hello, my name is lauren ashlee
I grew up in Iowa, went to college in Missouri, & had my first full-time job out in California. I graduated with my undergrad in Business Management & Marketing in 2013 & my MBA in 2015. During my time in college, I found my passion for yoga, writing, and helping people; whether that be through yoga, writing, volunteering, or just being there to listen.
After college, I moved out to San Francisco (knowing no one & with just two suitcases) to work in Sales at Yelp. During my time in SF, I received my 200-hour yoga teacher training through Corepower Yoga, did lots of exploring, eating, and meeting new people. I was also a co-founder of the Health & Wellness initiative at Yelp; where I helped teach yoga, planned various events, and offer employees the opportunity to learn and be involved in all aspects of living a healthy lifestyle.
The experiences, memories, friends, and mentors I made during my time in SF have been a huge part of helping me learn who I am and what I truly value in life. While I will always cherish my time in San Francisco, I made the decision to move back to the Midwest so I could be closer to family and friends after losing my cousin to a long battle with depression in 2017.
Around this time is when I created this site as a space for me to share my thoughts and experiences; primarily around Mental Health. You can read all about the background of not only why I created this site, but why I named it “The Loving Lotus” here. Since then, this space has evolved into a platform to also share my yoga escapades & offerings. You can read more about these here.
Outside of writing and teaching, I am a Project Manager at a local Marketing Analytics Company, Yoga Instructor online (and for various KC businesses, including the one I currently work for!), & Cat Mom to Thelma and Louise; who I rescued earlier this year.
In general, I love laughing, learning, games, trying new things (sounds cliché, but it’s true!), writing, art of any kind, growing, bending (my mind & my body), and most importantly; my friends & family. All in all, I hope that you to find some type of connection, support, or revelation here through my writing or teaching. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out here.
Welcome to The Loving Lotus! If you already follow me via social media, you know I believe in vulnerability and authenticity. I use these sites to share my experiences – my yoga, my thoughts, my friends & family. The good, bad, and all the waves in between. Many say I feel and think too deeply, and that’s true. It’s a blessing and a curse. Recently, I woke up and decided to use this blessing and give it a platform. Thus, The Loving Lotus came into play.
I am lucky enough to have an excellent support system to bounce these ideas off of and help give feedback. As I talked with friends, a lot of words were thrown around: vulnerability, acceptance, self-love, personal, compassion, care. After a while, loving lotus was decided. Why loving lotus? Well, let’s break it down.
First, I want to talk about the lotus. Many in the yoga world are probably very familiar with the lotus flower and its background. For those of you who are not, the lotus flower is a beautiful flower that grows deep below the surface of muddy water. To bloom, it must fight its way through this deep and dark environment. Once it finds its way, the lotus flower blossoms, bright and beautiful. Many people attribute the lotus flower and its origin to different symbolic meanings: Purity, enlightenment, overcoming adversity, and perseverance. Many of us have been through thick, dark, muddy, and scary times in our lives. We can’t see the light and may no longer believe there even is one. But just when you think it is gone, you bloom. You understand that things happened or you use experiences to become stronger, yet softer. To learn and grow and thrive. As I mentioned earlier, I feel deeply, and I think a lot. I also have faced many obstacles and have used my past experiences and various outlets to overcome them. I believe these barriers are what have and continue to make me the empathetic and understanding individual I am.
I love Brene Brown and in her book “Braving the Wilderness” (which I highly recommend) the primary theme is: Hard back. Soft front. Wild heart. I love this. I think it is essential to use our experiences to grow. To learn to stand firm when needed, but still be soft and understanding as well. But most importantly, these experiences are what makes you, YOU! So, I dedicate this blog to all my wild hearted-lotus flowers in the world.
Which brings me to love. I knew that if I was going to put my life on a platform for people to engage in, I wanted it to be centered around love. Raw, non-judgmental, authentic, real love. A safe space where people can come and feel a connection. A place where they can sigh in relief and say, “I’m not the only one” or can just smile and laugh (because I am pretty funny).
With that being said, I am not planning to use The Loving Lotus for all of my own mushy, deep, emotional thoughts and experiences. Like I mentioned earlier, I want to be real and raw. Yes, I love to write, and I love to yoga (which may take up the bulk of the site), but I also love food, makeup, dry humor, movies, photography (or all art in general), traveling, and doing my best to find beauty in each present moment. I still will post on Instagram and Facebook, but not everyone on these sites necessarily wants to read and see all of my long and elaborate posts. I want to have a central location for those that do feel that connection to go and follow or even just check in from time to time. If you have made it this far, I am guessing you are one of those people. 🙂 So, stay tuned for updates and fun.
All the Love & Light,
For me, yoga means a lot of things. It means passion, presence, self-love, strength, flexibility, and humility. I could keep going, but I will save us both time and cut the list short. 🙂 I first stepped on a mat in 2012 and it was one of the best decisions I have made to date. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Yoga has dug me out of some pretty deep places, helped me find myself more than I could ever imagine and helped me grow spiritually in ways I would have never expected. I have met some of the most amazing people during my practice and that is something I thank God for every day.
In February 2016, I decided to take the plunge and get my yoga certification. However, the cost hindered me from accomplishing this at first. So, I problem solved by creating a GoFundMe that incorporated “rewards” based on the tier of donation. Read all about my fundraiser, rewards, and journey here.
Trainings & Workshops
I have also taught classes and educated people through classes &, presentations at a variety of places & events, ranging from preschools to corporations.