We’re so excited to introduce Ashton August, the full-time yogi, editorial director, and founder of YogiApproved.com, one of the world’s biggest yoga & wellness digital magazines. However, YogiApproved is not just a beautiful online magazine, they also offer premium on-demand yoga and fitness classes, and have an amazing YouTube channel dedicated to yoga flows, product reviews, and all things yoga lifestyle. Being such a huge inspiration for us here at Yoga Junkies, we’re honored to have had the chance to talk with Ashton about her journey in building YogiApproved from the ground up.
Tell us about the beginnings of YogiApproved and your journey to full-time entrepreneur.
After I graduated with my Masters in Creative Nonfiction Writing, I was teaching yoga full time and loving it, but really wanted to find a way to merge my two passions of writing and yoga. At that time, my then boyfriend (now fiancé!!) Tyler was the Director of Marketing for a corporate job that was not making his soul sing. We decided to start a yoga blog, so I could write articles and product reviews.
Before long, we were getting 10k hits per month, then 100k, and that’s when we decided to turn it into a full-fledged yoga + wellness digital magazine and see how far we could take it. At that time, I was still teaching yoga, waitressing AND working online as an English Professor. Life was busy, and the hustle was real!
Soon after we decided to move back to Denver, Colorado to put down roots and focus on the business. Tyler quit his job and shortly after that, I took the scary but necessary plunge and went full time with YogiApproved.
This was a pivotal phase of growth – recognizing that we had created an amazing opportunity and diving head first into pursuing it. For me, facing the fear and doubt that comes with striking a new path was my statement to the Universe that I am ready, worthy, and capable of being a full-time entrepreneur.
Fast forward three years and we haven’t looked back!
What advice would you give yourself when you first started YogiApproved?
Take it slow, and don’t feel obligated to always push yourself 110%. Take time to do things that fill you up and help you recharge so you are motivated and inspired to work and give your very best.
Don’t burn the wick from both ends. That’s the road for burnout (trust me, I’ve been there), and when you’re just starting to build your business, you need to strive for ‘imbalanced balance’- i.e. understanding that this chapter is challenging and demanding but it’s still important to seek balance whenever possible.
Draw out realistic timelines and goals, and map out each individual step you need to take in order to get there … In other words, make logical decisions from a place of intention and compassion.
What advice would you give to bloggers who are just getting started?
Start by getting really clear on what your unique gifts and passions are. Once you know that, you’ve created an organized focus. Then you find your niche – what are you knowledgeable, talented and passionate about in your field specifically? What purpose and service can you fulfill and provide that is needed and that nobody else is doing?
Starting a blog is all about self-exploration, and through this process of excavation, you connect the dots of how-to best package and share your unique offerings. It’s such an exciting time, so enjoy the process and follow your dharma, or purpose – it will always illuminate your path.
Tell us about your self-growth book!
Last year, I published my first book called Learn. Grow. Shift. 30 Days of Personal Growth. This was one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever completed, and I am so excited to share it with the world!!
After 10+ years of devouring all the spiritual and self-growth books I could get my hands on, Learn. Grow. Shift. is the culmination of what I’ve learned and the tools I’ve adopted (yoga, meditation, breath work, journaling and more) in one easy to navigate workbook for personal growth to help you manifest the life you want and THRIVE!
Anything you want to add about what you have coming up?
Over the past year, we’ve worked on building a library of online yoga and fitness classes for YA Classes, our online yoga membership. The biggest news for YogiApproved is that we recently launched our YA Classes app for our online classes! We are so excited to see this project come to life.
We take a lot of pride in finding incredibly gifted and knowledgeable teachers that are down to earth, welcoming and who facilitate an amazing online experience. For every class our members complete, we plant a tree. I am so incredibly grateful and excited to announce that our members have already planted over 30,000 trees!!
Also, Tyler and I are going on our first YogiApproved mobile film tour this summer up the entire West Coast of the United States, from Denver, Colorado all the way up to Seattle, Washington. We are filming with teachers in several major cities along the way and plan to create a vlog documenting our adventure … stay tuned for that!
Finally, we are starting a podcast that will feature interviews with people making a difference in the yoga, fitness and wellness communities, along with audio recordings of our most popular articles.
Please stay tuned for that as well! Lots of exciting developments in the works for YogiApproved. 🙂
YogiApproved.com is an online yoga, health and wellness publication. They have a global audience and specialize in yoga, fitness, and wellness-related content, product reviews, yoga tutorials, and fitness video bundles.
YA Classes by YogiApproved.com offers unlimited access to hundreds of yoga and fitness classes and full programs for all levels from a variety of knowledgeable and passionate instructors. YA Classes plants a tree for every class their members complete, and so far, they have planted over 30,000 trees!
As a proud Yoga Junkies partner, YA Classes is offering Yoga Junkies members 30% off their membership, making it just $7 per month for unlimited access. All new Yoga Junkies members will receive a code in their box for the YA Classes Discount!