We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Boriack and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
To maintain a work life balance I used to have rules for myself. For example, every yoga class I teach, I must take a class… If I want to be involved in something, I must give it my all for the first couple months to establish myself. When COVID ripped me from my routine I sat around stunned for a couple months. Then, in the stillness and quietness, something interesting began happening. I started hearing my cravings and intuitions. This softening toward myself was the opposite of my decisive action plan, which left me depleted energy & cut off from what I really needed. I listened to the me that needs to work through some old patterns, and it’s helping me become more resilient. I listened to the me that needed to do fun things for no reason, and it’s brought a relaxed smile to my face where there used to be an intense scowl. I listened to the me that craved creativity, and it’s lead me to connect with my sense of purpose and passion. I listened to the me that need the rest and quiet, and from there I’ve been propelled into deep personal growth. As I’ve started to actually hear myself, my idea of work-life balance has shifted. I’m not throwing away all of my driven, high-energy ideas. But I am making more space in my life to hear the innate wisdom of my body and spirit. I believe that balance only exists for moments at a time. All the rest of the time we are shifting back and fourth, ebbing and flowing. The more I sit with this understanding, the more I am able to enjoy the oscillations of life… the adventure and discipline, the play and practice.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am at a point in my career where I have stepped back from a heavy teaching load to re-evaluate and focus on learning. The direction I would like to move has come into focus. And I’m diving into it! As I stepped back, I realized that most of my challenges center around a lack of clarity. I was compensating for this lack of clarity by a head-strong push forward. Though it did get results, it was exhausting. I realized I don’t want to spend my life exhausted so I have been exploring alternate ways of living and working. Moving into the space of listening & learning has brought some of the foundational clarity I needed. I know that the ebb and flow is part of growth in careers and life; so I’m looking forward to what will grow out of this time!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My ideal weekend includes getting my body moving, art, and lots of food. If you’re coming to Houston and visit me you can expect a day on the bike trails, exploring the bayou, stopping at Nourish for the best Acai bowl in Houston, swinging through a farmers market, maybe even checking out the Sawyer Yards murals, some delish burgers at On The Kirb, and coffee at Mercantile. If you’re not too exhausted we’d try out an ice-bathing class at Suda Prem yoga studio or a Sound Healing Meditation at the Buffalo Bayou Cistern (by YouniverSoul Fest). The next day we’d would chill with brunch at Bar Boehme, maybe walk across the street to La Cuchara, an then walk around Glassell and the check out the museums around there. If we’re needed a stretch my go-to would be Black Swan yoga at Raven tower and then tacos at TAQO afterwards or Local Foods depending on what we’re craving. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The things I learned in yoga teacher training under Jennifer Carmack have continued to impact me years later. Trinity School of Natural Health has been equipping me with a deeper understanding of wholistic health. The staff of Momentum Climbing Gym have made a safe and solid spot for teaching and connecting with fellow yogis. And last but most importantly are the people in my life. The list is long and each and every person has had a significant impact on me.
Nick Allinson @photographicnick