“With stress levels high, Richmond woman helps through journey of yoga”

According to a recent report by the American Psychological Association, stress levels remain elevated for U.S. adults since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. One yoga teacher is supporting her community with yoga, mindfulness, and self-care. 

Yoga teacher and mindfulness educator Ashley Williams, MS, was recently featured on a news segment about her work in Richmond, Virginia.

“Bare Soul Yoga’s mission is to offer community-based programs to support the health and well-being of our community—to really introduce what it means to be well through the vehicle of yoga, to take care of our minds and our bodies and our spirits, and to do that in a community setting—because we all know that social relationships is a huge part of our well-being,” Williams shared.

Williams lost her aunt in 2013; she turned to yoga for relief. “Mindfulness really allowed me to get curious to find gratitude for the small things—to help manage feelings of grief, to manage the things that were unpleasant.”

Now she teaches yoga and mindfulness in a variety of settings around her community, including the Richmond public schools. “One thing that we’re doing here is giving our teachers and our students more time to relate and check in with themselves—more time to move their bodies intentionally,” Williams explained. “The one thing that we hear the most is that they feel more release and that they feel more relaxed.”

In the video, Williams also emphasizes the importance of connection with self and connection with other. “When we’re in deeper relationship with ourselves, we’re then able to be in deeper relationship with each other.”