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A Broadway dancer and fitness enthusiast, Ashley Verma decided she wanted something more. Define London has been providing an empowering community and fitness experience across the UK since 2016, and we just had to hear all about it. We asked Ashley all about her inspiration, the success of her studio, and her personal wellness. Here's what she had to say.
My Broadway dance career came first, and I found myself working in the fitness industry along the way. My Broadway career and fitness went hand in hand. I fell in love teaching barre at Physique 57 in New York City. I met and became inspired by some of the most powerful ladies in all of NYC. My classes were filled with a melting pot of personalities and strong women. At the time, I had a platform to inspire, but I wanted more. I wanted a real supportive platform to create. Discussions with my partner began. I wanted to build my own business my way, with inspired barre class concepts. We moved over to London in Jan. 2016, I hit the ground running, looking to partner with brands to do pop-ups and simply meet people. Through a lot of hustle and determination, I got the green light to find a space and open my very own studio. Define London is celebrating its 2nd Birthday this month, and I couldn't be more proud of the brand and the team I have created.
A first-time client will find a warm welcome to the Define studio, followed by a killer session. I want the Define client to feel confident in the room even though they are new. The classes are capped at 14 clients per session so the instructor can safely get to each and every client, give corrections, and help motivate them to give their best. Music drives the room, and our attention to form is like no other. We will get your "Best 10" your "Best Push" within that workout, even if your day hasn't been great, we "Aspire to Inspire" your best.
I love taking classes at my Define London studio, and I also love heading out to other boutique studios for class. I find huge inspiration and motivation by taking classes around London. Firstly, it's a great opportunity to support other fitness brands, and secondly, it keeps my mind open to other types of workouts. It drives me bananas when I see folks preaching about one workout and making fun of folks that don't work out the way that they do. Fitness is about empowering the mind and body for EveryBody.
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.