When Abigail DeVine walks into the room clad in all white with bespoke adornments (usually including a fierce face-chain), there’s a breath of fresh, energized air that flows with her. On the dance floor at many a Burning Man community party, she moves with a power and elegance that reflects not only her fiery soul, but also her understanding of body and energy work.
And that’s no wonder: She’s a sought-after yoga teacher, sound healer and coach in both LA and NYC, packing rooms in her mesmerizing sound journeys and helping clients privately, as well, on both coasts.
Working to help others unlock blocks and move toward deeper self-connection lies at the heart of DeVine’s mission, and it stems from her own journey: DeVine’s childhood was spent in Manila, Philippines, mainly in impoverished conditions. Since her mother left to work in the US when she was just five years old, DeVine remembers growing up with little guidance, focusing simply on survival.
Moving to the US at 17, she didn’t even speak English. But, through determination and a keen eye for the Universe at work, DeVine found her own divine path, which always centered on giving back. Starting with the shamanistic tools she witnessed in her homeland, DeVine has spent her life adding to her treasure trove of knowledge and modalities. Read on to hear more from this healer.
SBS: When did you start teaching studying and teaching yoga?
AD: While living in Tempe, AZ, in 2000, I was working at a chiropractic office. The doctor I was working for took me to a yoga class, which was a mix of Bikram and hot Vinyasa. It was the most amazing experience. I had had knee pain from running, but the lack of impact in yoga and ability to look at how judgment rose up in my mind changed everything for me. Even though it was so hard and challenging, it took me away from everything and my monkey mind. I immediately tried unlimited yoga for one week, and then signed up for yoga five times a week.
Then, I was traveling around the United States, and I was also studying yoga. I landed in LA, and I got my first certification in Bikram in 2003. I love the benefits of yoga, and I wanted to share it. I was so insecure and traumatized from abuse at a young age. I was still sharing the same energy, thinking I wasn’t good enough. But I studied so hard in the teacher training that I rocked it. It was the first real reward I ever had, and it changed me.
In 2003, I moved to NY and started teaching there. I met the woman who owns Bode NYC, and she hired me to teach at four of her locations. I had come from the jungle, and there I was teaching 50 people at once! I had no fear.
SBS: What has been your journey in adding modalities like sound healing and coaching to your work?
AD: While teaching in NYC, I started learning about different modalities. Three years in, I discovered bodywork and massage. I became fascinated, as I am with any mind-body healing. I started studying and traveling to learn Thai massage, Reiki, tantra and so on.
It was about six years of this intensity. Then, I started thinking: To serve and be effective as a yoga teacher, body healer ad energy worker, I needed to know myself more. What is my purpose? Why am I here? I had a challenging, dramatic childhood, and I knew I needed to serve others after that. But, who was Abigail?
So, from 2007 to 2012 I spent my time, energy and money on a spiritual quest. I was in Thailand for 25 days twice a year, alone in solitude, learning to go deep inside, purifying every single trauma I’ve had. I learned more about how my mind works and how to listen to my spirit guides. All told, I did 11 dietas in the jungle, which move you away from indulgences to connect to your true self. Afterward, I could help people more with guidance.
I help them see what’s holding them back. The work I do is straightforward. We go deep to the core, and there’s no wasting time. You will not be the same when you leave.
SBS: When did you discover sound healing?
AD: A little more than three years ago, I went to India to study. A friend of mine had told me to go see a practitioner of Tibetan singing bowls. I wanted to get an appointment, but that takes a month to get! I had to let it go, and the moment I did, I ran into a good friend of mine I used to study Buddhism with. She then told me I needed to meet this other person from Nepal who is master of sound healing. I asked for his info, but each time I called, he didn’t answer: At any moment in Nepal, the electricity can go out for hours! Again, I decided to just stay in the moment, knowing I would do it if it was meant to be. On my last day, I called him again, and he answered the phone. He had been in the middle of a session, but he answered anyway. He told me there must be something special about me, because he never does that. I asked if her had time to teach me, and he said yes; the next day I flew to Nepal.
Even though English is not his first language, when you are around him, you fall in love with his essence. You want to inhale his energy and learn from him, and I did. He taught me one-on-one, and he also picked my Tibetan bowls out for me based on my energy.
Now, from what I’ve learned, I offer group sessions and also one-on-one sessions created for a specific client: DeVine Sound Journeys.
SBS: What’s your unique approach?
AD: One of the main differences between myself and other practitioners is how I’m intertwined with my bowls: My teacher used my Vedic birthday and my frequency, and he infused it into all the bowls. So, my bowls and I are connected. When I do my healing, I use my mantra, only given to me, and it resonates into the bowls. In privates, that opens the door to the client I’m with.
SBS: What are your tips for a group sound healing?
AD: First, come in with an open mind. Don’t expect anything. I ask for everyone to be open and receptive to unfamiliar things. Don’t stay in your mind and thoughts. That blocks the work. You might experience peace and joy, you might feel like you need to cry, and you might feel relief, all from different frequencies and vibrations.
SBS: What does sound meditation provide to listeners? What makes it so special?
AD: Tibetan bowls were used for healing in ancient times, and monks also use it to connect with the idea of ‘emptiness.’ So, when you hear the sound of the strike on the bowl, you feel the same energy as the Om you might say. That Om energy comes from before your were born and even before our ancestors. Om was first language of the universe, and for some, it’s called God. We are all made by vibration. Every single thing is full of vibration.
You can also think of it like this: Your body is made more than half water. There’s water inside the singing bowl, and it moves. So, when you lay down in a group session, and you quiet your mind and thoughts, you allow the water and your water vibrations to move together. They work together. I have worked with clients with a variety of issues from cancer to bipolar disorder, and it’s a magnificent tool. When you move around frequencies toward the body, it’s like a miracle. I simply become the vessel for that.
SBS: What do people receive in a more figurative sense?
AD: Clients are receiving the alpha and beta that comes when you remove yourself from the mind and worry. You can tap into the space of alpha and beta, in between sleep and awake. That state of consciousness is closer to that essence of presence, and it’s connected to everything. By learning how to let go and release the things that have been there for so long, you allow your true essence, your divine, to come out.
SBS: What is your own wellness routine?
AD: Monday through Friday, the morning is my time for my solitude silence, my meditation and yoga practice. I need quiet time: no TV and no talking.
I also eat healthy foods and am mindful about what I do and when. I just had hip surgery, and I used meat to heal my body faster. Going dancing is also key. I’m always giving, but when I’m dancing, that’s my time for me.
SBS: What wellness trends do you wish would go away?
AD: I only wish synthetic vitamins would go away! But they keep selling it. They’re not helpful!
SBS: What meditation and sound meditation practices can someone try alone?
AD: You can use your own bowl and enter a state of meditation. Simply strike it and listen to the sound. Or, use YouTube to find programs that guide you. Also, try things like walking barefoot, allowing Mother Earth to rejuvenate you.
Abigail’s NYC and LA Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Café Gratitude in LA, Peacefood in NYC
Nightlife Spot: The Brooklyn Mirage or any party thrown by Ebb & Flow production crew!
Fun Activity: Yoga or dancing
Calming Activity: Walking barefoot in Central Park
Yoga Studio: Bode NYC
Athleticwear: Shakti Activewear
Books: How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach
Abigail’s Sticky Be Mantra: Be Mindful: The moment you become mindful, you embody ‘be kind’ and ‘be bold’ also. You can choose where you want to be. You can stay in your old habit and pattern or you can be mindful.
I also like Be Active. I would love everyone to activate their own light. If you can actively listen to your soul and conscious, the more you can let the light shine.
The best, zaniest part of being Abigail: Being myself. I say the things that not many people would usually say. I shock people.