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Life and Work with Asha Marie Lorensen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Asha Marie Lorensen.

So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was a competitive athlete for most of my life and found yoga during a very transformational period. While growing up, yoga was always something I did to help enhance flexibility for whatever sport I was playing at the time. I found later on that I was barely reaping the benefits of what yoga can truly offer.

I had just been laid off from my long-time job of six years, struggling with starting my own personal training business, Kick Ash Training (which never ended up taking off), and not sure where I was going to be living, let alone how I would be able to pay my rent. One day, I was working out in the gym and saw a yoga class was about to start, sweet! Just what I needed after that intense workout. During that class, I had a revelation. I turned off my mind, well, at least my ‘monkey mind’, and let my body do the talking. I showed up on my mat unapologetically where I was in THAT moment, and it all just clicked.

I left that class with a brand new perspective of myself, on life, and what I wanted. I ended my toxic relationship, I got a job, and found some really awesome roommates. My love for yoga had truly begun, and there was no reason to NOT get onto my mat after that. And that’s when Asha Marie Yoga came to light.

Has it been a smooth road?
I live in California, so there is no real such thing as a smooth road, both figuratively and literally. All jokes aside, it had its challenges. When I registered for yoga teacher training I was completely nervous. I was questioning everything. To say I seconded guessed myself daily was a bit of an understatement. It was a pretty large commitment, a 200-hour training in five months is a lot for anyone, especially since I worked a full-time job. In the first month, I realized, this was way more than just learning how to teach other people poses. I got really intimidated. I was in a room of 16 powerful women and I had to almost break myself down and get to my sole purpose. It shifted my perspective on life, my relationships with others, and mostly myself. I tapped into and healed a lot of past traumas. I broke down barriers I had set up with my self-image and lack of self-esteem. It was kind of brutal realizing I had let myself get to a point where I didn’t like who I was and worse than I had grown comfortable in being OK with that person. But there really is beauty in the breakdown. Once I stripped myself of all the things that did not serve me anymore, I had a blank canvas. I was able to say “this is who I want to be, now how do I get there”. So, I planted the seeds, I worked towards the change, I let them grow, and I did what I was capable of to always stay true to who I was along my journey. When I finally graduated from teacher training, I felt ready. Well, as ready as you can be for a brand new yoga teacher in the industry that is. I made a resume, a website, I applied to all of the studios around me who were hiring (and those that weren’t because, why not) and within a month, I had landed three classes at two different studios. It felt really good knowing my hard work paid off and that I trusted in myself and my vulnerability. Now, I’m teaching seven classes (vinyasa, prenatal, mom & baby) a week at three studios. So, trust yourself, trust your gifts, plant your small seeds of change, and let yourself grow, baby.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Asha Marie Yoga – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Ah, a question of many questions, with even more answers. Well, I am a yoga teacher but first, foremost and always, a yoga student. I practice what I preach, and usually what I teach, is what I need the most. I teach a few varieties of yoga, including vinyasa, gentle yoga, prenatal, and mom & baby yoga. All incredibly interesting in their own beautiful ways. I would say I’m drawn more towards the vinyasa style, that’s where I’m most comfortable, it’s what I grew up practicing. My students would probably tell you I’m a power vinyasa teacher in disguise because my sequencing tends to lean a little more on the “work out” side, but, a little more sweat never hurt anyone. My brand is truly me. I’m proud of myself, to be honest. Allowing myself to embody who I truly am when I teach is a gift. I’m ok with being silly, and I think it’s ok to have a little fun in yoga. Postures can be hard, and as much as you need focus to help guide you there, you can always crack a smile to make it a bit more manageable. Everyone I meet in class is one of their own journeys, whether it be spiritual, emotional, or developmental, and I try my best to honor where they are in that exact moment with compassion.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
If I could only listen to one podcast for the rest of my life, it would hands down be the CTZN Podcast with Kerri Kelly. It focuses on “having conversations at the intersection of wellbeing and justice. She asks the hard questions about who we are and who we are to one another and what’s possible when we show up for the wellbeing of the whole. The social justice warrior in me cries out “YES” with every episode. It’s truly changed my life and the way I navigate this world.

Basically any book by Brene Brown, especially Daring Greatly, taught me the beauty of vulnerability and probably helped shape myself as a yoga teacher.

I’m currently reading Sean Corn’s new book, Revolution of the Soul, and although I’m not finished yet, I recommend reading it the moment you have time, or actually, just make time.

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Image Credit:
Brandi Douglas

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