The first class I took with her was made up almost exclusively by yoga teachers. I was squarely in the category of “not yoga teacher.” As a writer, I usually feel a little proud that I have any modest physical capacities whatsoever. But that day I was very much out of my depth. When I introduced myself to Abbie afterward, I think my performance in class made a bit more sense to her.
Finding the right person to profile depends a great deal on the subject’s willingness to open themselves to you. You’ve got to be ok with a nosy inquisitor asking about nearly every aspect of your life. In a profile, I never want to read just about the person’s career. I want to know how their upbringing and choices and relationships have all contributed to what their life looks like today. I always preface these conversations saying I will ask you about everything, and you don’t have to tell me anything. Abbie was beyond generous with allowing me to shadow her, speak to her friends, students, and family, and patient in unpacking the intricacies of the theory-heavy yoga she teaches. Several times, I asked her to explain to me as if I were a Golden Retriever. Plus, just about everything she says is hilarious and quotable. She was the ideal profile subject.