It’s no secret that Boulder is inundated with yoga instructors and studios. If you haven’t been in the yoga scene for long (or at all), this can get overwhelming. What instructor will resonate with me? What kind of class should I try?

We’ll talk about different styles of yoga in Boulder later, but for now I’d like to highlight one of my favorite teachers in town, Ashley O’Connor.

Ashley is a vinyasa, yin, and hot/hot power fusion instructor at the CorePower Yoga studios in Boulder and Louisville. She is full of light and laughter, knowledge and wisdom. While much of the modern yoga culture is comprised of what Ashley calls “selfie culture,” she stands out as a truly authentic human who matches who she is in the studio with who she is outside as well.

“Hot is where my heart is,” says Ashley. Hot yoga classes, at least at the studios where Ashley teaches, deliver what they promise in the name—classes tend to be around 105° plus humidity. These classes are based in the Bikram style and usually have a set sequence of postures—this style can be great for students who like consistency, want to see progress through a regular series, and love the heat.

For whatever reason, many hot classes lean on the serious side, but Ashley’s classes are full of joy and laughter. She knows she’s not afraid to laugh, even in hot yoga.

Ashley started her own practice in the world of Bikram yoga about 14 years ago, and completed her first vinyasa teacher training eight years ago. Since then she has done trainings in yoga sculpt, yin, and hot yoga, and continues to teach regular classes and lead trainings to guide future yoga teachers.

ashley at blue lake

Ashley at Blue Lake (photo: Ashley O’Connor)

What makes your heart sing?

AO: Yoga definitely, and hiking. Especially at Blue Lake in Indian Peaks Wilderness.

What is the best part about teaching yoga?

AO: The connection with the people you meet and witnessing their growth.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting a yoga practice?

AO: Just do it!

What advice do you have for a new yoga teacher?

AO: Keep trying. Keep practicing and you’ll get better. If it’s your path, keep going.

And most importantly . . . What’s your favorite story involving a dog?

AO: About four years ago, I went through a major transformation. I ended a 20-plus year chapter in my life, leaving my marriage and the home where we raised our two daughters. Several months later, just as I was beginning to adjust to my new normal, our family dog died quite suddenly. I felt as if I lived inside a snow globe that had been turned upside down once again and that another link to my long-time life had been broken. The next day I turned the page on my dog calendar and saw the silhouette of a dog that looked just like our fox terrier, Sadie, at the bottom of a staircase, about to take the next step into whatever was next. Isn’t that really all we can do after all?

You can find Ashley at CorePower Yoga in Boulder and Broomfield.

Mondays – C1 10:15a at South Boulder CPY and Yin 7:30p at Louisville CPY

Tuesdays – Hot 12:00p and 2:30p Hot Power Fusion (HPF) at SoBo CPY

Wednesdays – Hot 8:45a North Boulder and 5:15p SoBo

Saturdays – 5:30p Yin Louisville

Sundays – 8:45a Hot NoBo, 1:00p Core Restore/Yin SoBo and 2:30p HPF NoBo