What is yoga?
“Yoga is a practice that asks us to look at ourselves and our lives so we can choose to live in alignment with our true values. The practice offers freedom, safety, and non-judgment to do this inner work. Embarking on this path is both an individual journey as well as a journey within our community and the world.”
~Ashley Josephine Zuberi
I first found yoga on a DVD in high school. It took a few years before I dabbled in classes at the gym in college. Based on the recommendation of a friend, I started going to a studio, where I found an incredible community of like-minded healthy, interesting people. This community supported me physically, socially, and spiritually and changed the course of my life.
I am grateful and lucky to have learned from many wonderful teachers over the years. I received my 200-hour Power Vinyasa training from Jason Bowman and Derise Diatta at CorePower Yoga Boulder in 2011. I went on to complete my iRest Level 1 training from Dr. Richard Miller in 2012. I learned about Ayurveda from Deepak Chopra at the Chopra Center in 2014. In 2015, I deepened my knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, and self-care with Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model Method® created by Jill Miller. I completed my 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training & Intro to Therapeutic Integration through Beloved Yoga from Jafar Alexander and Maryam Ovissi, where I also received a certificate in Yin Yoga. Over the years, I’ve been inspired and continue to learn from Kathryn Budig, Tiffany Cruikshank, and Stephanie Snyder. I will always consider myself a student first and the journey is always just beginning.
On a daily basis I am inspired by those who choose to live their lives with purpose and integrity, those who refuse to sacrifice their values based on societal pressure, and those who choose love and joy over fear and hate. I look to modern life to inspire my teachings; our own life is our very best teacher.
As a yoga educator I teach group yoga classes, private yoga sessions, workshops on specialty topics, and trainings for those interested in deepening their personal practice and teaching yoga. These offerings are available in person and online. If you like to be challenged, like to think, like to learn, and are constantly trying to better yourself, then I’d love to work with you! If you’re looking for a quick-fix workout, I’m not your gal.
I love, love, love teaching about yoga philosophy and my asana teaching is pretty alignment-focused. You might go a little slower in my classes, but I’ll still make you work hard. I use anatomical terms and Sanskrit, so although I have plenty of beginners in my classes, I don’t treat adults like children and I don’t like hand-holding. I’ll help you out, but I’ll also give you space to figure it out. I know you can do it.
To meet me in class, check out my class schedule.
To work with me one-on-one, schedule a free consultation.
To deepen your practice, head on over to my online yoga studio.
The Longer, More Personal Story
The first time I remember it happening was when I broke my femur. Yep, I managed to break the hardest bone to break in your body by skiing into a tree. A few hours later, as my leg was taped to a cardboard brace, my whole body started to shake uncontrollably. I couldn’t stop my body from moving my broken leg because of all the shaking. Not only had I lost all control of my body, but the pain was excruciating and I didn’t know how to make it stop. This was my first taste of a panic attack and I was 14.
As the years went on, the panic returned often, most notably when I was feeling ill or I was around someone else who was. I suffered from an extreme phobia of throwing up, not surprisingly because it represents a total loss of bodily control. You know how some people like to just throw up and feel better and others fight it until the end? I’m one of the fighters. And I’ll let my body shake uncontrollably for what seems like hours to avoid the experience. Yes, I would rather go through agony for hours, then agony for a minute or so. The shaking is always the worst in my thigh.
College was an interesting time for me because there are a lot of people who throw up in college. I avoided parties like the plague and buried myself in schoolwork instead. Always an overachiever, I got involved so I didn’t have to remind myself that I had nowhere to go on a Friday night. My overachievement, naturally, caused me a lot of stress. I turned to yoga to help calm me down and keep me in shape after completing P90X.
I’d always wanted to be a writer when I was growing up. As I was getting ready to apply to college it was evident (for some reason) that I couldn’t just graduate from college and be a “writer” so I chose to pursue journalism instead. I soon found out journalism wasn’t for me, and switched to the public relations/marketing side of things. The year was 2010 and I was getting ready to graduate from college in an extremely poor job market. I had convinced myself that I would be an epic failure if I didn’t find myself a job before I graduated, so I went on tons of informational interviews and upped my networking to make it happen. I was also working 10-20 hours a week, was the President of a co-ed Honors Fraternity, and was taking the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my life (it was a PR class). Needless to say, my stress levels were out of control.
One night, as I was going to sleep, I started to feel extreme pain in my left chest. It hurt to breathe. I thought I was having a heart attack. I took a risk and waited until the morning to go to the campus health center. After seeing 3 or 4 different doctors and undergoing every electrical heart health test known to man, I got my diagnosis: there was nothing wrong with me.
This infuriated me because I was constantly in pain every time I laughed, every time I breathed — I couldn’t even practice yoga, the one thing I knew how to do that would calm me down. On my 21st birthday I went to the bar with my friends clutching my ribcage and reminding everyone not to make me laugh because I was in so much pain. There was definitely something wrong with me. And I had to heal my Self.
I got on my mat anyway. I distinctly remember wincing in pain as I tried to power through my poses. It wasn’t working. Yoga taught me how to calm down, and then when breathing and movement couldn’t help me anymore, yoga taught me how to slow down and honor my body to give it the space it needed to heal. I showed up and did what I could. Sometimes I didn’t show up at the studio at all, but I got rid of things in my life that were causing too much stress. I got involved in the community and found support. Incidentally, that solved my job problem, because I ended up getting a marketing job with the yoga studio. I started a cleanse program and dove into learning more about yoga philosophy and the yoga lifestyle. I changed my life, and my pain went away without a single prescription medication.
A few years later, a big decision loomed. My boyfriend of 6 years was starting some extensive military training in a small town in Texas and he wanted me to go with him. Leaving Boulder, CO, would mean leaving my job, my community, my studio and everything I knew — especially my lifestyle. But there was something inside me that knew I needed to go. Over the course of 3 years, we moved from Boulder to Texas to Arizona to Washington DC and yoga helped me gain control of my life when it seemed like everything was out of my control. It helped me stay consistent, stick to a routine, and have faith. It helped me find a supportive community no matter where I went. And it helped me find myself in the places where I least expected it (ahem, Wichita Falls, TX).
I started practicing yoga to stay in shape and release some stress. What I learned was how to love my life. How to have faith. How to find your community of people who support you and love you unconditionally. How to get back control.
If it weren’t for yoga, I’d still be hopelessly in pain.
Today, it is my mission to help busy Type-A overachiever women like me gain back control of their lives, live pain-free, and love the life they want to live through yoga lifestyle practices.
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