April 2015 - Eva Abel

What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?

I was introduced to yoga in 1997, during my freshman year at William & Mary.  I remember being astounded at how the practice of yoga impacted my emotions, and helped me access a sense of calm and stillness that had been missing in my life. 

What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?

It really depends on my mood and state of mind at the time.  Being 17 weeks pregnant, my intention for my yoga practice is to connect with my inner self and my to-be-baby, to bring a sense of calm and balance to both of us, and to gently stretch muscles that haven’t quite been used in the way they are being used during this brief period of my life.  Other times, my intentions have included building strength, finding quiet amongst a chaotic or fast paced daily life, or having an hour of meditating in each present moment.

What is your favorite pose and why?

I don’t think I can choose!!  Often balance poses are at the top of my list, because when I am able to find balance with ease I get the sense that perhaps I am also working towards maintaining balance in my life.  Triangle pose has always been a favorite because I feel a sense of freedom and weightlessness….But then there are the wonderful hip openers that allow me to surrender into the moment….

What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?

With my ever so cautious approach to pregnancy, I absolutely prefer Breathe & Stretch….Pre-pregnancy, each class offered such beautiful and unique gifts I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to a favorite.  Power Flow was the class I attended the most because I was able to leave feeling like I had a challenging workout as well as a meditative experience.

How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?

It was yoga that first opened my eyes to how much tension existed in my heart and body…I couldn’t even stretch the back of my neck to look towards my feet without feeling discomfort and resistance.  Yoga introduced the idea of awareness of my body, and the relationship between the body, heart, and mind.  It was the beginning of my journey towards conquering significant anxiety that I didn’t even know existed and impacted my life constantly. 

What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?

Acceptance and compassion towards limitations opens up the possibility for change and growth. 

What is your occupation?

I am a clinical psychologist.

What activities do you enjoy?

I love to kayak, explore small towns, connect with nature, soak in the sun, enjoy and appreciate friends and family, nurture my 17 week creation in my belly, practice yoga, meditate, express my emotions through music, play card games and dominoes, laugh with my husband, smell the ocean, feel the earth under my feet, savor every flavor of my talented husband’s food…

What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck?

The impossibility of anonymity, the beauty, living close to my grandmother, and the almost 30 years of memories.

Is there anything you want to add?

I am ever so appreciative that you are here, Susan!  I never would have imagined the Northern Neck would attract such a talented, intuitive, caring, skilled yoga instructor…