Jamie Davis, March 2017:
Ashley, I wanted to tell you how much your workshops have changed my life! I thought I could say it best in a review: I went to Ashley’s workshop a couple of months ago because I was struggling with anxiety. I’ve never been much of a writer, but I had read her blog post on writing to work through post traumatic stress and I thought the workshop could help me. During the workshop, Ashley made writing seem easy. We followed a loose agenda but were encouraged to branch out and write about whatever we had on our hearts. By that simple practice, I was able to articulate what was bothering me, and release a lot of the feelings associated with it.
Ever since the workshop, I have begun the practice of jotting down a few things that are weighing on my mind for 5-10 minutes before bed. That simple act has greatly reduced my anxiety and helped me to get better sleep. Ashley’s workshop helped me, someone who has never really written anything, realize journaling is not as hard as it seems. It’s really about the process of getting the thoughts out, and not the actual words, that has helped me sleep better and have less anxiety!
You truly have an amazing gift, Ashley! Thank you for embracing it!
Julie Barr, December, 2016:
Ashley’s mini-retreat was an excellent opportunity to meet other like-minded creators and explore the therapeutic benefits of writing. The casual, laid back atmosphere took away any pressure and expectation of what writing ‘should’ be and allowed us to have fun with the writing prompts and activities. I walked away with a renewed sense of confidence and lots of tips to keep writing. It was truly a wonderful experience.
Review: Writing Our Way Through Asana: Ashley Shires’ “Breathe Flow Write” workshop at the Telluride Yoga Festival, July 216, by Dagny Pottersmith, Shakti Yogi Journal, Issue #12
Ashley Shires’ “Breathe Flow Write” workshop was a deep dive into the recesses of our internal universe. Ashley, who is an editor for SF Yoga Magazine and an instructor of Ashtanga yoga, began practice with some pranayama breathing and meditation. Once we were seated more deeply in ourselves, she led us through a variety of brief writing exercises. These exercises were first observational and soon became reflective in nature. We began by simply writing down ten things we think about most often throughout the day, and subsequently rated the importance of those things on a scale of one to ten. The writing prompts gradually became more elaborate as we progressed. We were asked to identify a difficult situation or period in our lives, using hindsight to draw forth the lessons and morals from that time that have become central to our core values. Suffice to say, by this point in time the yogis in the room, myself included, were fully submerged in the matrix of our present life experiences, while also tuned into our relationships with our pasts. This deep self-reflection formed a gateway into powerful, emotionally charged asana practice.
As we cycled through the sequences of the physical postures, Ashley shared a story from the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient yogic tale of battle and warfare. She prompted us each to relate our personal experiences with the archetypes present in the story, and to use our journey together into the ancient roots of yogic mythology as a way to shed light on our internal selves. Following the asana practice, we returned to the writing prompts to bring our experience full circle. I gathered bits of wisdom from other yogis as they shared their revelations with the class. The opportunity to delve into ourselves with curiosity, and then soak up each other’s guidance, brought about incredible clarity and illumination for myself and the group.