Of the many yoga studios on Cape Cod, and the many yoga teachers, you have to be pretty special to stand out, and Jill Abraham of Power Yoga of Cape Cod does.
From its initial launch last year, the East Harwich studio has been busy. Jill was thrilled when Pilates teacher, Petra Ledkovsky decided to come on board to work with clients on reformers, and with approximately eight other experienced teachers, there is something here for everyone.
“The beautiful synergy of Pilates and yoga at Power Yoga of Cape Cod is a tremendous benefit to our students,” says Petra. “Pilates is rooted in the yoga tradition; Joseph Pilates, the creator of Pilates, studied and practiced yoga, so it makes perfect sense for these two complimentary practices that share many of the same principles to share the same space. It is a sincere privilege to teach at this studio that brings the best of these mind-body disciplines together in one sacred space.”
Jill Abraham exudes health and happiness. She practically glows with good energy. If doing yoga can do that for you, no wonder people have been flocking here.
Jill, a 500 hour certified instructor, took an interesting and winding path to yoga studio owner. She lived in New York for many years, living a lifestyle that was far from healthy.
“I used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day and drink lots of coffee. I was always athletic, so I continued running even after I picked up these habits,” she says. “I would go for a three mile run every day that was miserable. I would just check out. I’d put my walkman on, be completely out of breath, and push my body beyond what it could do just to finish.”
Jill began studying yoga at Jivamutki Yoga Studio in New York City in 1998, and graduated from the Natural Gourmet Cookery School, also in New York City, 1999.
“When I started yoga, and started breathing and listening to my body, it was like a light went on,” she continues. “I began to respect where my body was at each moment of every practice. The habits of smoking – and even coffee, disappeared. Not because I willed it to happen, but because it just no longer fit in my life. A lot of what I would say were ‘unhealthy’ habits just sort of disappeared, effortlessly.”
Jill feels that yoga can offer the same health benefits for people who are consistent in their practice.
“There are very practical reasons for coming,” she says. “Yoga can help you feel better in your body, you’re not so stiff. You can actually move.”
Nutrition is another component of a healthy lifestyle that Jill is passionate about sharing with her clients. She had a vegan baked goods business called Simple Treats with her sister, Ellen, from 2001-2004 based out of Eastham. She says she still often bakes for events at the studio like potlucks or workshops.
“I believe good health is about taking responsibility and trusting yourself,” she says while perched on a yoga block in her tranquil and warm yoga studio. “I want to take my health into my own hands; food is one way to do that, which is a reason why I offered a nutrition class last spring.”
A long-time vegan, Jill’s five-week nutrition class had her working with students to change their diets and move toward a healthier way of life.
“We did it by elimination,” she says. “I helped them week by week to get rid of sugar, meat and dairy. They got to see, by doing it slowly, that they could make big changes. Spring was a perfect time to do this, I’m thinking of doing it next year as well.”
The space at Power Yoga of Cape Cod is warm and welcoming. The lobby of the studio is open and airy and is a place where Jill carries an assortment of yoga wear, cards, and various yoga paraphernalia for her clients.
During her first winter Jill offered about 24 classes a week, but during the summer months she’s added about 10 more to accommodate summer residents and tourists.
There are two studios – one that houses various Pilates reformers, the other a large, open, peaceful space for yoga and mat Pilates classes. The wooden floor has just enough bounce to offer both support and cushioning when you’re on your mat during class.
“All the teachers at Power Yoga of Cape Cod are passionate about the work they do and the service we are providing,” she says. “Yoga has changed the lives of so many people, even the most skeptical. One may not think that it could be so powerful and so effective on as many levels as it is, but once they get on the mat and commit to a routine, they will see the transformational power of the practice.”
Power Yoga of Cape Cod
1 Auston Rd.
(Off Rt. 137, Next to Subway)
Harwich, MA 02645
Written by CANDACE HAMMOND
Photography by DAN CUTRONA
Jill’s 8 Reasons to Practice Yoga
1. Builds strength, muscle tone and flexibility
2. Reduces stress
3. Reduces chronic lower back pain
4. Increases weight loss
5. Regulates all the major systems of the body including the digestive, circulatory, immune, endocrine and nervous system
6. Helps people with asthma
7. Helps with depression
8. Builds confidence and self-esteem