Find Your Voice; Speak Your Truth: Ashley Mastronardi

Mastronardi, Ashley (1 of 2)“When I first started practicing at Yoga Body Shop, I remember I couldn’t focus in class. My eyes would be looking all around the room at the other people, or just, anything. It was during the time I was taking my hardest classes, I was stressed, didn’t know what the future held for me, and I was just super absorbed in the idea of having to find a legit job. Before yoga I was very self-absorbed, and wanted to be involved in everything with my friends and do all the ‘cool’ things. I know people joke about it, but I had such seriously bad FOMO (fear of missing out) with everything.

In school, I never spoke up in class. I wouldn’t want to raise my hand because, even though I knew what the answer was right, I simply didn’t want to have everyone look at me or hear my voice. I had the opportunity to work on this shyness and being okay in the uncomfortable in our yoga teacher training. In the training, I was one of the first to really go up and share something personal, and I remember shaking in front of the group. My throat was clogging up and I started crying, thinking ‘I can’t do this.’

Mastronardi, Ashley (2 of 2)

I was actually just thinking about this the other day- I never used to be like this. Since our yoga teacher training, it feels like I’m not the same person from when I started. I would have no problem talking in front of everyone now. I just don’t care, or get nervous how I used to!

Being up there feels good. It feels like I’m teaching someone something that can potentially change his or her life. I’m playing a role in helping them fix their own self, you know? There’s a reason why they came. Maybe it was just for working out, but some people have legit sh*t that’s going on, and they let it out when they come and do yoga. It’s great to know that I can help someone change his or her life like how yoga changed mine.

When we went to teacher training I wanted so badly to be told that I was doing good and improving, but now that I’m here and in it I’m not affected by whether or not someone liked my class.

It’s such a 180-degree turn from where I started when all I cared about was what people thought. Wow, that’s really cool!”

Follow Ashley’s story on Instagram: @ashmastronardi

Check out our other inspiring stories of everyday yoga practitioners and please, #ShareToEmpowerALL ! We strive to empower others to get vulnerable, be inspired to start a yoga practice of their own to bring in hope & possibility.

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