Teacher Spotlight - Bernie

How did you come to practice yoga?
I began my yoga practice nearly 20 years ago.  I credit two good friends who had invited me to the hot yoga class at Bikram Yoga Omaha (eventually renamed One Tree Yoga).  I was pleasantly surprised on how invigorated I felt after that first 90 minute practice.  I liked the challenge, I liked the heat, I liked the group effort and I loved my teachers.  I was hooked. 

When did you decide that you wanted to be a teacher? How long have you been teaching? 
To be honest I really hadn’t planned on teaching hot yoga, but was invited to be a part of the teacher training.  At first I declined, but was eventually talked into it and have been teaching the Bikram series since 2003.  I stand on the shoulders of the many great teachers I have worked with and I credit them with helping me build my knowledge of yoga and all its aspects.

What style(s) of yoga do you teach? What do you like about it/them?
I have gone through One Tree Yoga’s teacher training with Gabe and Alison but I teach just the hot series.  I think what I like most about teaching yoga is observing firsthand the fruits of the hard work and effort the student’s put into their practice.  I’m uplifted at the changes I see in students; clearly the physical and mental benefits keep them coming to class week after week, year after year. 

What is your favorite pose? Why?
At the moment my favorite pose in the hot series is Tuladandasana, Balancing Staff Pose. I find it to be a powerhouse pose; it builds strength, endurance, balance, as well as promoting mental focus.

What do you like to do when you’re not at yoga?
My 9-5 job is working with kindergarteners; this age group has always been my first love. During the fall and winter months I spend time digging deep into my faith in a bible study called Seeking Truth.  I also like spending time with family and friends, as well as gardening and reading.  I also love running up and down bleacher steps with fellow teacher, Theresa.

Where can we find you on the One Tree Yoga schedule? 
You will find me at the East studio on Monday night and Saturday morning.  Please join me if you can!

Gabe Hopp