River Bend in January

Local Love Spotlight | Abbie , owner River Bend Yoga

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I met Abbie (officially) for the first time when she invited me to hang with her, some friends, our kids, and a barn full of baby goats. Seems normal for the start of a friendship, right?

I didn’t know much about her at the time. I’m not even sure I knew she was a yogi. But, you know those people you just feel drawn to? Maybe you can’t really put it into words, but you just kinda know you should spend some time alongside them. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit whispering ...that correcting -not condemning- gentle urge to move a certain direction, to change your focus, to meet someone new?

I have had a desire to explore yoga for over two years, and I couldn’t have settled into a better place to begin. River Bend Yoga, felt right the moment I walked in. And a yoga mat felt like home.

I watch her sometimes, and I love when she gets to see how powerful her impact is on people—her impact on the world. It’s so much bigger that yoga, bigger than a workout …bigger than a monthly membership or a sold-out workshop. I know (100%, every day, with all of her soul) she gives the glory to God. But, it’s okay to be in a place of acceptance sometimes. To have a realization that God could NOT have moved through her if SHE wouldn’t have aligned herself to receive that. Her light is infectious and her story is for the world to hear. She’s healed and whole and I’m so happy to have met her.

Ladies and Gentleman, please say hello to my friend and teacher, Abbie. Share some happiness, send a love note, pray over her business, or go check out the studio.

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How long have you practiced yoga? Close to 15 years

How does your practice blend with everyday moments? Yoga is not just the poses. It really is a way of life. I have more awareness in my body and I respond mindfully.. I can take a deep breath. I can focus on being present when someone is talking to me. I can be mindful of food that I eat and how it effects my body. I can exercise my boundaries when relating with people and myself. Yoga is so much more than the physical. 

When did you first realize that Jesus meets you at your mat? I had moments of peace and revelation that were not coming from me thinking them up. I believe, in yoga, you clear space for the Holy Spirit to move, and throughout the day-to-day it can be hard to make time for God to speak to us. Yoga is a place I go often, to hear the voice of God in postures of peace, rest or surrender. I already had a Christian background, but was “born again” when I was 23 years old. Coming to the mat made all of my learning about him and all of my experiences make sense. I could feel a deep peace… and I knew it was him.  

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What's one misconception of yogis? ..and what's the truth? That I eat super healthy all the time! Truth be told, I don’t. But I do find a healthy balance, I believe. And, not all yogis are flexible! Yoga is for every BODY.  Not all yogis are the most patient. But what yogis do is practice. We practice awareness, contemplation and acceptance. We are aware of seasons of life and aware of our bodies. And maybe we have a greater sense of our tools for how to respond to things.

Why do you think most people are afraid to try yoga? People generally see all the social media portraying yoga to be stick skinny, Lululemon, white woman, doing some crazy pretzel pose… and automatically think they can’t DO yoga. The media has distorted the meaning and/or made it all about a prize of performance. It’s really about how you feel and not how you look. I always teach the most important aspect of yoga is staying consciously connected to your breath (Holy Spirit) and the poses always come second to that. 

When you close your eyes and imagine your business in 3 years, what does it look like? A continued thriving community that extends beyond the 4 walls of the studio. I want my space to be a space for God’s creative spirit to gather and heal people through yoga and other creative outlets. I want to continue as I’m doing, but move beyond this space into the community, and nationally. 

What is the hardest part of running your business? ...what trips you up the most? Keeping up with marketing, social media and all the back-of-the-house stuff. Keeping a presence through emails and such. That is not really my favorite. And it’s been a huge learning curve. 

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What's the biggest reason you love being an entrepreneur? Besides wearing basically pajamas to work? I love that I get to connect with other creatives and brainstorm ideas and then make it happen. I love the flexibility. I am a single mother, so having the freedom that I do is such a blessing. 

What's a business focus/goal for 2019? More Jesus in the yoga studio and more yoga in the churches! So basically, to continue to see what opportunities are outside of the studio for Yoga Faith, Yoga and the 12 steps… and Kids yoga! Those are my passions. I believe the studio will continue to grow the community, and I will continue to expand beyond the 4 walls. 

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Any upcoming classes or events you'd like to highlight? February 8th is IGNITE- a midwinter Soundbath. This is an experience like no other. Also, a Partner yoga class a day after Valentine’s Day. No partner needed. It will be fun either way. 

I am always looking for creative new opportunities to bring community together. So, on top of the scheduled classes, we usually have an events month that bring something a bit different.

 

If a tiny part of me was curious about yoga, what's the best place to start learning? Online? ..read a book?... just come to an intro class? The best is to come to an intro class. Yoga is 1% theory and 99% practice. The best way to learn is through an experienced teacher. Then let your curiosity move you in any direction of further inquiry. You will be guided by God.  

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Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check back for more highlights of Jesus-loving, local celebs.

-Adrienne