Meet Ashley Erwin - 200 Hour Certified Purna Yoga Teacher

Ashley Erwin began practicing yoga in 2001. She attended various studios in Atlanta and finally felt at home when she found All Life is Yoga. She has been a student of Rutu's since 2011 and completed her 200 hour training at All Life is Yoga in May of 2015. Ashley loves yoga and meditation and her enthusiasm and conviction in Purna yoga's potential to change lives shines through her teaching. Along with being a new part time yoga teacher, she is a new full time mother and part time CPA. When she's not doing yoga, Ashley enjoys reading, listening to music and taking long walks and runs with her daughter, Sally, in the stroller and her dog Toni Collette by her side.

Ashley is one of our most committed students. I especially love the bond we have with meditation. It has been instrumental for her and I've had the pleasure of watching her move through some intense life challenges using the meditation techniques as her rock, and though she make not think so, she was quite graceful through it all.

Join her on Friday mornings from 10-11am for an invigorating and inspiring practice. Her one regular student would also love you to join in!

Click here to view our full schedule of classes.

The Most Prominent Color is Black

The current fiasco that is our presidential race has left me feeling nauseous, so much so that I don’t have the heart to write about how much it matters that we vote this coming Tuesday. But I hope you do, here’s a link to find out where your poll location is. I thought instead I would share a piece on the pharmaceutical industry, medications, their ineffectiveness and why.  Blah blah blah…and again I felt disheartened.

And then I watched a beautiful music video from one of my favorite emcees, Kendrick Lamar. It made my heart open. A celebration of blackness and self-love feels like the most meaningful message to share right now. I needed a reminder that we're gonna be alright. Thank God for art.

Don't Have a Cow

In the Yoga Sutras, Patajali explains that the underlying obstacle to our progress in yoga is Avidya – Ignorance. There are many different forms of ignorance.  One of them being the ignorance that leads to mistaking pleasure and pain.  What we consider pleasure may very well be causing pain and vice versa. For instance, you choose to eat a beautiful, big, red apple. It’s crispy, it’s juicy, it’s delicious!  You’re proud.  You’ve done something healthy for yourself. You’ve chosen fruit over Twizzlers as your snack. However, your apple is not organic, it has wax on it, was produced with herbicides and pesticides from a factory in China.  It’s actually causing your body harm.  The pleasure you received eating it veils the inherent pain during assimilation.  Because we may be ignorant of food production and lack the sensitivity to recognize how toxins feel in our body, we experience suffering.

Conversely, you come to my yoga class and complain about how painful Gomukhasana is.  How much it hurts your shoulders, how you dread doing it.  What you experience as pain is really the body freeing tension, releasing old energy.  Underneath the surface sensation of pain, the body is feeling pleasure, joy and new sense of mobility in the shoulders.  In our ignorance, we label bliss as pain.

The practice of yoga cultivates discernment, hopefully, if that is the intention (we can just as easily cultivate more ignorance while doing yoga if there is no clarity behind our actions). We learn to distinguish what is real from unreal, Self from non-Self, permanent from impermanent and pleasure from pain.  The surface senses can be deceptive and to follow them is to be guided by five wild horses without a charioteer.  They will lead you astray.  The work in yoga is to tame the senses and listen for inner truth. Then, act on that truth.

Today’s take away: eat local, organic food, know your farmers, never, ever complain and do more yoga (Purna Yoga that is).

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose 

1. Move the upper arm shoulder blade away from the spine, up and into the body. 2. Move the bottom arm shoulder blade towards the spine, down and into the body. 3. Lift the pit of the abdomen and sternum 4. Exhale into the resistance, smile and then change sides

Practice with intelligence, practice often

**If your hands do not clasp, use a belt.  The tension between the two arms is what helps create the opening. Props are not a crutch.  Performance vs. efficacy.

Ayurvedic Turmeric Drink Recipe

Turmeric Drink:
  • 1 cup organic cow, goat, soy, nut or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon organic turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic cardamon powder
  • 1 finely crushed pepper corn (piperine helps the body assimilate curcumin, which is the healing agent in turmeric)
  • pinch of saffron, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon honey (unpasteurized, unheated, unprocessed)--optional
  1. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (heat activates the turmeric). Remove from heat until drinkable and then add honey (if using)

*remember to never heat honey or it becomes toxic

NOTE: Turmeric helps with inflammation and reduces scar tissue in the brain. Turmeric reduces Alzheimer's. When toxins build up in the brain, it begins to scar and connections and synapses begin to fail and no longer link.