You might recognise Ashley Galvin as the super bendy and flexible yogi on Instagram. She is a mum, wellness advocate and instructor for Alo Yoga’s Alo Moves yoga series. She fell in love with the practice at the age of 25 and credits her passion for wellness to the healthy lifestyle of her parents, growing up between the beach and mountains of California.
Thriving off active living and being outdoors, Ashley began teaching yoga in 2011 and now travels the world hosting yoga classes and workshops, dedicated wholeheartedly to empowering others through the benefits of this ancient practice and how it can fit into this modern world.
We wanted to find out more about Ashley’s inspiring way of life, so here, she shares with Sporteluxe what exactly this entails—from the foods she eats and the ways she moves her body to her approach to self-care and the lessons she wants to pass down to her gorgeous daughter, Koa (who, FYI, is no stranger to a downward dog at 11 months old!).
Tell us, where did your passion for yoga stem from?
In the first yoga class that I ever took, I had an overwhelming feeling that this was it, this was the thing I had been missing in my life. This was what “home” felt like. I was in love and hooked from the very beginning.
Have you always been inspired to live a healthy lifestyle?
Yes. I grew up with both of my parents always being active and health conscious. My Mom always had a veggie garden in our backyard and my Dad has always lived at the beach and surfed while I was young. I was born in 1984 so the fitness industry was more about weight lifting and jazzercise. I use to watch my Mom’s Jane Fonda workout VHS when I was 4 years old instead of cartoons. Growing up in that environment definitely played a big role in how I take care of myself now.
How would you best describe your nutrition/healthy eating philosophy?
We all have different bodies and require slightly different diets. I don’t believe in one size fits all. I have spent years trying everything from vegan, process free, raw, high protein. You name it. Ultimately it taught me to keep it simple. Listen to your body and eat what makes you feel good. Eat for health and nutrition but allow yourself to indulge once and a while. Food should be nutritious but also fun.
What does a typical day on a plate look like for you?
Avocado toast with micro greens
Or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
Fresh Fish and veggie OR pasta bolognese (my favorite)
What is your ultimate fave smoothie combo?
Blue algae powder (I use blue majik from E3live)
Collagen peptide powder
Apart from yoga, what other workouts do you enjoy?
I only practice yoga. At home in my self-practice, I will add reps of strong power yoga moves, or extra core work, but it is still very much yoga based and in line with the style of yoga I teach. Check out www.alomoves.com to take my class and see what I’m talking about.
What are some of your favourite yoga teachings and how do they translate into everyday life?
Svadhyaya—Self Study. I have this tattooed down my side. It is the 4th Niyama. I am always looking inward learning why I feel a certain way, why I act a certain way and how I might grow and better myself. This is a daily practice.
Pratyahara—withdrawing of the senses.
To me, I translate this off the mat into being non-reactive. This can be a tough one for me. I am a Scorpio and naturally passionate. I can be quick to react and speak my mind. Through yoga I’ve learned that even though the emotion is still there, it doesn’t have to control you.
What is the most amazing place you’ve ever practised yoga?
In Bali, I was co-leading a teacher training and every morning I did my self-practice to the sunrise overlooking the ocean.
Most bizarre/random place!?
A rooftop not meant for yoga or even hanging out! I was travelling and space was limited and I saw an opportunity for space and an uninterrupted practice in the middle of a city.
What is your favourite yoga pose and why?
Can I have two?
1. Handstand is a pose that I have worked really hard on and always feel I have room to grow on. So the effort put into the pose makes it mean more.
2. Any forward fold or hamstring stretch. My body just craves it.
Favourite holiday destination and next on your bucket list?
A favorite is hard to choose. Tulum is magical and a quick easy flight from CA. So is Hawaii. Bali is special because it’s where I met my husband. Too hard to choose! Next up is New Zealand. It is where my husband is from and I haven’t even been! We will take our daughter once she can handle a long flight.
What does wellness mean to you and how do you practice self-care?
Wellness is when I am taking care of me as a whole. Not just indulgences that my mind might crave. It’s eating healthy and listening inward. It’s keeping a yoga practice even when I’m feeling lazy, it’s creating time for a bath to relax my mind. Self-care is making sure you are fulfilling your needs, mind, body and soul.
What are the three most important things in your life that you prioritise?
Family time, yoga (staying active), self-care.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you would pass on to your baby girl?
Listen to your heart. The outside world will try to influence you for the good or bad, but you are always your best teacher.
I’m happiest when…
I see my daughter smile and hear her sweet giggle. No matter what is going on, when she is happy I know I’m doing a good job.