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| Empowerment Brand

My Favorite Yoga Essentials & My Morning Yoga Ritual

When I first started yoga, all I brought with me was a water bottle and a whole lot of courage to face my fear of trying something new. I wasn’t sure I’d be any good at it, coming from a background of weight lifting. Fear can cripple you if you’re not careful.

I said scr*w it and carried on to live my best life.

My reason for going to yoga was to try something new, manage my anxiety and become more flexible. I wanted to create a harmony between strength and flexibility. This is one of the reasons why I checked out Product Expert for some ideas on what kind of yoga mat to get. I’ve been lifting weights for years and I knew I wanted to have more balance in my body and also feel better with my stress management.

ash drinking coffee morning ritual time

The first session I remember having no idea what kind of yoga I was actually taking that day. From what I heard, there was Bikram yoga, hot yoga, infrared yoga and regular yoga. I didn’t know what to choose but felt like a rockstar just showing up.

Within the first ten minutes, I was a hot mess. Legit, felt like a sweating heap of grossness. I remember looking over at the girls to my right thinking about how bendy and beautiful they were. They weren’t even sweating and there I was dripping and red as a cherry already.

When the hour ended, I wiped the sweat from my forehead with my hand, rolled up my rented mat and walked out feeling both a little defeated for not being naturally better at something, but also super hopeful and proud of myself.

I knew that when something feels hard, I should stick with that thing because there’s something in it for me.

Fast forward a few years and now I’m a girl who loves and literally relies on her yoga practice. Aside from the fact that it’s my life teacher, yoga creates a calm in my day that I look forward to each morning.

And I’ve even built rituals around my practice that support one of my favorite ways to move my body, mind spirit.

My Ritual Goes Like This

Every morning when I wake up, I read a page from my favorite book (The Little Book of Awakening) that inspires me because it sets the tone for my entire day. Before heading out to my yoga class, I slip on my Gratitude bracelet and give thanks in my journal for three things in my life. Starting a gratitude journal is one of the best things anyone could do for themselves.

I fill up my water bottle with iced lemon water, grab my mat, towel, blanket and head out the door.

On my twenty minute drive to yoga, I look down at my intention I chose for the day and repeat to myself what I’m grateful for in my life. Then I think about my top 3 current goals and visualize them already being in my life.

Then I head into yoga, inspired and ready for the day. Here are my favorite yoga essentials.

yoga essentials

Yoga Essentials

  1. Mexican Yoga Blanket $12.99. Perfect for taking your practice outside
  2. Masaya Yoga Mat Bag $24.99. Carry your yoga mat easily
  3. The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo $14.51. Read a page every morning in your morning ritual practice pre-yoga
  4. Stainless Steel Rainbow Water Bottle $14.49. Hydrate all day!
  5. Moon Phase Yoga Mat$14.38 Gorgeous moon phase mat to flow effortlessly on
  6. DYZD Yoga Mat Towel $26.98. A towel is always a good idea
  7. Grateful Fierce Forward Intention Bracelet$37. Infuse your bracelet with any essential oil

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+ Read The 7 Life Lessons Yoga Has Taught Me

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  1. Avatar

    Penny, so glad you love it. Our friends at Affirmat are the best. Keep Fiercing Forward babe, can’t wait to see how yoga treats you!

  2. Avatar

    Thank you so much for the mat. I received it Friday and love it!

  3. Avatar

    Rebecca, this and YOU. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. One love babe and keep being YOU!!!

  4. Avatar

    Hey Ashley,
    I found Fierce Forward through Laurianne. I met her as she was working as a leader of a fitness boot camp. Ever since I’ve been following you and your empowering journey. I’ve been growing Forward, learning forward, discovering forward, moving forward and most of all fiercing forward. I’ve been living in the moment and doing my best to embrace and enjoy life for what it is and be present. Live in the moment. Be kind even to a fault. Share love and be loved. Life is amazing and looking back had I not found you I don’t know I’d be saying these things. Here’s to me being fierce and getting back to yoga and continuing to embrace this crazy amazing fierce life.

  5. Avatar

    What does it mean to be fierce? For me, being fierce changes as I change.
    Right now, it means being open to life and doing what it takes in order to grow. This is empowering and freeing.
    You become lighter and more beautiful. Your heart opens and you inspire others to be a better version of themselves.

  6. Avatar

    I found fierce forward four years ago through another person I was following got a bracelet made by Ashley. It happened to be on my moms bday when I saw it and I saw it as a sign. For me being fierce means to put it all into everything I do. To make positive changes. To dream big. To ignore when someone tells me no or I can’t do it. Fierce forward has given me the tools to push through my sadness of my mom’s death and start living again.

  7. Avatar

    I found the Fierce Forward group on Facebook a few years ago. I signed up for the traveling pants journal exchange and became friends with the girls in my group. I love it!! ♡♡♡

  8. Avatar

    Over 4 years ago a dear friend gave me a fierce forward bracelet. Still today; it is one of my fav things to wear.
    A fierce girl … someone that is true to who she is and proud of it.

  9. Avatar

    I found Fierce Forward over 2 years ago from a Facebook suggestion “pages you might like”.

    A fierce girl is always growing and learning. She is exudes love because she is outward focused, but also takes care of herself (mind /body /spirit) and knows when to put herself first. She recognizes her power and when well grounded she uses her voice to move mountains. This woman knows how important her talents are to this world and brings 100% of her authentic self to the party!

  10. Avatar

    I discovered Ashley and Fierce Forward last year at Wanderlust Austin. I bought my first bracelet, Dream. I just purchased my second, Heart. I love them!! A fierce girl is one who believes in herself–her hopes and dreams, and makes them a reality. She doesn’t give up until she succeeds!

  11. Avatar

    I found fierce forward almost 4 years ago now. Looking for something internal to set me on a better path of positivity. A fierce girl is someone who will try and achieve her dreams no matter what and how long it takes. To be the best of herself!

  12. Avatar

    I don’t even remember how long ago I discovered Fierce Foward, several years. My first bracelet was Committed. I chose it because of my commitment to return to college to get my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. I believe a fierce woman is committed, driven, and passionate. She loves life. She is understanding, giving, and kind. She perseveres despite obstacles. This is me. This past May 12th I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my BSN, I am 64 years old.

  13. Avatar

    I found fierce forward a few years ago browsing for bracelets….. the intention bracelets just spoke to me at that time! A fierce girl is someone who is strong, confident, not afraid to be herself on this life journey…. being fierce is reflecting on your past, moving forward and embracing this life with all you have

  14. Avatar

    I found fierce forward about 2 years ago. A fierce girl is one who does not give up even when all else fails she still keeps going.

  15. Avatar

    I honestly can’t even recall how I found fierce forward, but I’m positive I found it during a time when I needed it.

    What is a fierce girl, to me? So many things…but mostly she is a woman that can recognize her weaknesses and grow from them, as well as her strengths and use them to help others grow. I am relearning what it means to be fierce, to overcome daily panics, and try to focus on the good that will come.

  16. Avatar

    I can’t remember when I discovered Fierce Forward, but it’s been a while. My definition of a fierce girl is someone who is living life on her terms.

  17. Avatar

    I found FF a couple of years ago through my friends Steph and Jes. I went with them to a meetup in MN and felt more empowered than I had in a long time. To me, a fierce girl faces what scares her and takes control of her life. She is willing to do what it takes to realize her dream, knowing that growth comes from the learned in life, even the ones that hurt. She values what other women have to teach her, and she values herself.

  18. Avatar

    I found Fierce Forward about 6 months ago via Facebook. I had seen the picture of the girl wearing jean shorts and around 6 or so bracelets many times (is that you, Ashley?). I always admired how beautiful they were, but never made the plunge. I liked your Facebook page and caught a few of your videos. Every message I heard always spoke to something in/on my heart. I now own several bracelets and they are my most prized pieces. The words on the charm remind me that I am more than my insecurities and doubts and fears. I would define a fierce girl as being someone that gets up everyday and knows it’s a new and fresh day, no matter what happened the day before. It’s someone who believes in herself, loves others, and shows kindness. And, to know we have the inner strength to keep going, no matter what!

  19. Avatar

    “she is so much!” Couldn’t agree more. xo

  20. Avatar

    Azulena, your definition is super beautiful. Appreciate you girlfriend

  21. Avatar

    amen sistah!

  22. Avatar

    Darlene, I’m so glad you found your way back. Keep being YOU!

  23. Avatar

    4 years!

  24. Avatar

    Love your words Andrea, I’m so glad you found so much fierceness<3

  25. Avatar

    I first found Fierce Forward last year when my sister-in-law posted a photo wearing some of your amazing bracelets. I had to see for myself what the beautiful, meaningful, warrior woman bracelets were all about. So I bought myself one, and fell in love with everything about Fierce Forward and YOU, Ashley! Then I bought another… ;o)

    How do I define what a fierce girl is…??? That’s a hard one, because she is so very much. She is soft, and round, and hard and edgy. She stands up for herself and those around her, and those she’s never met before that need standing up for. She’s shy and brave. She’s adventurous and a homebody. She takes care of herself first, but doesn’t forget to help take care of those around her. She’s a daughter, a son, a sister, a brother, a mother, a father… She’s died a little more than once, yet she’s fully alive.

    I could go on and on… I love surrounding myself with fierce women, and I love raising my daughters to become fierce women. And I love how this Fierce Community has been so inclusive and continues to grow and won’t stop. Can’t stop. Ever.

  26. Avatar

    An armor giveaway for Fierce Forward came across my Facebook feed about 4 years ago. Being following the journey and Motivation ever since. A fierce girl is someone who is open to life. Doing what she needs to in order to grow. Living Life with an open heart. Enjoying the beauty she has inside her and able to see the magic life offers us everyday. 💓🌈

  27. Avatar

    I discovered Fierce Forward in the fall of 2015 and am so grateful for the encouragement and community this group of fierce women offer. For me, the fiercest girls are the girls who keep showing up and aren’t afraid to share their vulnerability.

  28. Avatar

    for me, I RE-discovered fierce forward last year after years of not being present – and what an amazing re-discovery for which I am truly grateful! Ashley and all the fierce ladies here have been a tremendous inspiration to my own rediscovery of all the fierce that is me!!!!

  29. Avatar

    I found fierce forward in 2014! Being a fierce girl to me is learning, being confident and fiercing thru whatever life throws at you. And sisterhood I have met some amazing ladies I am proud to call friends!

  30. Avatar

    I found fierce forward three years ago and it forever changed my life. The women I met are my daily inspiration and the lessons I have learned and reflection within myself have helped me to grow! A fierce girl is someone who isn’t afraid to find her own truth and fight for it! Someone who has had ups and downs and wears her scars with honor. She is an inspiration to everyone including herself