Who i am, what i do & why
I’m Ashley, a buffalo native who spent 3 years studying natural lifestyle in India, thought my studies never ended. I am a 200hr Certified Yoga Teacher, 200hr Certified Yoga Nidra Instructor, Master Level Certified Reiki Teacher, Certified Theta Healer, 500 hr trained Herbalist, with a degree in Biology and Physics. I am heavily engrossed in the natural, mindful lifestyle, and slowly working towards a sustainable homestead lifestyle.
How I ended up doing what I do now is a long story that involves a stressed out college student, a few very inspiring yoga teachers, and three blissed-out years of living & learning in India. (if that sounds like the makings of an interesting story, check out my blog!)
What I do
I am and do many things. I'm an artist, a teacher, a healer, and a perpetual student. I have a lot of passions in the world of health, wellness, and connected living. And the focus of my business is constantly changing and evolving. However, what connects all that I do, is my belief that anything that is worth your passion, is anything that brings you deeper into connection with your truest, boundless self. And there are so many channels into doing just that. Which may be why I wound up to be a jack of all trades of sorts.
So, here's what I offer in my community..
Integrative Energy Healing Sessions
( Reiki, Healing Touch & Plant Medicine)
Yoga & Meditation Courses
Energy Healing Trainings
Mindful Art Classes
Reiki Infused Crystal Jewelry & Home Decor
I work mostly out of East Aurora and the south towns but do occasionally host events in buffalo and other cities.
My time living in India & Asia was spent living in intentional communities, where groups of people lived together in a connected, reflective, and simple way. I've been lucky in my studies, finding myself, by the force of grace, learning under Buddhist Monks in the Himalayan Mountains, Indian Yogis in Ashrams, Eastern and Western Herbalists and Healers. Each had a unique approach to the spiritual and material worlds. But my question always remained the same. 'How can we live a balanced life in a world so full of imbalance?' Nobody ever seemed to have the answer. The answer became more and more clear as I kept at my studies.
Well, I decided, the answer is that you don't. Not alone anyways. Balance is created through relationships. Most importantly, it is creating through healed relationships. Starting with the most important one you will ever have, your relationship with you. And we can begin, through that healing, to do the deeper work. To heal our relationships with where we fit into the world, as it is now. To find a sense of connection. And to find COMMUNITY.
Redefining our relationships redefines the way we interact with the world around us. It alters how we view our role in society, how we perceive and receive others, how present we are able to be, and ultimately allows us to express the truest, and most raw form of who we are. And in the process you may find that you learn to heal the relationships you may hardly noticed before. Like your relationship with the earth, and the soil, or the food that grows there, and all the lives that support yours, and ultimately all that is.
This is CONNECTION. The very essence of what our souls crave, and need to be WHOLE. Learning to find connection in a society that teaches us to isolate is not always a walk in the park. It's a challenge. Many of the ways of living we would have learned from our ancestors have been lost. We live in a time where we must be pioneers on the path towards wholeness. We must learn how to live in a way that both honors the progress of our society, and the returns to the path of sustainability and reciprocity.
Sounds like a big task? No filters, it is. And it will take time, and patience, and there will be tears, and struggles along the way. Healing is a journey. Sometimes we walk uphill on that journey, sometimes we run downhill with childlike bliss. But each and every step is made easier by the support of community. <3
The Birth of AshTree Wellness
Having a Wellness Business was never something I intended to do. Nor was living in India, selling my artwork, practicing herbalism and energy healing, or striving for intentional community. My plan was always this - go to medical school, train as a surgeon, join doctors without boarders, thrive through healing. My Aquarian moon is hard to hide. But wellness was never on my radar. When I was 19 everything changed. My diet then consisted of cafeteria food, ramen noodles and vodka. And meditation was a foreign concept to me. Then something terribly wonderful happened. On the verge of mental exhaustion and system overwhelming stress, my body started to give up, and I became ill. The medical field couldn't help me. They gave me this or that medication, a million invasive tests, and many sleepless nights, but my condition only worsened. It wasn't until I was desperate that I found myself in an acupuncturist's office. She counseled me on diet, lifestyle, and herbs. And for the first time, I started to take control of my well being. AND I got better! Shortly after I found Yoga, and for the first time in my life, I experience what it felt like to love myself, and to found ways to deal with the stress and anxiety that plagued my health for years. I left ALOT of self-destructive habits behind in the years to follow, not without struggle. As I continued my studies in Pre-Med Biology, learning about medications and body systems, I realized, the only things that saved me, where never mentioned here... diet, spirituality, community, meditation, and love. I wondered, how it was possible, that we couldn't recognize how important these parts of healing are. HOW! I began to loose faith in the field I studied and took up quantum physics to distract myself from the fact that I was disimpassioned with what was supposed to be my career. Studied Quantum theory opened me up to the idea of energy, and the possibility that reality could be more than our senses perceived. My final semester was spent doing paid research for my university, AND I attended a fairly liberal school, who approved my request to research alternative medical systems in the USA (score!). Thus, I found my love of biology and fascination with energy meeting before my eyes, in fields like Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Energy work, and many more fields. I was floored, and fascinated.
What happened next can only be an act of fate...
Shortly before graduation, I presented my research to my mentors, teachers, and peers. And it just so happened, that a very important member of the university staff was at my presentation, who was captured by my presentation on Ayurveda (Indian Herbal Medicine). He approached me afterwards, and told me "I think what you're studying is important, if you want to continue, I know a hospital in India who would love to have you as a shadow". My jaw dropped, and a few months later I was on a plane to India. Intending to stay 3 months, 1 month of study and 2 months of travel. And 3 years later.... there I was.
The healing and transformation I went through in those 3 years was beyond anything I could have imagined for myself. I am beyond grateful for those experiences everyday. It would have been so easy to stay in India, live there, and thrive. I had found an amazing community, wonderful teachers, and a job teaching what I had been studying. It was all too easy and blissful. But, I realized, this was not my path. I wanted to give others what I had received. Staying in India would be lovely, but it would be a life lived for me, not for others (Aquarian moon... there you are again). And there was something else, (besides my family and a dreamy herbal apprenticeship), drawing me back to my birth place. There was more to learn HERE. More opportunity to impact. More opportunity to figure out, together, how we can make sustainable strides towards living more in tune with ourselves and our communities.
Moving home brought up a whole new bundle of new challenges and obstacles. But it also brought a depth of inspiration I didn't know was there.. I started AshTree Wellness as a way of offering what I learned in India. What I didn't realize, is that my students/clients would have just as much to teach me in return.
I'm not sure what the future holds for me, who ever really knows? But I do know is i'll probably never stop learning and looking for ways to connect deeper within my communities and my self.