We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Cummings and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks with faith and detachment of the outcome as much as possible, founded in the universal truth that everything is a blessing, is part of life. Every time we walk, we almost fall as it is just practiced falling. When applied to business, just opening is a huge risk, hopefully a very exciting one, but the odds are only 5% in your favor! Most small business owners are aware that 95% of small businesses close within the first three years.
The gut feeling would be my very quick and simple answer, does my stomach say “yes”? As we navigate inevitable risks or engage in risk management efforts, the business has within its structure, short and long term goals, our risk in business, maybe called “taking chances”, and they should be in alignment with our long and short term needs, goals, respectively. So we can take little, short term risks, or chances and usually not have much to loose, and everything to gain from the lessons.
Just as, for example, our vinyasa yoga classes and sequences are designed mimic scary things to face in life, uncomfortable circumstances, thinking clearly through everything we practice taking risks in a safe environment, then we are able to remember in our conscious and unconscious minds to calmly asses the risks or anything life consider the reward, and most importantly, listen to our bodies, they never lie.
In contemplating the benefits of “risk taking”, I feel it’s hard to loose, at the very least you gained a lesson.dialogue that connects us I looked up a few definitions of the word “risk”. I write I find “working definitions” of even basic words to be establishedWe are established in topics “life” (in general), and “career” (the time and energy we exchange for resources we require for survival). As we know sustained balance is imperative for our mind body health, and for clarity of thinking and feeling in all areas of our lives. When we are out of balance mentally, physically, in sustained fear or instability, it is nearly impossible to make stable decisions. I can’t think of a risk I have taken that hasn’t benefited me in some way, even if was just getting better at being strong, resilient,.
When we are out of balance mentally, physically, in sustained fear or instability, it impossible to make clear decisions. These days personal lives and business lives are often overlapping, more people are working from hone and online or via Skype/ Zoom calls. Let’s look at some of the definitions of risk: –
– “Possibility of loss” Another one that is inevitable, so if we have a possibility of gain, and the risk is a little loss and tons of “gain” (defined as you apply to your life or business), and “harm” or “something bad” is not involved, I think in business and life we must go for it. Its never really about the “end game”, the journey is the destination, you meet the magic people on the way, and the energy brings about even more than the original idea, more resources become available and the concept of TEAM is created. Positive Plant seeds, and positive energy is multiplied, amplified infinitum. This human experience is about relationships, first established in the unconditional obsessive love for ourselves, and from this internal reference point, we move with grace and present moment awareness.
I always loved the Navy Seal adage, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”, it’s helped me in every area of my life. Lucile Ball said, “I would rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done”, As we learned to walk, and not fall, we learn with each opportunity to “take a risk or not”, also that in that opportunity we are able to sharpen our intuitive skills. Perhaps even creating a process that works for you in how you “feel” if a risk is with taking, not to be confused with procrastination or second guessing oneself. And when we get that internal “yes!!!”, in my experience, it’s always a go. The more we practice the more we know how knowing we truly are. We are risk takers, the energy around risky situation being dangerous is very exaggerated when we feel the truth of our existence, we risked leaving the womb, we just need to remember how risk, like everything else in this human experience, we navigate as spiritual beings, which “risks” to lovingly pass on, not out of fear but out of innate internal intelligence.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Greetings and Salutations from Beautiful Venice Beach, California! I am Ashley Cummings, currently I am seeing clients on an individual basis in Venice and can be reached for bookings by: Email/ email@example.com Phone/ (310.999.3610 text is best, receive 50% of your first session by mentioning this article) YouTube/https://www.youtube.com/c/AshleyCummingsYoga A few things I am really proud: Creating and building two yoga schools, Just Breathe Yoga in Sunny Isles Beach, 2008 and Ashley Cummings’ Agni Yoga in West Hollywood in 2013. Through both school I offered Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training courses with the YA approved manual that I wrote. I still proved Yoga Teacher Trainings, looking forward to planning one on Venice beach by 2021, early bird registration is open! I have been a member of Yoga Alliance RYT-200 (Registered Yoga Teacher) since 2007, E-RYT ( Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) 200 since 2009, and YAECP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider), since 2013. I make a joke that I “gave up a studio for each parent”, as fate would have it, my mother suffered a massive stroke that left her unable to care for herself in 2011, my 3rd year into Just Breathe and we were finally making money! The situation with my mother brought me to California, as my sister asked me to help with our mother, who has been in a facility ever since. It was extremely hard for me, I was so proud of what we had created in this studio, we were a real family, it was our studio, it broke my heart to leave, but there was no version of me not showing up for my family. I turned to the positive that could come, a few low teacher didn’t have another job, so I gave her my studio, with all my love, the built up clientele and everything in it. I prayed she would continue in the magical way in which we had formed this community of people doing good and feeling good together. It was really hard to find teaching jobs one I arrived in Los Angeles, the market was saturated, Boone cared I owned a studio in Miami. I also noticed there were so many “aerobics yoga” type classes, I wasn’t hearing “breathe” hardly at all. The first and only job I had for the first 6 months out here was a 7:00 a.m class, that I was starting, that payed $3.50 per student. I bused in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday usually to clean the floor with honor, as attendance was sparse. But then I was teaching one person, $3.50, then $7, two people, I built that class up, and it was such a beautifully humbling time. Although I wanted nothing more than a new “Just Breathe” in Los Angeles, to share what I had learned in my heart, these tools, and knowing I was getting better, and feeling I was serving a much higher purpose than cardio vascular health and “looking good naked”, I was not focused on this, I was focused on making each experience the best it could be, finding new ways, failing often, but often cultivating the very unique skill of holding space for people to feel the truth if who they are, it’s the most beautiful exchange to be a part of and my highest honor. Before I knew it I had classes all n over and they were growing, at the same studio I was given a 7am shot in hell, I broke the 12 year record of the studio owner packing Earths Power Yoga with 64 people on a Sunday evening 6 pm Vinyasa class. It was beyond exhilarating- that same room I had been alone at 6:45 am, dutifully cleaning the floors and practicing often alone, I had the door open, the studio’s 12 year record was broken. I was happy what I was sharing was catching on, it really didn’t have to do with me. I was just talking about the breath, so many were unaware that without conscious breathing it is not Yoga, by definition (Hatha Yoga Pradapika). Agni was born, ironically the space I found was two blocks away from that studio, in 2013 there was a yoga studio about every two blocks in West Hollywood. There were not words, only the deepest gratitude and feelings of excitement. Agni became most successful faster than anyone could have imagined, on our second year we were the number 1 studio in LA on google, I was hardly doing anything in terms of getting us up there, some people pay yelp etc. On the worst day in May 2015 I got the call that my father had a massive stroke and was in hospital in Georgia in a coma, I was devastated, it was and will always be the signal worst even if my life, and every day he suffered until he passed in May of 2017. I was my father main care taker, he was a medical miracle, although he never left the hospital, many hospitals over the last two years of his life. I was the sole owner/ general manager/ teacher training director/ maid of Agni, I started to delegate more as we were really blowing up, and my classes being quite popular. My father is and had always been my best friend, I regret not one thing about my decision not to renew Agn’s lease in 2017. I had flown to my father, across the country and back 28 times, there was no version of me not moving back East and taking care of him. That was the plan. Until he decided to take his red mustang to heaven. So there I was ready to move my life, but now there was no reason, but also no Agni. I started teaching for free in the next door Plumber Park, the next two years required so much healing for me. When I landed in Venice a year and a half ago my soul started to fall into alignment again.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Venice, everywhere in Venice.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to Sloan Bella, www.sloanbella.com, she has been a vital member of my “village” for almost 10 years. She’s live on her YouTube channel @sloanbella, frequently in the evening around 7:00. She is a psychic medium who has been working in Hollywood for ages, she’s so connected, I have found especially during quarantine, her live shows comfort me, I recommend her to everyone for everything she offers. She is simply the best, on of the most beautiful beings I have ever encountered, inside and out.