Meet Hillary Sabbato, Yoloha ambassador and author of our new Yoga Block Guidebook.
Dancing since age 4, movement has always been a large part of Hillary’s Life. After becoming a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, she felt there was additional work to be done. She has since earned her 200hr certification in Vinyasa Yoga and completed additional training in Thai Yoga Technique, Yin Yoga and Reiki. Sharing and practicing yoga has become an outlet for her creativity and a channel for providing healing to her community. She learns something new from every class she teaches and truly loves being a witness to the power of the practice in all of its forms.
We sat down with Hillary to talk about her journey creating the Block Guide. Here’s what she had to say:
- When and where did your yoga journey begin?
When I was a kid I would do Yoga with Lilias tapes with my mom. I grew up in a rural area where there were no yoga studios so the living room was our studio. I have always enjoyed a home practice whether it’s led by a recording or just my breath.
- Was there a certain experience that brought you to yoga?
Nothing life changing at first, that’s the part that sneaks in. I definitely came to the practice for the physical in the beginning. The realization that the practice is so much more came later and that’s when the life changing began, slowly and steadily with a few big “aha! moments”.
- How did you discover Yoloha and what do you love about it?
A friend of mine started teaching here when the studio opened and I loved this sweet little space the moment I walked in. It’s so cozy, welcoming and laid back. Not to mention it’s a 4 minute drive from my house.
- What style(s) of yoga do you teach? Practice?
I teach and practice: beginner, all levels vinyasa, power vinyasa, and yin.
- What is your favorite Yoloha product and why?
DUH, the blocks!! But, truly I love the cork blocks and I love playing with different ways to use them to support my practice and my students’ practice – second fav is the Unity Mat, so grippy!
- What inspired you to create the block guide?
Chris (Yoloha founder) asked me if I would be interested in putting something like this together. My immediate response was “YES! I love blocks!” Really, I LOVE using blocks in all kinds of ways and it’s so fun to discover new ways to use them. I am very honored to have been invited to create this as a resource for our students and customers.
- What was your biggest obstacle in creating this book?
Perfectionism and fear. My perfectionism runs deep and is often paired with fear of doing or saying something wrong, paralyzing me from moving forward or allowing others to see me. However, my practice has certainly taught me that there is no need to be perfect. We need to wobble a little to keep our balance and breathing can get you through a lot of those tough moments.
- If you had to choose, what is your favorite pose from the guide?
Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose. This is the pose in which I have noticed the progression of my personal practice the most. Using a block under the bottom hand allows me to experience gazing up toward my top hand, something that still challenges me.
- What do you recommend to anyone using the guidebook/starting with blocks?
Go slow, breathe, and trust your body. Also, don’t worry about looking like what you see in the pictures and drop more into how you feel in the pose. You are the only person who knows what it’s like to live in your body, honor that! Oh, and play a little. There are so many ways to use the blocks that we couldn’t fit into the guide, get curious (within the limits of safety of course).
- Where do you teach?
Yoloha, The Country Club of Charleston, and private sessions
- What certifications do you have?
200Hr RYT Powerful Vinyasa Yoga, 15hr MAHA Yin Yoga, Certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Thai Yoga Assist Techniques Certified and currently working toward a Massage Therapy License.
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
In life: Dolly Parton. In yoga: Every single one of my students & All of my teachers.
- Talk about one connection you make between your asana practice and your life off of your mat.
I love the connection of balance. Balance is constantly adjusting to the moment, it’s not complete stillness and sometimes it’s super messy. As I said before, we have to wobble a little to keep balanced. My asana practice reminds me that it’s natural to always be making little adjustments on and off the mat. That stability takes a sense of humor, work and discipline. It’s ok to fall over because I’ll get back up.
- Other than yoga, what is your favorite way to spend your time?
These days you can find me working with nutrition clients, working on the homestead with the hubs, trying not to kill plants, loving on my dogs (with some occasional training), and studying for Massage Therapy School. Also, I love television, there I said it.
- Other than yoga, what is your favorite way to take care of yourself?
Yummy food, laughter, meditation, bodywork, dancing around the house (any movement really), breathing, ocean floats!
- What mantra do you live by?
Find out who you are and do it on purpose. – Dolly Parton
- What is your favorite place that you have travelled and why?
Italy – I studied abroad in Lecce for a semester in college. I was young, naive and untouched by the world. I would float in the Adriatic like I was invincible, a gift of youth and privilege. Whenever I feel like I’m trying to control too much I come back to that feeling of floating and surrendering to the flow of the waves.
- Talk about something that challenges you.
This, answering questions about myself and allowing people to see me. I am much more of a behind the scenes kind of person.
- When do you feel like you are being your true self?
When I’m laughing, smiling, playing, being silly, learning something new, and leaning into the joy of life. I love sharing a smile and getting one back in return. I have since I was very very young. It’s such a simple yet powerful gesture.
Connect with Hillary for more – @hillarysabbato