When I first met her, I loved her spirit! She doesn't make you feel like she's above you at all. Abby Tucker is not your average yogi bear! She has a southern accent, a natural sunset shade of hair, and an incredibly warm character. She loves to talk about the seasons changing, not messing up your Doshas, and will have you watching the Lunar eclipse at 3am to make sure you get the blessings (this one is from experience!). She has studied Ayurveda, sanskrit, Anusara Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. I have learned many things from this master teacher, but I have summed them up to 5. I hope they inspire you as much as they have inspired me.
Lesson 1: Pause
No matter what you come to learn from her, and you'll learn a lot, this one is the most valuable. No matter what happens in your life, pause and breathe. If you feel like punching a wall, breathe. If you feel like eating an entire tub of ice cream, breathe. If you don't know what to do next, breathe. Pausing before acting is powerful, and she will be the first to remind you of that. Yoga makes you realize you don't need a mat under your feet to feel in control, you can pause at any moment and feel at ease.
Lesson 2: Be Respectful
After every class Abby reminds us to kindly and neatly put all our props away so the next class feels like they are welcome and loved by us. How powerful is that?! Something as simple as putting a blanket back in its place and NEATLY is such a respectful thing to do. In her most recent class I attended she went on a speech about how it is just like not prepping your house for a guest. If you don't clean up and stock the fridge before a beloved guest, how will that make them feel? It is our daily actions that decide what type of person we are, not how hard and gloriously you practice your Asanas. She will be the first person to remind you that being respectful to others is also showing respect to yourself.
Lesson 3: Create Sacred Space
Every time I walk into her class, I feel a subtle energy that is at times hard to describe. Many times she has talked about sacredness but she truly embodies this herself. She teaches us that every pose is a sacred space for the breath. When you look at your body as sacred, its hard to pollute it with negativity, harshness, or violence. When you walk into a class and decide you are going to compete with everyone there, the sacred space will not be there. Similar to being respectful of a physical space we need to remember our mental space as well.
Lesson 4: Stay Grounded
I often have a hard time with this one, given my entire body is flooded with Vata energy! Maybe that's why her classes are so appealing to me. I never stop learning how to keep my feet stable and firm on the mat. I never realized what a powerful thing this could be in my daily life. A practice can be a fleeting experience if you're in constant movement, in and out of every pose with no real sense of purpose. The yoga journey should always have a purpose, and the more grounded you are, the clearer the practice will be. Staying grounded in your feet even as you Vinyasa your way through life, will keep you stable and firm.
Lesson 5: Remember the Shakti
Shakti is Abby's number one teacher, and I truly believe it is her best friend. Shakti is energy, and energy is contagious. When you step into a room, you want your Shakti to be felt. The better you take care of your shakti, meaning the nicer you are to yourself, the better you will make others feel. To take it even deeper, this life force is in everything and at all times. The sooner you learn to see it and admire it, the sooner your life will transform for the better. Shakti will take over your being and you will never be the same! Abby truly lives and breathes shakti, she is the kindest teacher I know. She not just teaches us how to align our bodies but also our minds. Her shakti is transferred to us all simply by knowing her, and we are certainly better for it.
Abby Tucker is a California based teacher, teaching regularly at Yoga Tree Berkeley. You can get a taste of her teachings online at YogaVibes.com you can also look her up at yogabohemian.com