My name is Ashley McLain and I have been teaching at Soul Sweat for just over 5 years. I have loved yoga and practiced on and off since high school, but diligently the last 7 to 8 years. Initially, I came to yoga for pain relief and to work through issues caused by scoliosis and a host of injuries from running and other sports. I began with Bikram, and practiced Vinyasa and many other styles over the years. For a long time, I thought of yoga as exercise and physical therapy. I think that’s a great place to start, but, as I’ve learned, yoga is much more than exercise.
When I first came to Soul Sweat (then called Sumits) five and a half years ago, I was newly married and a brand new step mom. I had left my career to be with the kids full time, and my entire life had changed, almost overnight. I loved my new life, but I was going stir crazy and really needed something just for me. I walked into Sumits and was greeted by the previous owner, Cindy. I took her class that day, and it’s the first time I ever remember any yoga teacher telling me to just breathe. Nothing else. Just breathe and, when it felt right, to move. To listen to my body and my body alone. To take my time and do my best, whatever that meant for me. No judgement, no expectations; just me, my mat and my breath. That was the most transformative and important yoga class of my life. It catapulted me into eventually teaching and continuing my yoga education through many trainings and workshops over the last 5 years. I have branched out through additional training and practice to teach vinyasa and restorative classes, which have really transformed my teaching and personal practice. I am grateful daily that I found this studio and have had the opportunity to work with and to teach so many wonderful humans.
In my life away from the yoga studio, I love to practice yoga at home or visit other teachers and studios, take long walks and do barre classes. In my spare time (which there isn’t often much of) I enjoy cooking and baking gourmet health food, reading, needlepointing and watching BBC murder mysteries. My husband, Justin, and I love our date nights and really enjoy great, local restaurants and good wine. We love to travel, even if it’s just a short road trip. I have two awesome step-kids, Seth and Emily, who 10 and 9, and both are very into Harry Potter, board games, video games and playing sports.
I am currently in graduate school, working on a Masters in Education, with emphasis in Curriculum, specializing in history, sociology and general business… and loving every minute of it! I hope to pursue my PhD next. When I grow up (lol) I hope to be a college professor or design, research and contribute to curriculum or text books. That being said, yoga will always be an important part of my life, no matter where my ever-changing career path leads me.