Sabrina brings light and vitality into her practice – challenging students to bring the same curiosity and patience to the mat. Her creative sequences focus on enhancing functional movement, building strength, and empowering explorative play. She empowers her students to be true to their mind, body, and inner yogi.
Hi, my name is Sabrina and I’m a teacher at ONEYOGAHOUSE.
Hi Sabrina. Can you tell me a little bit about your yoga journey – perhaps starting with your first yoga class, how you felt about it, and what happened from there?
I went to my very first yoga class when I was 14 with my mom. I had really bad scoliosis and our doctor said to try it out and I went in with a dance comp background and a confidence thinking that I would really rock it. And it was confusing. I had no idea what was going on. Everybody was so strong and I hated it, like absolutely hated it and actually didn’t go back for an entire year.
And then when I was 15, I went back and tried it out again and I kept going and I kept going and suddenly it was this harmony where I understood the words, the poses. I created this connection between alignment in my body and in my mind. And I really, really kind of stuck with it. And ever since then, it’s just been kind of a growing, evolving obsession where I was very curious to practice, and kept coming to yoga. I think it just makes so much more sense. It’s kind of been my journey and then there’s pauses in that and whenever I come back I come with a renewed ability to really sink whatever’s going on in my outside world with my internal mind.
And are there any hardships that you’re facing currently that you find yoga to be helpful?
Yeah, I think there’s three kind of key areas. So, you know, I have a stressful job and I really use my practice as a grounding haven. Somewhere I can find the tools from my practice within myself to take off the mat when I am having a really hard day at work or when there’s a tough conversation at home. There are tools that I use on my mat that are really, really productive in helping me get through my mental blockages.
And then in my body I have so many injuries. Like my little wrist scar, I’ve had a knee surgery, and scoliosis. I came from dance, volleyball and running, and it really took a toll. But yoga and practicing yoga with intelligent alignment and really focusing on the fundamentals and the basics has allowed me to really build my body back up from every injury, to be resilient in my body, which I love. And that’s all the tools I get on my map.
Would you say that having these injuries really informed your teaching and the way you teach?
One hundred percent. So I’ve taught at the power, fast, quick, hot, sweaty yoga – and I love them; I think they’re really fun. [But] I was really hurt a lot and I think it took getting hurt to slow down and to reflect on whether I’m doing things fast because I want to be competitive in the room or I’m doing things fast because I want to prove something to myself? Or am I doing things slowly and correctly so that I can protect myself from a longevity perspective?
So my practice, and practicing at ONEYOGAHOUSE, and even a few of my teachers in New York, have really taught me how to prioritize alignment, how to think about things that maybe a lot of teachers say that aren’t truly correct, but find what’s right in my body. But also realizing bodies are really different. And I think I was really anti props for a really long time, and now if you come to my class we might probably have every single prop and the wall in use. And it’s just really to develop that deeper connection between your anatomy, your alignment, and protection of your joints because they carry you. And I practice very differently than I did when I was 15.
Is there anything that you’re particularly obsessed with right now in or using as tools to help ground you?
Yeah, I think I hyper fixate on like a little nugget of something. So in the past month it’s been my belly button and towards the plantar flexion of my ankles. So two really random things that you can teach so much about. So one is kind of like looking at your belly button as a guidepost for twisting because I never understood when people were like twist from the belly, but kind of imagining the belly button moving in different areas and different points of the room has helped me.
Then in with my ankles to help with the cap and the knees, using feedback so where we can use the wall or blocks or provide tension, which you often don’t get in a yoga practice with your feet, has been really interesting. So I think I tend to kind of latch on to different things and then see where it goes from there. That’s fun though. That’s nice to explore.
Anything that helps you with your mind specifically that you use, that you utilize maybe right now that you’re doing a little more of – meditation or breath work or anything else?
Yeah, so breath work has been really, really interesting. I just finished a breath work mentorship, so I’ve been exploring with it; today we did box breath in class, and just thinking about how your breath can serve to down or up-regulate your nervous system I think is just really cool. Especially if we think about bodies in a state of homeostasis, like what is your neutral and how do you use your breath to get back and stay in neutral is really, really helpful. So I’ve been playing a lot with what are exciting fiery breaths, and even breaths that might bring my heart rate down; and how do I use that as a tool, not only in my yoga practice, which has been really nice.
Anything else you’d like to share about yoga?
I think what’s really special about yoga and specifically about ONEYOGAHOUSE is the community aspect. I’ve loved yoga studios specifically because I’ve always met a lot of people that have a similar mindset as me–or don’t, and challenge me to think about the world in new ways. And so all of my friends work at ONEYOGAHOUSE now, you’ll see them at the desk and I’ve met so many amazing people and learning about their journeys with yoga just really inspires me, and yeah, the community aspect is something to not miss.