Abby Moulton is a fitness and education savant. She started at George Mason University and went on to receive her masters at UVA in their well-respected Early Child Development & Reading Program. Combine that with her teacher training, sprinkle in Cycle, Total Body Conditioning, Circuit Training and Boot Camp, and you have an individual destined to make a fantastic yoga instructor.
To hear more about Abby’s eclectic background and life, read on!
FB: Hi, thanks for joining us. For starters, what’s your background? Where did you grow up and have you always lived in Loudoun?
AM: I grew up in western PA, just outside of Pittsburgh. I moved here during college and attended George Mason University. I thought about moving back to PA after graduation, but thankfully I landed a teaching job in Fairfax County. Then I met my husband!
FB: How did you learn about Flow and how did you progress towards becoming a teacher with us?
“I heard about Flow when my husband, two children, and I moved to Leesburg, three and a half years ago.I began teaching at a local gym and heard people talking about how awesome Flow is. I had to try it out – and I loved it. Kelly Armstrong, a fellow gym instructor, really encouraged me to do the Flow teacher training with her in 2012 and I have no regrets. I really enjoyed the training and wanted to be a part of this wonderful team of inspiring teachers.”
FB: After reading your bio, we understand that you’ve developed a thorough foundation in all-things fitness. Can you tell us a little bit more about your non-yoga athletic background?
AM: I have always enjoyed movement and the way exercise makes me feel energized and vibrant. Maybe it was all those trees I used to climb as a kid, or all the softball I played in elementary and middle school. But by high school, I was a gym rat. In my mid- twenties, I decided to train to become a group exercise teacher at my gym. I taught classes like cycle, total body conditioning, circuit training, and boot camp- which was my favorite. Inspiring people to keep coming back to class was motivating to me as well. I also trained and ran a half-marathon and a few 10 milers (just to check off my bucket list). Next physical fitness on my list is martial arts…maybe some day!
FB: Bringing yoga into the mix, do your classes integrate other types of workouts as you teach, and if so, what are some of these elements?
AM: Yes, I guess maybe my other styles of teaching get thrown into my yoga classes! I love to incorporate core work because it is crucial to all types of movement in general. I always like a good challenge, and strive to give my classes a certain degree of difficulty within the realm of success for the students present. I really enjoyed teaching yoga sculpt because I was able to integrate strength training into the classes, which was fun.
FB: We saw that you studied at UVA, among other institutions; what have been some of the high-points in your journey as a teacher?
Yes, I received a master’s in Reading Education partly because coming out of college, I felt so unprepared to teach second grade! I couldn’t believe they trusted me with a group of twenty-five children! I was a little frustrated, so I enrolled in the Reading program at UVA and learned as much as I possibly could about how to teach young students how to read (among many other things!).
In the classroom, I loved the relationships I created with these children and their families. Seeing the lightbulb go off in their heads or the Aha moment they experienced was what kept me going. Teaching and initiating a love for learning was important to me. Watching the progression of students from the beginning of the school year to the end was spectacular! And the best thing was when students grew older, some of them would make special trips to my second grade classroom to come and visit me. I’m sure there were many more highlights, but these jump out at me first.
FB: Outside of yoga, what’s been going on lately?
AM: I’m a wife and mom to Luke and Kate – ages 7 and 4. I teach Sunday school at St. James’ church on Sunday mornings (second grade, of course!) and really enjoy it. I also have been using, sharing, and teaching workshops that highlight the many benefits of doTERRA essential oils with my friends, neighbors, colleagues and yogis. It’s been really fun to see how they’ve helped people (and my family and I too!)
FB: Does your family ever take any of your classes?
AM: Sadly, no. Big frowny face.
FB: Who is your biggest inspiration as a teacher?
I have had the best teachers! When teaching second grade, I had the most amazing mentors. Many of those skills translated into teaching exercise classes to adults. Same principles, different audience! I felt inspired in teacher training with Marcia’s classes and insight. I loved Tori and Coleen’s point of view and could feel all of their passion for yoga. Kelly Armstrong was such a foundation of knowledge and helped me a lot as well. This past year I have been taking some classes outside Flow and in other styles of yoga from Suzy Thompson and Wendy Elliot. They are wonderful too. I love to go take yoga classes from as many teachers as I can (even other studios) and find one thing I love about their class.
FB: Do you have a favorite pose, and if so, what is it and why?
Savasana! This is the pose I used to hate and ignore. Then I learned all the healing benefits of savasana and completely changed my outlook. When I first began teaching yoga at the gym, many people would get up and leave during savasana! I realized that I had to instill the power within this pose – sometimes the little things, the things that look like nothing, are the most restorative.
FB: And finally, any New Year’s resolutions for 2015?
AM: This is more of a life answer in general – but I’m definitely working on finding that work/life balance. My husband and I always joke about how much we love and hate our cell phones! It’s true.
“I’m working on putting my phone down and just waiting a little longer to get that ‘really important thing’ finished. Honestly, what’s more important than your family? I don’t want my kids to see me on the phone or caught up with the dramas of life.”
So I might be unreachable at times, it might look like I disappear for a day or even two. But I’m with my family. I’m (hopefully) teaching my kids to be present. And that’s what I need the most.