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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.