Cherry on Top

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Photo by Heba Salama
Photo by Heba Salama

Blue Point Yoga will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, but 2015 has exciting developments in store for the Durham yoga community. Located on Erwin Road, a short walk from Duke Hospital and West Campus, Blue Point Yoga has always had a “strong interest in learning and growing as a community,” says owner Sara Doyle. A Duke faculty member and researcher since 2003, Sara teaches anatomy in the medical school and is no stranger to the science behind yoga. She adds, “our trainings and workshops are open and accessible to all, but ultimately rooted in foundational principles of science and research to explain the benefits we all experience from our asana and pranayama practices.” Recent workshops at Blue Point have included Stress and the Yogic Brain (taught by Duke professor and neuroimmunologist Staci Bilbo) and Mindfulness Yoga (taught by Yan Li, Duke psychologist).

Beyond the research-based approach to yoga that Blue Point offers, an exciting development within the studio is the recent promotion of Cherry Foreman to Studio Manager and full-time instructor. I’ve had the pleasure of taking classes with Cherry around the Triangle and the first words that come to mind when I think of her class are fun, informed and original!

I asked Sara about her decision to bring Cherry on as the manager of her studio and here’s what she had to say: “Cherry has so many strengths and has been a huge asset to Blue Point over the past year. She is a wonderful teacher with compassion and energy that students readily connect to. Her classes offer not only a physical experience, but also a spiritual one as she brings wisdom and teachings about the human condition to her class. She is a powerful teacher and one of her biggest strengths in the classroom is to make every student feel seen. She observes, teaches and nurtures everyone that steps onto their mat with her and I feel so lucky to have her as manager of Blue Point!”

I reached out to Cherry to reconnect and congratulate her on her recent promotion. Here is some more information on a much-loved local yogi so you can get to know her a little better off the mat:

How did you find Blue Point Yoga and what stands out to you about this studio?

I live in Durham, so I wanted a place to teach and practice in my community and I heard many wonderful things about Blue Point. What stands out to me about the studio is how relaxed and welcoming it feels. It feels diverse and inclusive. That matters to me.

Three words/phrases to describe the yoga scene in Durham?

Interested, committed and constantly growing.

What should students expect when they roll out a mat in your classes?

My hope for all my students in every class I teach is:

  • That everyone will feel welcomed. The can show up, just as they are, and feel a sense of belonging.
  • They will feel encouraged. There are moments in a practice that feel challenging and that’s good. But I never want anyone to feel defeated. We can go hard and go gentle.
  • That they have an genuine experience with themselves, that they are engaged in the process and go in enough to feel their body, breath, mind and spirit being moved.

Your favorite places to spend time in Durham when you’re not at the studio?

Oh gosh, this is tough … to go out in the evening, Six Plates … delicious bites, exceptional wine and wonderful staff.

For anytime reading, hanging, preparing for classes, I could sit at Cocoa Cinnamon all day! Everything is delicious and so thoughtful!

…and Geer Street Garden has my favorite bartender, Mark, and the world’s greatest banana pudding.

How long have you been teaching yoga and where did you do your training?

I completed my teacher training with Baron Baptiste and Gregor Singleton at Baptiste Power Yoga Institute in Cambridge, where I lived for 15 years. I have been teaching for about 10 years.

Check out Cherry’s classes at Blue Point on Mondays at noon and 6pm; Tuesdays at 9:30am and 5:30pm; Wednesdays at 5:30pm. Visit www.bluepointyoga.com for up-to-date schedule and workshop offerings!


Local Yoga Event:

Therapeutic Yoga for the Lower Back with Sara Doyle – Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15 – Up to 80% of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. Fortunately, yoga has the tools to help. Join Dr. Sara Doyle in learning about the anatomy of the back, how our lifestyle contributes to back pain and how to use yoga to alleviate discomfort.

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