Hi! My name is Kerri Zelich and I am committed to my journey toward health, wellness and vitality.
….I eat right for my body(and I cheat sometimes), I exercise consistently (attempting to keep it balanced….not too much, not too little), I receive regular bodywork without fail and I’m dedicated to my mental/emotional healing and growth. I absolutely LOVE what I do and I’m in an extremely happy, healthy, loving relationship with my best friend/soul-mate/husband, Jason (the awesome designer of this very site!)
95% of the time, I feel pretty amazing and vital!
But it wasn’t always like that…
This is a quick tale about my journey….how I ended up here, doing what I do and loving my life…..
We could go back to August of 1971 but it wouldn’t be such a quick tale.
We’ll start with 1992, then…..
Working in the fashion industry…
Caring little for my health at the time as I was young and “blessed with good genes”, I had a lousy diet…ate what I wanted, when I wanted, how much I wanted…..take-out, packaged, processed, fried, fast food, not a whole lot of fruits and/or veggies (typical Standard American Diet…”SAD”)…I smoked, I drank….didn’t exercise. And I usually felt pretty lousy most of the time too (body hurt all the time, never really slept well, moods all over the place) but I just sort of accepted it as the way it was…..didn’t really give it much thought…..wasn’t really aware that I had a choice in the matter.
Not taking care of myself (as it tends to do) …led to injury
…it was inevitable, really.
My low back went out…could barely walk….beyond excruciating pain!
A friend referred me to a chiropractor and the chiropractor referred me to a massage therapist and that was the beginning of my passion/addiction/obsession to all things health and wellness related and my journey to live a life experiencing vitality!
Receiving regular bodywork was so amazingly healing for my poor sore body! It started to not really make sense to eat the way that I was eating and live the way that I was living.
So, little by little….desiring to feel better and better….things started changing.
I joined a gym and started doing some cardio and taking some of the classes….started getting my body moving a little bit….it helped a lot.
Started being exposed to and having conversations with healthy people and learning more and more about healthy things.
Convinced my friend, Jen to try a yoga class with me….yoga sounded pretty healthy…..
A tiny little studio on 23rd Street in between 7th & 8th. (I don’t think it’s there any more sadly), one floor up….cars, people, sirens all within full earshot….very “authentic”….the teacher was straight from an ashram in India. I experienced something on that day that changed me for good! After this crazy “bendy”, flowing, upside-down totally brand-new adventure, we were led into “Savasana” (shah-VAH-sah-nah). Very simply, lying flat on my back, melting into pure relaxation. Cars, people, sirens all dissolved away. Aches, pains, thoughts all dissolved away. There are no words to describe this feeling. I just remember really not wanting it to end. It was by far the most spiritual experience that I had had to that point.
As Jen and I were walking home, we started recounting our individual experiences and we started laughing….like pure joy kind of laughing…..and we couldn’t stop! It was the most amazing blissed-out feeling I’ve ever felt in my life! I was hooked…and that was the beginning of my love of yoga.
As yoga is a mind-body practice, I started to shift in many ways….not just physically.
There is a saying in yoga when you start to realize the truth of your existence….just can’t live in deception and can’t hide from certain things that cause misery….it’s called “lifting the veil”.
Very long and dramatic story short, I left the blatantly unhealthy relationship that I was in and left NYC.
Found a gym, found a yoga studio (Yoga du Maris…Jason did their website too!).
Found an awesome chiropractor and an awesome massage therapist.
Discovered an obsession for food.
Met the love of my life and have laughed every single day since.
Happier than I’d ever been in my life, there were still some pieces missing…..the veil doesn’t just lift all in one day….it’s a process…little by little, healthier and healthier, slowly, over time.
My body still hurt a lot of the time….was mostly happy but my moods were still erratic at times….still had trouble sleeping.
Regular massages, chiropractor visits, yoga, working out all helped but the symptoms would come back…..
I started looking a little closer at diet and nutrition.
I had eliminated fast food mostly and packaged/processed food not necessarily for health reasons but more because living in Paris, one becomes a food snob…..so, at least I was eating fresh food and had started cooking my own food and was eating fruits and vegetables.
I eliminated caffeine and that helped a lot…..sleep was better and the nervous anxiety kind of energy disappeared. That was good enough for the moment. I kept drinking and smoking and eating great food….I was living in Paris after all…. but not necessarily healthy food. It was a step in the right direction.
The examination of my life’s work came next. After so many years in the fashion industry, I was finding myself more and more unfulfilled in so many ways. Life in fashion wasn’t really fitting so much with my new mantra to be part of the “soul-ution”. Not only was it not part of the solution, I was starting to see it as part of the problem. So many girls and women in the world were holding themselves up to this impossible body image model that was perpetuated by the fashion industry and of course, never measuring up. The very nature of the industry is superficial and self-interested.
A deep examination of the self ensued…What did I truly desire out of my work?
I needed to be part of the solution, to do something meaningful, to really make a difference, to really help people…Daily…not just sometimes, Every Day!
I left modeling and I left Paris.
The desire led me to Tempe, AZ to study therapeutic massage and energetic bodywork at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. (Luckily Jason is a golfer so he was like, “365 days of golf? Let’s Go!”)
Being deeply committed to my personal mind, body, spirit healing and growth process, I connected with the opportunity to support others on their healing journeys toward health, well-being and vitality. It just made sense……bodywork had been the beginning of my journey…..it helped me in so many ways, not just making my body feel better but initializing my commitment to health and wellness in general.
Two thousand hours later, I had a degree, a license and was nationally certified as a master massage and bodywork practitioner and became a Registered Polarity Practitioner and a Cranial-Sacral practitioner.
It was here that I also met Cain Carrol…..one of the most amazingly gifted yoga teachers ever….and decided to deepen my personal yoga practice by doing a teacher trainer….really had no intention of teaching….even though I do teach yoga I still have no real intention of teaching yoga, I just love spreading yoga energy.
Even happier than ever….following the dreams of my heart….on my way to really making a difference with the man of my dreams at my side…..
But I was still struggling with constant body pain. I can’t even imagine how bad I would have been feeling had I not been getting professional bodywork and doing yoga throughout that time period. The stress of a pretty intense class schedule, making a huge life transition coupled with learning to do bodywork and receiving bodywork from learners all day long was making it worse!
It started to feel like I would never be well. I remember waking up and sitting at the kitchen table thinking to myself, ‘why do I feel like I’m 80 years old?’ And that was all exacerbated by the absolute knowledge that it was just going to get worse as I got older! ….(I’ve since learned that age has nothing to do with it!!!)
Eternal gratitude to the Universe……
I was required as part of my nutrition program to participate in a cleanse group. I was introduced to the concepts of an inflammatory diet and dietary intolerances and sensitivities. Someone in the class had been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity by a naturopath and I asked her what her symptoms were.
I am so grateful for that moment!!!
“Constant body pain,” she said simply.
I wanted to scream and cry and laugh all at the same moment
….mostly it was joy and hope. What if it was the same for me and there was a chance to not be in constant pain?
I stopped eating gluten.
On the third gluten free day, my body felt amazing and my brain became clear and my emotions felt stable…I wasn’t even aware of how bad I had been feeling! This was the missing, secret ingredient (so confusing as to why it is such a secret)….the power of nutrition. Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine and let medicine be food.”. Guess what! It is that simple. Food is the path to healing.
Well, nutrition, movement and stress management….it’s that simple.
Through the cleanse, I quit smoking for good. I quit drinking…well, I’ll have a drink from time to time.
Now, I am making a difference daily for others and for myself. I do bodywork, I lead cleanse groups twice a year (spring and fall) and I teach yoga. I am mostly part of the soul-ution.
This work is so sacred to me….I’m blessed, I’m grateful.
For me, it’s really about living my journey and finding stuff that works and helps and heals and then telling everyone that wants to hear about it. It’s about compassion and sensitivity and deep respect. It’s about really showing up, being present, connecting and really listening. It’s about reminding people that they are the expert….nobody knows what it feels like to be inside your body no matter how many letters one has before or after their name or how many years of education they might have. I believe strongly in empowering, educating and encouraging people to cultivate awareness and mindfulness….to learn to trust in their body’s own self-healing capabilities.
And that’s how I ended up here…doing this amazing work…happy, healthy.
Forever on this amazing journey and committed to daily experiencing my vitality!
Thanks for listening to and being interested in my journey.
With lots of love, an open heart and lots of gratitude,