Have you met Ashley?

Maybe you’ve only seen her: a tall, tattooed woman with a military grade shepherd leading her through the Kingston streets as she dances to her new favourite song. Maybe she’s been a logo on a poster you’ve seen: Painted Lady teaming up to raise money for military families, the Kingston Animal Rescue, or Hospice Kingston. Or maybe she was the voice over the PA system, trying not to sing in front of hundreds at yoga in the park.

Ashley started her personal yoga practice in 2013. A year later, in love with how it helped her physical, mental and emotional wellness she was enrolled in teacher training. With a background in fitness and health promotion and being a personal training specialist, she takes a very unconventional approach to wellness. As a movement educator, Ashley pulls inspiration from yoga, strength training, spontaneous dance parties, Pilates, and of course laughter (you know what I mean if you’ve heard it). This is reflected in her classes, as she dances around the room, singing, practicing her stand up, and ever so subtly making your body move. This unique teaching method shows how dedicated she is to enhancing not only the body, but also the mind and soul. The safe space Ashley creates allows you to come out of the limiting walls we mentally create. In her classes it’s about exploring wellness to find what works for your body, mind and soul.

If you haven’t already been to a class, the Painted Lady Studio (265 Ontario Street) has something for everyone. Her flow yoga class is fantastically fun, judgment free space where you can push yourself or sink into your practice. A Sunday evening restorative class helps you relax after a long and busy week. Bend and Brew combines her classes with local breweries…for those of us who need some extra motivation to workout. And coming this fall, Kingston’s first ever cannabis infused yoga classes. Through classes and workshops you will have a chance to explore ways to incorporate cannabis into your yoga practice, while sharing a safe and fun environment with like-minded people.

Mission

My mission with Painted Lady has always been simple. To help people better their lives and live everyday as the best version of themselves. I don’t believe we can be put into a box when it comes to our exploration of wellness and it is about discovering what works for you.

Vision

I want people to know that wellness is different for everyone. I am devoted to enhancing your body, mind and soul by setting realistic fitness expectations and providing education and feedback on your overall wellness. I am here to provide a safe place to explore all aspects of movement while helping you overcome personal boundaries, motivating and inspiring you to use healthy choices to change your life.

Why Painted Lady Fitness?

Perhaps it is wrong to highlight, but accurate to state that we have all felt like we don’t belong at some point in our life. I feel like I am at this point everyday. That lack of belonging is something I’ve learned to embrace as my beauty and my light. It is a feeling that has spilled over into the fitness and wellness world for me and it is where my wellness started. My journey began from feeling like I just didn’t fit in anywhere.

Every one of us battles something no one knows about. Something we keep close, in fear we made be shamed for it. I don’t want to be that person. I have been through the ups and downs. I have been through the loss, battles with addiction, depression, anxiety, body issues, lack of self-confidence and EVERYTHING else in between. I have made questionable choices and I have experienced the greatest successes throughout my life. Today I am proud of the woman I am. I accept responsibility for my life and I am ready to let go of what no longer serves me while looking into my bright future. I have forgiven myself, and choose love. That is what I want to share with all of you, spreading the knowledge that we can all turn ourselves and our world around. We are capable of change on all levels, in all aspects of our life. You are worth it and I know that for sure.

My journey into wellness didn’t come from the want to be fit and strong with defined muscles. It came from being a shamble of a human who was battling a fierce war with depression, mental health and addiction. I already felt like I didn’t belong and I was trying to walk into a world I knew nothing about. But for some reason I knew wellness would help me (or at least I convinced myself it was my last lifeline). I floundered around for a few years trying everything that crossed my path in the fitness world.

Everything worked for a moment but nothing screamed LIFE CHANGE! In strength training, Pilates, yoga and every movement in-between I found I still I wasn’t completely sold, but I was starting to feel better. Everyday I was feeling more myself, so there had to be something to this wellness thing, but I just hadn’t found what that meant to me. I floundered around for a few years trying everything that crossed my path in the fitness world.

After a Personal Training certification and Yoga Training certification, I still hadn’t found me. I felt as though I was trying to fit other people’s molds. I was trying to fit into to “gym” lifestyle, the “yoga” lifestyle and just trying to continually find myself in there somewhere. Others were turning to me for wellness but honestly I felt so lost. So after a hiatus, I found my way back. I found my way back by laughing through my workouts, dancing through my yoga practices and looking for like-minded people to share it all with. As a Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher, I began to bring my comedic routine to the sessions (I understand that not everyone thinks I am as hilarious as I think I am). But to bring a smile or laugh to the person who is already working hard on themselves is the most rewarding thing I could experience.

Life can be amazing and life can be challenging, so I wanted to spend every second laughing and feeling carefree, all while taking care of the vessel I live in. Maybe I sound like a complete basket case, but it worked for me and still is. Laughter and movement are a daily practice that saved me. I want to share that with you.

Testimonials

“I absolutely love Ashley’s personal Yoga classes that she does. She is extremely thorough in her explanations, and has a very calming and comforting presence. I also appreciate her assisting me in things, helping me stretch further in certain poses. I always feel truly at peace with the attentive, professional, and careful nature of her class. I cannot say enough about my experience. ”

– ​Joe Atkinson , Kingston, ON

“When I signed up for my 1 year with Painted Lady Fitness, I had no clue what I was in for. In 3 short months, I have seen physical changes to my body, but most importantly, to my mind and soul. Ashley knows it isn’t just the strength training that is important, it is also working on taking down the mental walls that hold us back. This has been the most important thing for me, Ashley has helped me understand that in order for me to move forward into a healthy and happy future, I needed to stop holding onto the past, allow myself to let go of what was out of my control, and forgive myself. Once I did this, the rest came naturally. I truly am becoming the healthy, happy, strong woman I deserve to be.

I am thankful every day that I met Ashley, and through this last 3 months, I have not only gained the best trainer possible for me, I have gained a friend I will treasure for life. I look forward to the next 9 months and what they will bring.”

– Stacey Hinch, Battersea, Ontario

“I am painted lady obsessed. Ashley’s style of teaching and class sizes means I get a very unique and hands-on practice. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a physically and mentally challenging yoga class that keeps me engaged and coming back for more. Plus it’s become my latest source of new and amazing music.”

– Ann Donachey, Kingston, ON

“Since starting with Painted Lady Fitness I have been inspired to lead a more active life and as a consequence, exchanged my bad eating habits for good ones. Ashley’s personalized workouts ensure I don’t get bored, with a new schedule every month that I don’t even need to think about.

Every day is different and with on-line support I am heading towards my goal shape for my upcoming wedding. Ashley listens to how I want my body to be and how I prefer to work out, and knowing that I have a short attention span, she always keeps me guessing. And just when I am getting a bit lazy and thinking about skipping a day or two, I get a message of inspiration. Perfect. Even when I slip up, there she is, reminding me not to give up. I have improved my strength and flexibility as well as dramatically changed my shape, no more jelly belly here! In general I just feel so much better than when I started, thank you Painted Lady!”

– Erin Fitzgerald Sikiric, Melbourne, Australia

The four months I have spent with Ashley was more than spending time exercising; she works with the whole person, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. Since spending time with Ashley I don’t determine my success by the number on the scale, I have learned there is so much more to this journey and she has helped me learn how to have a positive relationship with my body. She has shown me to celebrate my successes no matter how big or small they are, and she is always there to celebrate with me.

Since spending time with Ashley I feel stronger and healthier in all ways. I have been able to set realistic goals for the future and reflect on past goals to realize that they were successful and celebrate them. Ashley customized workouts that challenge me and also make me want to keep pushing my limits. For the first time I have home workouts I look forward to doing and I actually complete. With Ashley’s positive attitude and spirit she helped me realize that I can and will accomplish anything I want. Thank you Ashley for all that you have done.

– Shannah Buffam, Kingston, Ontario

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