On Monday November 8th, Hot Feet Fitness in Burien, Wash. hosted the Northwestern Lights Tour by yogi and musician Ashlee K. Thomas. Ashlee is a Nashville-based, Utah native with her own style of hatha-slow vinyasa fusion that she has named, Fireflow. Fireflow is a unique practice in its own right. Instead of flowing through poses, such as in a vinyasa based class, practitioners focus on the foundation of poses for the purpose of proper learning, safety, and acceptance. Ashlee states that , “When practicing Fireflow, I encourage you to sit in the fire and like it. Once you know the foundation of the pose, you can hold it and add to your practice. The tricks are beautiful but they have nothing to do with yoga.”
We began our evening in complete silence. Before beginning the physical element of practice, we took the time to mentally prepare ourselves for the FireFlow. As Ashlee kicked off our practice, she lead the class without music in the background, we were simply guided through breath and instruction. There was something oddly mesmerizing about practicing without music. Instead of listening to the rhythm and beats to carry my body through my practice, I found myself listening to my body, my presence and my voice. Through holding each pose, I heard my body and gained a deeper appreciation for not only each pose in the class, but in my ability to just be in the moment. When it came to the end of our practice, Ashlee played a song that transitioned our asanas into Savasana. Ashlee sung songs that were inspired by her own journey as a yoga practitioner and teacher.
Ashlee provides a unique and authentic perspective to both yoga and music. Before she incorporated yoga into her music, Ashlee toured the nation as a country musician. After some time, she found herself yearning for more. The music she performed no longer spoke to her voice. That is when she left her touring partner and began her career in transforming and growing her yoga practice with her music
For Ashlee there is no separation between sharing music and sharing yoga. “Yoga is slow medicine, and music is its perfect compliment. When people practice yoga, their bodies and minds begin to open. That opening causes a lot of different sensations, including bliss, fear, love, energy, vulnerability, and even some pain. If I can guide them towards an opening, physically and emotionally, and then put honest words and songs into that place, it can assist in their transitions. It’s like if they hear someone being that open and honest verbally after they have been that opened physically and mentally, it allows them to feel safe and okay with all that they are feeling.” It is Ashlee’s devotion to blending music and yoga that has led her to find a way to share both her Earthfolk style of music and Fireflow yoga on the road and around the world.
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