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Slowing Down With Kicking Asana

A California yogi walks us through conscious living, wellness & self care

Kicking Asana in our Teeki Top
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We need more people spreading this message of love, conscious living, and healing especially now, so I do everything I can to help others develop their voice and reach people globally.

Ava, could you give us a brief biography about yourself and what you do?

 

Southern California born and raised, I moved down to San Diego after high school to start working right away. I fell quickly into the corporate life working at a few well-known marketing agencies over the span of five years and was constantly striving for a more prestigious title. Unfortunately, this led me to develop really unhealthy patterns and incredibly high-stress levels. I was very unhappy and had migraines every other week that lasted up to three days. Luckily, I had begun integrating yoga into my life and had become more aware of the way my body spoke to me, so I chose to take a step back and re-evaluate what was important and how I wanted to lead my life.

 

I decided a year ago that I wanted to pursue a more conscious life and become more deeply connected with culture, the environment and myself. I enrolled in a 200-hr Vinyasa teacher training and launched my blog Kicking Asana. I planned to write about yoga, but as I went through my teacher training I knew that there was so much more under the surface that needed to be said. About personal development, sustainability, and about how we can shape our lives.

 

Fast forward to now, I’ve had the abundant fortune to have grown a beautiful audience of incredible people across the world that inspire me every day. I work with different sustainable lifestyle brands and fair trade companies through Kicking Asana while also integrating my marketing background
to help wellness professionals and healers find a name for themselves online.

 

We need more people spreading this message of love, conscious living, and healing especially now, so I do everything I can to help others develop their voice and reach people globally.

Kicking Asana in Our Teeki Top
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Why do you think yoga and conscious living go hand in hand?

 

Yoga was my gateway to conscious living. I firmly believe that in order to give back to the world you must first learn how to love and give to yourself. Yoga is a way to do that. You become so intimately aware of your mind, body, and soul in yoga and you fill yourself with love. You start to look at the things that enter your body and surround you. You become aware of your emotions and the way different things impact you. It gets to a point where you actively seek better ways of living. Whether that means your diet or the way you spend your money, yoga helps you develop that awareness of “this is how I want to live.”

 

How has yoga personally improved your wellness? Do you think it can do the same for everyone?

 

Yoga has done so much for every aspect of my life. Outside of the rockin’ physical improvements I’ve seen with my flexibility and strength, I’ve just become (in my opinion) an all around better human being. I care more. I am vulnerable and raw with my relationships. I try to practice non-judgement with myself and others. Yoga has shifted the way that I think and approach life on all fronts. It nourishes my mind, body, and spirit.

I do think that it can have the same effect for everyone, but it really is up to that person to look at it as more than a physical exercise. I’ve seen a shift lately that is pointing towards more people exploring the more spiritual practices of yoga, but with Western emphasis on “the perfect yoga body” or more results-driven practicing, I find it hard to connect to a deeper meaning of yoga.

 

What are your top health and wellness tips?

 

I am all about self-care. My boyfriend jokes that every day is self-care day for Ava because I literally do something kind for myself every day.

 

For the mind, I meditate every morning followed by free-writing in my journal. I find this is a great way to connect with your Higher Self and allow your creativity to flow.

 

For the body, integrate Yin yoga into your day, even if it’s just one or two poses. Yin yoga is highly restorative for the body and is also a beautiful way of connecting with your breath and quieting the mind. I find this is a really accessible practice for anyone, regardless of your experience with yoga, once you learn to wrangle the monkey mind.

 

I also have been on a maca kick lately to replace caffeine. I drink a cup of herbal tea every morning before I meditate with a teaspoon of maca. In the afternoon, I make myself a smoothie with collagen for my skin. I think whatever it is that you do for yourself, don’t wait too long in between “treats.” Even though it’s counterintuitive, the days that I have the most to do are usually the ones where I take the most time for myself because I find that I am much more connected to my thoughts and able to approach each task with more optimism and focus.

Excess things won’t make you happy, but the relationships and the way you nourish your body and soul every day will.

What to you defines a happy and conscious life?

 

A happy and conscious life, to me, is one with bare feet, toes in the sand and loved ones around me, completely aware of the abundance that surrounds us and eating local organic food from the farmers market. I don’t need much; my dog, the love of my life, my plants, and my natural skincare products (can’t live without Face Reality!) are enough to keep me happy.

 

Coming from a place of making a lot of money in the past, I know it doesn’t fill any void that is inside. Excess things won’t make you happy, but the relationships and the way you nourish your body and soul every day will.

The electrons that the Earth emits from the ground directly transfer into your body when you have that skin to Earth connection and there have been numerous studies showing the positive impact that has on our well being.

Do you think yoga has lead you to considering sustainability or were you always aware of living an eco-friendly lifestyle?

 

Absolutely. I was always aware of the horrors of business practices around the world and the rate at which we are destroying our planet, but it wasn’t until I started practicing yoga and connecting with my more spiritual self that I realized, “Woah, this is not how I want to leave my planet. ”I also realized as I was starting to develop an audience online that I had an opportunity to influence other people on their buying habits and lifestyle choices so felt it was my duty to only share things that would leave the world a better place.

 

 

Do you think living in California and being closer to nature helps living a conscious life? Do you have any tips for our readers who might live in cities but want to hone that same sort of connection?

 

California is so progressive, it’s a little bubble of conscious people and I absolutely love it. We’re very lucky to be able to see the beach and the snow in one day and I think that because we are surrounded by so much nature it puts into perspective what our actions are doing to our planet.

A vivid image, but I’ve seen seals washed up on the beach with plastic suffocating them. We see the direct repercussions of our actions almost immediately and I think it has shined a light on the changes we need to make as human beings. For those that live in cities that don’t necessarily have that direct connection to nature, I say go find it anyway. Go to the park and take your shoes off or plan a weekend trip and travel a few hours outside of the city to find that connection. The electrons that the Earth emits from the ground directly transfer into your body when you have that skin to Earth connection and there have been numerous studies showing the positive impact that has on our well being.

 

 

Finally, what does sustainability mean to you?

 

Sustainability is multi-leveled. Yes, spend your dollar on companies that represent positive changes for the globe. Yes, support local farmers and artisans by buying directly from them. Drive less, carpool more. Find happiness in what you already have and try to disconnect from the feeling that more will make you happier. But, don’t do this all at once. Don’t try and change the world in a night. Don’t throw out all your fast-fashion clothes and furniture only to replace it with something new. You’ll get burnt out trying to take that all on at once. Make small lifestyle shifts and see how it feels. Live a sustainable life at your pace and don’t compare yourself to others and what they’re doing. Even the smallest change can make a difference so focus on that and integrate more as you are ready. After all, sustainable means that you can sustain these new conscious choices, too.

 

VISIT AVA AND LEARN MORE HERE!