Many people desire to begin a yoga practice, but hesitate because of fear, doubt, uncertainty, and/or anxiety. Stepping onto the mat for the first time can be an intimidating experience because of the expectations one builds in one’s mind, specifically about the asana (physical) practice. It isn’t until later in the journey that one realizes this is where the practice begins. As one continues to step onto the yoga mat, becoming more familiar with the physical practice, one begins to understand that yoga is less about the shapes the body makes and more about the connection one builds with oneself. As one’s practice continues to evolve, one realizes that the practice is not confined solely to the yoga mat, that it continues off of the mat, that the practice and the posture never ends.
This is much the case for one member of the Bristol Yoga Teacher Community. This individual serves as an example to all practitioners about the true nature of a yoga practice, that it is more than touching your toes. First coming to the Bristol Yoga Community as a student, this individual, as a glowing momma finely-tuned to her internal compass, chose to follow her instincts and enrolled in the Bristol Yoga Teacher Training Program originally with no intention of teaching. Being a full-time lawyer, mother, and wife as well as a representative for the growing Rodan and Fields community, who could blame her? Fortunately for us at Bristol Yoga, this radiant being chose to take her balancing act off of the mat joining the teaching community.
This joyfully infectious individual is… Ashley Boyer!
Here are a few questions we asked Ashley to help you get to know a little more about why we love her.
1. How did you find yoga and what inspired you to pursue teaching?
I did yoga sporadically, as in once a year may be, until Spring of 2013 when a family friend told me about a lady named Victoria Hanson teaching yoga out of her living room once a week. It was near my house so I contacted her, showed up, and I was hooked. It was totally random, but I trusted it, followed through, and showed up to this stranger's home for yoga. I followed Victoria to Bristol yoga once a got the nerve to finally go :) It was August of 2013, and I was pregnant with my second child. Again, I fell in love, not just with yoga, but with Bristol Yoga Center. I am twelve hours from my home base, and since moving here, I never really found my niche, my people. From August to December 2013, I came to yoga anytime I had the chance. I felt a change in perspective in me, a shift, a space that I had never discovered or that I had lost years ago. At 9 months pregnant and about to pop, I pulled the trigger and signed up for teacher training. I had no plans to teach; all I knew deep down in my gut was that I needed to know more about this thing and these people that were changing my life. My husband is the hero in this story as to pursue this crazy gut feeling, he had an infant and 2-year old to handle. Me doing yoga or finding yoga would not have happened without his unwavering support. I will stop there as the tears starting to form is preventing me from answering these questions. :)
I pursued teaching after the teacher training because that training gives you a gift. To keep that gift alive, I have to share it.
2. As a mother, a lawyer, an R&F rep, AND part time yoga teacher, how does your yoga practice manifest in your daily life? What becomes your daily practice?
Yoga in my daily life shows up more in the mundane, the day-to-day living. My home practice is meditation on my mat or in the bathroom when I have a few minutes between life happening around me. YOGA IS LIFE. LIFE IS YOGA. It is so much more than asanas; it has changed my life and is my life perspective in everything from changing a diaper, talking to a client about her case and options, leading my RF team, being a wife, a friend, a human, a soul in this world. I honestly don't see how I made it this far in life without it.
3. When you're not lawyer-ing, repping for Rodan and Fields or teaching, what are you doing?
When I am not lawyering, marketing for R&F, or teaching, I am with my husband and two boys. They are my world. Legos, diapers, tents, skinned knees, messy, crazy little boys. I also love to read and with the pace in my world, I am in love with audible and library books on cd :)
4. What is a book/quote that has found its way to you that continues to hold true in your life?
I have too many books and quotes to list. Right now, I am all over some Brene Brown and Marianne Williamson. My go-to daily read is the Bhagavad Gita. One of my favorite quotes that inspires me is, “You are never too old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
5. What do you hope to teach others through yoga?
I never thought I would teach, but teacher training rocked my world and woke me up. I hope to teach others that the light is within them; it is not found anywhere but here in you. For years or may be all my life, I held the subconscious or not so subconscious belief that I will be happy when ....(I graduate college, I live here, I don't live there, I finish law school, I get married, I have X number of bedrooms, I move home to Louisiana, I leave here, I get this job..etc.) Yoga, or me finding yoga and allowing it to change my life, changed my life. I want to show people that if I can find it or strive to live yoga, they too can find that undisturbed peace within themselves. Come as you are where you are.
If you need help bringing balance into your life or are new to the practice and are just becoming acquainted with your mat, join Ashley on a Saturday morning at 10:00 AM for Yoga for Everybody. This loving momma has a smile that can put any anxieties at ease.
Feature Teacher Presented by Marcy Hullander