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Conversations with the Inspiring Ashley Rodrigues

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Rodrigues.

Ashley, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started my journey with yoga and psychotherapy back in graduate school. I was overwhelmed with anxiety from school and I stumbled into a yoga studio. I used to be a professional ballerina, so I figured yoga would be something I would be “good at.” My ignorance of what yoga had to offer my life was laughable. I realized the therapy and counseling techniques I was learning in graduate school directly translated onto my yoga mat. It was as if I would learn a concept in class, go to my yoga class and get to practice it. It completely transformed my anxiety, my quality of life and my relationships.

Fast forward to today, I am now a certified yoga instructor, practicing psychotherapy, and passing these skills onto my clients. I have been blessed to be able to bring yoga into mental health settings to serve individuals dealing with trauma, substance abuse, and anxiety. I can educate my psychotherapy clients to another dimension of healing through yoga.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road, and it still isn’t a smooth road! I didn’t walk at my graduate school graduation ceremony because I had just delivered my baby girl, three days prior. I presented my senior thesis at 38 weeks pregnant. We then relocated across the country four weeks later and recently relocated again to south Florida because of my husband’s career.

Balancing motherhood, supporting my husband and his career, and now building my own career has taught me patience. We live in a society that has trained us to expect and desire instant gratification. I have learned to appreciate each season of your life for what it is. When you have a newborn, that is not going to be the season of your life that you step up your career plans, and that is okay. I have written so many blogs that I am confident only my mother has read, and that is okay.

Embrace each season for what it is, and enjoy it. You will never be a newlywed, new mom, fresh college grad again so don’t rush it. I am a firm believer that women can have it all, the family, the career, the social life but I don’t know how realistic it is to have all of those things at the exact same time. Think of it like eating 12 different bowls of ice cream at once. I guess you really could eat them all at once, but do you really want to? Why not take your time, enjoy each bowl?

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a yoga instructor and psychotherapist (Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern in the state of Florida). I like to say that I specialize in the “mind-body connection” which essentially means that I like to focus on the whole person. We often think of traditional therapy as sitting and talking about problems, but if we think about treating the whole person instead of just their mind and thoughts, you have to include your body!

Oftentimes, our bodies give us warning signs or communicate with us through “gut feelings”, cravings, headaches, exhaustion, but as a society, we are not used to listening to our bodies. I like to examine how we feed our bodies, take care of our bodies, and even our thoughts towards our bodies because it makes a drastic difference in an individual’s ability to heal. I differ from other therapists because this concept drives a lot of my practice. I specialize in working with infertility, miscarriage, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, and depression.

I am particularly proud of my online presence. I am active on Instagram and blogging. I love the concept that social media can be a tool to empower others and get therapy “out of the office” so to speak. Sure, it will never serve as a replacement for actual therapy, but why not learn some coping skills while you scrolling through your feed?

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
The best advice I could offer young women starting their career is two-fold:

1) It is okay to change your “dream” as you grow. I originally wanted to be a professional dancer and even left school to move to New York City. I soon learned that the lifestyle didn’t fulfill me, so I scrapped the idea and went to graduate school to be a clinical mental health counselor. Talk about a career change! Sometimes, we are afraid of letting a dream die because it feels like a failure when in reality it is just an adjustment.

2) Don’t let perfection keep you from taking risks. Women, in particular, are taught to obtain perfection, which often prevents us from taking risks and keeps us in the same place. Failure will not break you and in fact, it is an important part of the learning process. Go for it.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cosmic Love Photography

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