Meet Abby

If I could have one wish, it would be for everyone to love themselves fully. I believe that when we truly love and care for ourselves, we are able to more fully connect with, care for, and love each other. Through guiding my students into their bodies - whether through yoga, dance, or breath work - I aim to ignite a deep sense of self-love, and appreciation for their innate strength, ability to learn, heal, and grow.

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My Story

I came to yoga through scoliosis.

 

I was 15, and angry with my body. I was frustrated with doctors, chiropractors, and back braces that were all unable to give me what I most wanted: a straight spine. In an attempt to try something - anything - different, my mom took me to an Iyengar yoga class series with Francois Raoult. I remember almost nothing from those classes, except that it felt pleasant to be there. Yoga did not correct my scoliosis, but it did feel good, and it did remind me that my body was worth loving and caring for.

 

18 months later, my father died of a brain tumor just two weeks after he was diagnosed. My scoliosis, suddenly seeming less important, took a back seat while my mom and sister tried to figure out what to do with ourselves, with the giant bison farm, the fleet of tractors, and the six barns we were left with. The energy my family and I had previously poured into my back treatments was now redirected into loving each other, and surviving the best we could.

 

Eight months later, we traveled to New York City so that I could get what I had wanted so much to avoid: scoliosis surgery. Part of my felt like a failure for not persevering longer with back braces, chiropractors, and yoga; another much bigger part of me was exhausted. I just wanted the battle with my body to be over. Two stainless steel rods, twenty-two screws, and eleven fused vertebrae later, I had to re-learn how to move, and how to love my body in its new form.

 

I am still learning how to move, and how to love. Through practicing and teaching yoga, I have come to appreciate both my physical abilities and limitations, as well as my ability to learn and adapt. In every class, workshop, and training I teach, I hope to inspire my students to love their bodies exactly as they are, and to find joy in movement and rest.

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Training & Education

  • Skill in Action Home Retreat with Michelle C. Johnson (2020)

  • Within from Without: Trauma Informed Self-Journeying with T. Aisha Edwards - Yoga NW, Portland, OR (2019)

  • 500-hour Advanced Training with Jason Crandell - Love Story Yoga, San Francisco, CA (2018)

  • Infusing Your Teaching with a Trauma Informed Lens with Molly Boeder Harris – The People’s Yoga, Portland, OR (2017)

  • Ignite Your Practice. Inspire Your Teaching. with Jason Crandell – Yoga Pearl, Portland, OR (2015)

  • Gravity & Grace with Peter Stereos – The Yoga Space, Portland, OR (2014)

  • The Fiery Furnace Asana Immersion – The Bhakti Yoga & Movement Center, Portland, OR (2014)

  • Yoga & Fitness – Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge, MA (2014)

  • MS Ed: Inclusive Adolescence Education – Nazareth College, Rochester, NY (2014)

  • 200-hour Foundational Training – Yoga Tree, San Francisco, CA (2012)

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