Former Yoga Hater Becomes Owner of Madeira Beach Yoga
Six years ago Sherry Duquet suffered from depression and the loss of loved ones while living in frigid (-30 degrees) Michigan.
Today, she’s hugging herself and leading others to do so on the shores of Madeira Beach.
While snowbirding, Duquet tried a class at Madeira Beach Yoga while visiting Florida.
“I tried everything: smoking away, drinking away the grief,” Duquet said. “I wrote on a page ‘things to do today that scare me,’ and beach yoga was at the top. It broke me open; it was the first thing that brought me back.”
And it brought her back to Florida.
Duquet earned her yoga instructor certificate in Michigan, and even opened a studio, Smiling Yoga Co. But when the previous owner – Toni Gaither – sold Madeira Beach Yoga, she jumped at the chance to buy it.
“I always thought yoga was not for me,” Duquet said. “I’m not thin enough, I’m not flexible enough, not tall enough … I’ve never felt more connected to my body.”
The self hugging came naturally.
While teaching a class as a yearling teacher, Duquet asked the room to “wrap around” for a big self-hug.
“I was positively shocked by the response,” she said. “It was a quick idea, but I could see the entire class front on and the reaction was one of sadness and joy.”
Duquet also went on to write a children’s book, “Violet the Hugging Octopus.” It’s an whimsical story of a purple octopus teaching herself and her oceanic friends to hug (love) themselves.
“I was never taught to love myself; I grew up thinking I was unlovable,” Duquet said.
Duquet’s Beach Yoga Class: Tuesdays, 9 a.m. Archibald Park, 15100 Gulfport Blvd., Madeira Beach. madeirabeachyoga.com