Teacher Spotlight - Gabe

1. How did you come to practice yoga?
I had a severe lower back injury as a young kid. When I was a teen, the injury reared back up and I spent time in a brace and visiting every doctor in town. My dad is a physical therapist and he consistently worked on my back, but also suggested I try a yoga practice. I had a Patricia Walden DVD that I started one December evening when I was home from college. At the end I realized I had never felt better in my entire life. I was incredibly relaxed and wanted to feel like that as often as possible. When I went back to school in January, I started a regular practice in earnest at the new Hot studio in Evansville, IN. 

2. When did you decide that you wanted to be a teacher? How long have you been teaching?
I definitely had zero designs on teaching when I took my first teacher training program. It was in the Czech Republic and, if I'm being completely honest, I mainly did it to get an extended visa to stay there longer! But, I had many years of yoga under my belt already and just a few months into the program, I realized that I had a passion for this practice that I needed to share with others. I started teaching as soon as I graduated and never looked back. I am coming up on 10 years of teaching in January. 

3. What style(s) of yoga do you teach? What do you like about it/them?
I like to teach a variety of styles. Each style of yoga offers something so unique and special! I really love  breaking down poses with modifications and props and putting key actions together to build up to a peak pose. I can (and do!) do this in all of my classes, but it's the most effective in Hatha and Basics. Teaching yoga basics to brand new students is my favorite. I love the boost of confidence that they get from being able to do all the poses and the way that (I know!) they feel at the end of practice. All the lightbulbs are turning on for them.

4. What is your favorite pose? Why?
My favorite pose for ever and always is triangle pose or utthita trikonasana in sanskrit. I love it because it feels delicious every time I do it. It also requires a lot of actions and areas of the body to work. It seems like such a simple pose, but when you break it down, it's actually complex and infinitely interesting. 

5. What do you like to do when you’re not at yoga?
I love to spend time with my husband Lucas and our 15 month old baby Ralph. We deeply enjoy the outdoors, gardening, hiking, biking and cooking meals together. I have a side hustle selling vintage clothing, so I regularly haunt thrift stores seeking out treasures. I am an avid reader and belong to an incredible feminist book club in Ashland (who knew?). I have recently fallen in love with working out and try to make it to the Y twice a week to take a class. 

6. Where can we find you on the One Tree Yoga schedule?
I'm all over that schedule! Find me West on Monday nights, Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. I'm East on Tuesday evening and Thursday morning. I teach Restorative class West every other month. I also co-lead the teacher training program with Alison and try to offer regular workshops throughout the year. 

Gabe Hopp