Ashley Turner

Ashley Turner
Ashley Turner

Ashley Turner is not your run-of-the-mill yoga teacher – her classes are steeped in wisdom and soul, so you'll leave class feeling that something within you has shifted. She is able to hold the space in such a way due to her enviable resume, which spans from being a depth psychotherapist to touring the globe with rock stars – as their yoga teacher.

What makes your style of teaching unique?

I'm deep. I'm not a "handstand teacher." My teaching is a strong vinyasa flow fused with the deeper spiritual and psychological teachings of the practice. I emphasize self-inquiry, radical honesty and a well-rounded practice that usually includes chanting mantras, a brief discourse and meditation.

What's the most FAQ you get being a yoga teacher?

Because I'm also a mind-body psychotherapist, people always ask me: "What's yoga psychology?" I find this so ironic because yoga is a psychology. Yoga psychology is to see yourself as a whole – body, mind, energy, soul – understand how these various realms work together, affect each other and how to optimize each to create more happiness and joy.

What's the strangest thing a student of yours did, said or wore in your class?

I had a guy coming to class consistently with the worst body odor. It was so great to have him in the studio every week, extremely dedicated to his practice, but finally I had to ask him to bathe appropriately before coming to class. It took me a few weeks to build up the courage to say something, but it was definitely worth it when I finally did!

What's the most yogically incorrect, or stereotypical thing you do as a yoga teacher?

I rarely plan my classes. I do have an idea of the theme I'll work with, but I've never been one for sequencing ahead of time. I find my creativity is spurred during the class itself. It's an alchemy and I'm always responding to the moment.

Which profession would your alter ego choose and why?

I would LOVE to come back as a singer/songwriter and dynamic performer. I was an actress for several years in Hollywood, working in independent films (nothing you've ever seen!), but I've always loved the idea of rocking a musical performance.

Who or what inspires your practice and your teaching?

My practice inspires my practice. When I'm not practicing yoga and meditation, I notice more self-critical, insecure and anxious thoughts. Most mornings, I get up for my personal sadhana, an hour before I begin my workout or work. I do shat karma (jala neti, eye washing), make a cup of black tea (with honey and cream), read from a spiritual book (currently: Rod Stryker's The Four Desires) and then meditate for 30 minutes. I try to get a full asana practice in 3-4 times a week and love taking from other teachers to be nurtured and receive their creativity.

Comments

Very Inspirational

Wow! Thank you for the awesome interview with Ashley Turner. Very Inspirational.

Yogically Incorrect

So glad I am not the only who dosen't PLAN my class, I like using intutition and allowing the energy of the class/people to lead me... Yogically Incorrect, I might get that on a T-Shirt. :)

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