Ashley Aarti Cooper: Yoga Instructor, Nature Lover, Creative Writer
Yoga started as a way to feel grounded and calm when life felt hectic or I was dissatisfied with my day to day routine. Even when I didn't understand the therapeutic applications and profound history of Yoga, I still felt the affects in my mind and body as well as the influence it had in my life. I was a calmer person when I practiced Yoga, less likely to feel frustrated with aspects of my life or the people in it. I could forgive more easily and let things go. The first years of my practice, I learned tools that I could access at any time to become centered.
In 2009 I was falling in love with Yoga. I traveled to Goa, India, to deepen my spiritual study and receive my 200-hour Teacher Training Certificate. I learned a lot about my Self there, and began teaching shortly after.
I moved to Truckee, CA, in 2013. A nature-adventure guide and private Yoga instructor, I spend my work and play time deep within the wild forests of Lake Tahoe and California. I know that my dharma, or life's duty, is to share Yoga and the natural world with people to help create a deepened awareness of our interconnection with Mother Earth and her well-being.
Since 2009, I have lead Yoga retreats in Argentina, Bali, Maine and California. I am Reiki-I certified and recently traveled to Nosara, Costa Rica, to study "Yoga is Medicine" 100-hour Advanced Teacher Training with Meg McCracken and Ashleigh Sergeant. We studied the Subtle Bodies and therapeutic applications of Yoga.
I specialize in private group and one-on-one classes, and really enjoy enriching people's special experiences and retreats. For three years, I have taught Yoga and Mindfulness Classes with the Wounded Warrior Project Odyssey programs and love the challenge of creating more impactful classes that help our Veterans and their families create new habits and tools for happier lives.
Ultimately, I see myself as a healer and know that I am only just beginning my journey. When I am not doing all of this, I am the Storyteller at the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and a freelance writer.
"A wonderful combination of invigorating body and mind exploration: Each yoga class is led with with compassion and confidence. I walked away from each class with a sense of relaxation and deeper connection to my body. As a result of the retreat, I feel more comfortable in my personal practice and find daily centering with the poses, poems, and guidance I received." Ariel Schneider
"The retreat in Misiones was a heart-opening and soul-nourishing experience. The natural surroundings created the perfect space to reflect, settle down, and tune into nature. The yoga classes were excellent and the food was amazing, both provided with lots of love from retreat leaders Ashley and Meghan. I left the retreat with a happy heart full of possibilities and inspiration. " Sarah Athanas, retreat participant
"Ultimately, I decided to come on the retreat to recharge away from the chaos of the city. To say that was accomplished is a massive understatement. I came away from it with more to think about but with a clearer mind. The combination of 'modern pioneer' workshops, yoga classes outside, nature walks, and seriously nurturing whole foods triggered something in me that I didn't realize wanted to come out." Laryssa Toroshenko, retreat participant