New year, more amazing me.
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Somewhere between rebranding her studio, teaching classes, and enjoying a good glass of Cabernet, Ashley Yandle has become much more than just a business owner. Yes, running Studio Lifted (formerly Ashley Lane Fitness) is her number one priority, but as a motivating force to her crew—also known as her family—an inspiration to her students, and an advocate for her community, she represents something greater: what a woman can achieve when she embraces evolution and puts her mind (and yoga pants) to it.
Continually hands-on in the fitness and wellness space, Ashley has her finger on the pulse of the industry. “It’s becoming integrated into everyone’s lives. Fitness has found a new and exciting way to break into all these different types of industries and businesses,” she says. “Fitness is more fun now than ever.”
As we embark on a new year with new goals, we sat down with Ashley to discuss her real-life lessons and tips on how we can stay honest to our intentions and take 2018 to the next level.
1. Make It a Social Thing
OK, we like friends!
“Fitness is evolving into something even more social,” says Ashley. “Classes are replacing happy hour. Attend fitness events. Group classes. And bring a friend. By integrating these types of socially-based fitness experiences, you will be more likely to stick to your goals and have a good time while doing it!”
2. Map It Out
Be a goal getter.
“The key to a lifestyle change is to have a plan. Create a roadmap. The map should illustrate attainable goals. Having goals in your roadmap is the best thing you can do when trying something new or conquering something you failed at,” says Ashley. “Who wants to fail for a whole month? Make it about small wins. Weekly wins. Daily wins. Your roadmap should show something that is attainable in a short period of time, giving you measurable victories. And it’s really important to give yourself a non-food related reward for hitting those victories—like new fitness gear.”
3. All About Accountability
Get a buddy.
“When you are setting goals, find someone who is serious about doing it with you. An accountability partner. Figure out what you both want,” says Ashley. “By setting smart goals you can hold yourself—and your partner—accountable and make it past February!”
4. Define What You Want
You’ve got this!
“When you are trying to task yourself with a huge goal, like ‘I’m going to get healthy,’ that’s really big. It can seem daunting and impossible,” says Ashley. “What does ‘healthy’ mean? Eight hours of sleep? Run a five-minute mile? For every person it’s different. You need to define what your goal means to you and how you want to achieve it through small, realistic steps that you can be held accountable for.”
5. It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
“When you set this unrealistic expectation around the idea of perfect and hitting these ‘perfect’ goals, it can lead to defeat,” says Ashley. “Personally, it’s hard for me not to do things perfectly. I had to learn to let other people help me.
6. Remember to Start Small
Personal attention can get you moving.
“Starting at a small studio is key. If you have never tried something or are beginning something new, getting proper attention is important,” says Ashley. “There a many ways you can try different studios and book individual classes to see if it’s the right fit for you. And remember to ask the studio for help! Call ahead or come in early before class.We (studio staff and owners) want to make sure you enjoy your experience, so you are comfortable. Going to a new studio or walking into a new class can be awkward, and we want to lessen that feeling for you.”
7. Sometimes You Need a Total Restart
It’s not always easy to press the reset button.
“Ashley Lane Fitness was me. But the studio became its own thing. It became bigger than me. I had to reflect on that. That’s when Studio Lifted was born out of a collective effort. I not only rebranded my business... I did a rebrand on myself,” says Ashley. “When you decide to do a rebrand, a restart, it’s a huge step and a truly humbling experience because you put your whole heart into what you are changing—whether it’s yourself or something greater. It’s a total re-do. Prepare to regroup numerous times. You must feel confident. It’s hard work, but you’ll feel liberated and excited!”
8. The Good Stuff Takes Time
Big things don’t happen overnight.
“Whatever you are working for and on can be a daily struggle. A daily give and take. It takes patience,” says Ashley. “Trial and error is part of hitting your goals. You’ll have to adjust, remember that. Regrouping doesn't mean failure. But when you achieve what you are striving for, it’s the most rewarding experience.”
9. It’s a Balancing Act
Real talk: what about those guilty pleasures?
“It’s OK to have guilty pleasures! In moderation of course,” says Ashley. “I am a huge wine fan. Workout then wine. We’ll go for a hike and meet up for wine. It’s all about balance. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great meal, but a very nice Cabernet is my go-to.”
10. Making a Mantra
Everyone needs a theme song, right?
“'Take a breath and enjoy the moment’ is my mantra for 2018,” says Ashley. “My playlist? It’s all about that Taylor Swift and Tom Petty. And my hashtag? #makingithappen.”
...we can get behind that.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!