From me to you...

• Dear YogaZo Family, I'm sorry •


Over the last year I feel like I failed you. I feel like I could've done better with a handful of things.


If you want the honest truth, 2019 was one of the hardest years for me with my mental health. Anxiety and depression are very real in my world and I know it's the same in many of yours too which is why (after the encouragement from my friend Mahala) I felt compelled to share. I'd love to say I am cured but I feel that being in the position that I am lends itself to battling the positives and negatives in a tunnel with no end in sight. From the outside it might seem silly or easy to discredit - I get that. I am very fortunate to have a successful yoga business in a sea of options and what is, quite frankly, over-saturation. I'm healthy, have a wonderful support system, a hardworking team and a list of gratitude that could go on for miles. I am a type A, outspoken driver who loves to lead, create, innovate and share. For most of my life, these haven't been bad or tough qualities, but when you're operating a business it can get the best of you. I wish people talked about this more.


*** There aren't enough hours in the day, theres always a project on deck and there is always a voice of criticism to tend to - or rather wrestle with. This doesn't even scratch the surface to the relationships that shift and change along the way. Once supporters look at you with a different lens, sometimes disappear altogether and leave you wondering what happened. Our mission is the same, my approach is the same, so seriously... what happened. These are the thoughts that bogged me down a LOT in 2019. So much so that I didn't focus on what was going well to nurture that. I listened to the naysayers, the disappearing acts and the haters more than those of you on the mat right in front of my face. I drowned in the negative rather than the team of instructors and believers of YogaZo who showed up daily and work their asses off. For the last few months in particular, I removed myself entirely from as much as I could while still operating at a high level of auto-pilot. For that I am sorry. Truly, deeply sorry.


There is so much more to the story because who can really summarize the highs and lows in one blog post. But I will say this to provide context. I remember when the news came out that we won "Best Yoga Studio" in Albuquerque and while there was a sense of pride and excitement, the feeling was quickly over-shadowed with the earlier low-blows of another local studio discrediting the voting to a simple popularity contest, the lack of support from previous supporters who decided to pretend we don't exist rather than see one succeed and a waterfall of other nay-sayers both loud and silent. Damn. Thankfully, I've allowed the noise that once filled my ears and eyes to dissipate and while it will always be there, I'm choosing to focus on visible action with support rather than words on a screen.


The last 6 months were an absolute struggle and thanks to therapy, removing what no longer serves a purpose in my life and trying my hand at some new challenges, I have a vision for YZ that is clearer than ever. Change is NEVER easy but that isn't going to be a reason for me to dim YogaZo's light in the community for the sake of whats comfortable to some. For 2020 I want you to know this:


- Our mission at YogaZo is and always will be Yoga Giving Back

- We may not be for everyone but we are for everyBODY

- At YogaZo you are safe and you are seen

- I am committed to continually bring the best to our city with regards to yoga, the practice, the people and the places that we partner with


I will leave you all with this, check on your strong friends. Even if they aren't your friends but what they are doing potentially motivates, scares, frustrates or pisses you off. Not only will they appreciate your efforts and leading with kindness, but you will likely grow and learn in the process too.


With all my love,

Ashley



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