Living the yogi life with Ashley Galvin
Discover her journey to wellness.
After attending her first yoga class, Ashley Galvin immediately knew that she had found her calling. Seven years on, she’s travelling the world and spreading the word about the yogi lifestyle. We chatted with the Californian-based beauty about balance, honouring yourself and living with an open heart.
I grew up in Southern California. Both of my parents were always active; my dad was a surfer and lived at the beach. I danced, did gymnastics and spent a lot of time in and around the water, which inspired my love for health, wellness and the ocean.
TAKING UP YOGA
I was 25 years old when I realised I wanted to live a healthier life, not just physically but holistically. I was lacking a connection that I knew was out there waiting for me. I attended the health exhibition called ‘Bodies’, which showcases preserved human bodies, educating the viewer on everything from the muscular system to digestion, the nervous system and much more. I realised how divinely we are made, and how much our bodies are capable of. I wanted to treat myself better and I wanted to feel better in my everyday life. I took my first yoga class a week later, and from that moment on, I knew I had found my purpose.
LIFE AS A YOGI
Yoga has honestly changed my life in every way: it’s my passion, it’s how I’ve made my closest friends and relationships, and it’s what inspires my daily life. It has made me more compassionate and patient both with others and myself. It has taught me non-judgement, knowing that everyone is on their own unique journey and that we are all doing our best.
TURNING A PASSION INTO A CAREER
After taking my first yoga class seven years ago, I knew I had started down my true life path. I dove head first, wanting to learn all I could about nutrition, heath and wellness. I had never felt so centred and conscious.
I wanted to share yoga with everyone I met and I wanted to empower others to chase their dreams and let them know they can manifest their future, as I did mine.
I live at the beach in Southern California, where I teach yoga locally, at yoga retreats and workshops all over the world and online at codyapp.com. The most rewarding part of my job is connecting with people of all ages and body types. I love seeing how empowered a person feels after class, with a smile and glow on their face.
Nature, sunshine and the ocean motivate me. I’m also inspired by other yoga teachers, students and the big culture of people who are dedicating their lives to health, wellness and fitness – being the best they can be.
Since yoga is my work, and also my passion, the lines blur. I keep myself a priority. I make sure to take time out with friends and loved ones. I travel a lot and I enjoy life. I used to be a ‘yes’ person and felt guilty for saying ‘no’. When you become depleted you can’t help anyone, and as I get older, I’ve learned that you have to take care of yourself first. Sometimes saying ‘no’ to business is saying ‘yes’ to yourself and your personal needs.
ON THE INSTAGRAM COMMUNITY
I have students from all over the world that I’ve never met in person, but through Instagram I am able to connect with them, share a part of myself and my practice. They have become my yoga students and yoga family through the teaching I do online. The yoga community on Instagram is so supportive of each other, which is similar to yogis in a regular yoga class. It’s never a competition, but always an inspiration.
ON FOOD PHILOSOPHY
When I first fell in love with yoga and health, I began researching nutrition and I devoted two years to trying every way of eating: organic, grain free, sugar free, alcohol free, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, almost all fruit, paleo, Ayurvedic and even timing my protein intake. [I did this because] I wanted to feel what was best for me instead of being told that I should eat a certain way. What I learned is that we all need something a little different and there is no one-size-fits-all. Listen to your body, what makes you feel good and the way you feel in your yoga practice or workout after eating certain foods.
MAINTAINING A HEALTHY DIET
I’m all about balance; I don’t have any restrictions in my diet. I know which foods make me feel my best and I primarily eat those. I don’t ever feel guilty for indulging. I love pasta, wine and sweets, and I also love greens, fish, vegies and whole, clean foods.
ON BODY LOVE
I begin and end each yoga practice with gratitude. [I express] gratitude for my body, how hard it works for me every day, remembering that being able to move freely in my body is the greatest blessing of all. We are given one body, so honour it, nurture it and love it. Embrace your gifts and embrace your uniqueness.
ON HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
I believe that health and happiness depend on four factors:
- Staying true to your inner voice.
- Keeping a close group of friends or family who support you and have your best interests at heart.
- Trying new things and keeping an open mind, whether that is with new foods, cultures or exercises. It’s important to roll with the punches and not stay stagnant. The only constant in life is change.
- Being physically active and moving your body regularly.
Honor yourself: it’s not selfish to take care of yourself and put your needs first. Also, never silence your inner voice – you and only you know what is best for you. You were given your body, mind and spirit for a reason. No one else will ever have what you have. No one has your unique individual gifts. Know them, respect them, and use them.