Ash is an inspiring young woman filled with wise words and a beautiful soul. Here she talks about her life and all things yoga.
Ash, on your website you say you spent most of your 20 something years in a not so amazing place – until now.
Transitioning out of high school into uni was a very interesting time for me. So many changes were occurring and after working so hard in year 12 and not really spending any time celebrating my success, I just moved on to the next goal on the list. I never really took the time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. This was a pattern that seemed to consistently show up in all aspects of my life. As a result, it started to wear me down. I started to lose my footing, feeling ungrounded and disconnected with the world. I felt lost, desolate and out of control. It started inwardly, with my mind, then body, then started to manifest in my outside world experience. It took some time to firstly become aware of this, then secondly, take action and do something about it. Yoga was a huge factor in bridging this gap and bringing me back to a more stable, serene state.
And when did your journey to a better place begin?
When I first started to regularly practise yoga. Before that, I barely recognised myself. I was operating from a space of what I thought was expected of me. Engaging in things ‘because I thought I had to’ rather than ‘because I want to’. Yoga and meditation really brought me back to me – with no make up, cover ups, or show to put on. The truth. Rawness. Authenticity. Then I had to start the work of really falling in love with me.
How do you feel today?
I feel amazing. For the most part. Every day is a beautiful new day. And as such, many things come up that seem challenging, or that I know I have to move through in order to grow. The lessons I have endured over the years have provided me with a the determination that now if I fall down I can dust myself off and keep moving.
How was your yoga teacher training experience with Bikram himself over in the U.S?
The Bikram training was the moment I really started to intensify my yoga experience. I learnt a lot at that training. More about the human condition, rather than anything else. I went over wanting to expand my yoga practise and it led me to other styles of yoga which I started to delve into. The training was intense, but the transformation was unlike anything I have ever experienced or could adequately put into succinct words.
What is it about Bikram Yoga that resonates with you over other forms of yoga?
I love all types of yoga, but what really intrigued me about Bikram yoga all those years ago, was the heat. I really identify and resonate with the health and therapeutic benefits of practising in a heated environment. Whilst I recognize that it does not need to be so hot, I do believe the body performs better in a warmer climate, therefore, a warm room does wonders when it comes to extending and uplifting ones’ personal yoga practise. Scientists are beginning to discover the physical attributes of training in the heat, but for me most importantly what it does mentally – it simultaneously challenges and strengthens the mind to a more calmer, balanced state.
How often do you practice yoga yourself?
Every day I will make the time to practise yoga and meditate. If I cannot make it to a class, I will do so in my own room on my mat that sits next to my bed. They say to become a master at anything, you need to do at least 10,000 hours – I know I’m well underway with this when it comes to yoga!
Tell us about you’re yoga retreats.
I have led some retreats in the past which have been a very interesting learning experience and I’ve met some amazing people along the way! I have been fortunate enough to travel the world teaching yoga. In Melbourne and Sydney and overseas locations including: Bali, Vienna, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Thailand and LA.
At the moment, I am underway with developing a yoga practise that addresses the the physical ailments that most people suffer from. As well as expanding the mindfulness of those who come to practise.
What inspired you to become a Doctor of Chiropractor?
I started off being persuaded into studying chiropractic, however, never really knew why. The first two years of the course I didn’t enjoy – and hence, took the year off at the same time I was awarded a full scholarship to go over to Palm Springs in the USA to start my yoga training. After taking that year to teach and experience the world, I came back, passionate as ever to rediscover my love of the body and the nervous system. I started to realise, upon getting treated by the top Chiropractors in Melbourne, that there was something very interesting about what they were doing. I started to test their treatment in the yoga room, to see if what they were saying, was actually having an effect on my body. I was absolutely blown away by the results as my yoga practise went through the roof, and so, went back to finishing the five year full time Masters course.
What does chiropractic work do to the patient’s body and how can it help?
Chiropractic is a drug-free, safe and natural form of health care that works with the body’s own natural healing capabilities. Optimal health is dependent on your spine and nervous system working at its absolute best. By fine tuning the flow between the brain and the spine, chiropractors can effectively assist in recalibrating your nervous system to improve your health, strengthen your body, and improve your every day posture. In that sense, you can function at your best!
Blueberries and green tea. You may say I am addicted!
Who inspires you?
All passionate people. When I’m in the company of people whose vision is so big, so exaggerated and so inspired, that in turn inspires me. Passionate people leave me feeling excited, uplifted and invigorated!