit from yoga.

At the beginning of an adaptive yoga class at her studio, Yoga Home, “I’ll do a check-in with everyone at the beginning to see what they need on that given day, and just build the class around that.”

She invites people to “transfer power” during her free-flowing class.

“When we live from that place of love, that helps our vulnerability,” Kerri said. “Let us come from that place.”

Kerri’s motto is Yoga Is for Every Body. “That looks like lots of different things to lots of different people,” Kerri said. “Some have MS. We have individuals with CP (cerebral palsy), Down syndrome, some individuals on the spectrum.”

“I noticed how she kind of adapts to each person,” said student Laura Beller of Philadelphia. “She’s able to interact at wherever they’re at.”

Hanlon teaches this program once a week, adapting yoga poses and breathing techniques for those of all abilities.

CBS3’s Chandler Lutz sat down with Kerri: “I know you started this four years ago, and there’s a backstory for you and how you got into this.”

“Yes. It’s so bittersweet,” Kerri said. “This program, I really started with my son Sean.”

Sean had cerebral palsy. We met Kerri and Sean back in 2016 demonstrating their yoga moves at the studio.

“When we first opened, he would come to class with me,” Kerri said. “He loved it. He was part of the community. He’d come into breath, and he’d come into the postures in any way that he could.”

So Kerri started to explore how yoga could help Sean be more present in his body. She says his progress was extraordinary.

Sean died in 2017. He was 19. Now Kerri trains other teachers in adaptive yoga.

“He taught be so much about the practice, and the opportunity for me to now be able to give back is everything,” Kerri said.

In Sean’s memory, Kerri is also out helping the community, hosting trips for special needs students, teaching caregivers yoga at CHOP, and more.

“If we believe yoga is everybody’s birthright, then why should yoga discriminate? It doesn’t,” Kerri said.

We give 3 Cheers to Kerri Hanlon, for making anything possible, and we thank viewer Laura for suggesting her to us .

Kerri writes a column for CBSPhilly.com, click here to read more.

 

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