An Exclusive Interview with Ashton August

From Mindset to Philanthropy, Exploring the Journey of a Wellness and Advocate

Explore Ashton August’s journey from writing to wellness entrepreneurship. Discover her insights on mindset, self-motivation, social impact, and van-life adventures 

Meet Ashton August, a dynamic force in the realm of wellness, whose passion for fostering positive change transcends boundaries. With a diverse background encompassing writing, yoga instruction, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, Ashton embodies a holistic approach to life that resonates deeply with her audience. As a wellness expert and the author of two motivational books, Learn Grow Shift and A Year of Self-Motivation for Women, with her third book, Mindfulness Practices for Anxiety, on the horizon, Ashton’s journey is a testament to the power of self-discovery and personal growth.

Grounded in her experience as a Creative Nonfiction Writing MFA graduate and a seasoned yoga instructor for over 13 years, Ashton’s mission took shape with the inception of, a leading wellness website, and YA Classes, a mission-driven yoga, meditation, and fitness app. Through these platforms, Ashton has touched the lives of millions worldwide, providing invaluable resources and guidance for mind-body-life wellness.

In our exclusive interview with Ashton, we delve into the motivations driving her multifaceted endeavors and the impact she envisions for the wellness community. From her insights on fostering positive self-talk and mindset to her unwavering commitment to social impact, Ashton’s wisdom shines through as she shares personal anecdotes and strategies for maintaining balance amidst her various roles.

As a motivational speaker, Ashton’s messages of mindset wellness and the importance of holistic well-being resonate deeply in an era marked by constant change and challenges. With a keen emphasis on the intersection of mindset and wellness, she champions the transformative power of self-care and intentional living.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Ashton’s adventurous spirit finds expression in her van-life journey, where she, alongside her husband and rescue dogs, embarks on a transformative odyssey across the country. Through these experiences, Ashton discovers invaluable lessons in flexibility, gratitude, and the beauty of embracing the unknown.

Join us as we uncover the inspiring journey of Ashton August, a trailblazer whose dedication to empowering others and making a meaningful impact continues to illuminate pathways to wellness and personal fulfillment.

What inspired you to create and YA Classes, and how do you see these platforms impacting the wellness community?

Shortly after receiving my MFA in Creative NonFiction Writing and becoming an English Professor, I also started teaching yoga. I wanted to bridge my passion for writing with my love of yoga and desire to spread wellness on a global level. This was when YogiApproved (we’ve since rebranded to YouAligned) was born in 2015. is our yoga and wellness online magazine with thousands of free articles on yoga, meditation, mindfulness, nutrition and more resources for mind-body-life wellness. We are named Top Ten Global Yoga Resources with over a million annual readers! YA Classes is our 5-star yoga and fitness membership app. Between our website, app, and YouTube, we have had the immense privilege of spreading wellness to millions of people around the world.

Your book A Year of Self-Motivation for Women focuses on fostering positive self-talk and mindset. Can you share a personal experience or anecdote that inspired this book’s creation?

I have always been a high achiever, but for most of my life it came from a place of trying to prove myself. Once I flipped that script from striving for approval to accepting and loving myself as I am, I started exploring the power of my self-talk. I realized that I still had that old narrative replaying in my head of “never good enough, not worthy, etc.” 

A healthy mindset and empowering self-talk opens the door to an abundantly fulfilling life. Tapping into this power motivated me to share it with others, particularly women. Because as women, society holds us to often unrealistic expectations that, when gone unchecked can destroy our sense of self-worth. And without self-worth, how can we expect to have an empowered mindset and the motivation that comes with it? 

As a motivational speaker, what are some common themes or messages you find yourself emphasizing in your talks, and why are they important to you?

My two dominant themes are mindset and wellness. Often I blend the two for what I like to call mindset wellness which blends emotional intelligence (EQ), empowering self-talk, and wellness practices for a fortified mindset.

Mindset is everything, and self-talk dictates our entire lives, from the actions we take to the decisions we make. 

Wellness is key to success. Wellness encompasses an active lifestyle, nutrition + hydration, work-life balance, and mental / emotional / spiritual fulfillment. Speaking from experience, if you don’t shore up your energy supply with consistent and intentional self-care and work-life balance, you will experience burn out. The secret to ultimate productivity is what we do when we are not working. 

How do you balance your roles as an entrepreneur, author, yoga instructor, and speaker? Do you have any specific strategies or rituals that help you stay focused and productive?

While I do have this significantly dialed in, it’s still a work in progress. That said, here are my keys for maintaining my sanity, motivation, and passion for all that I do so I can continue to show up and give my best:

1. My morning routine of hydration, meditation, and intention to start my day

2. Rest for ultimate success! It took me years to get to this point, but I take 1-2 full days off each week as a non-negotiable. 

3. Daily exercise for my physical + mental health

4. Commitment to self-care and non-work activities that nourish my soul and my creativity: reading, spending time outdoors, hot baths, time with friends

5. Eat the Frog: complete the biggest task on the list first

6. 4 hours of deep focused work instead of 8 hours of distracted, hectic ‘multitasking’

 5. Your commitment to social impact, such as planting food-producing trees for farming communities in West Africa through YA Classes, is admirable. What led you to incorporate such initiatives into your business model, and what impact have you seen so far?

Thank you for this accolade! I believe altruism should be a key pillar of every business, and it certainly is for mine. When we first created YA Classes, we wanted to find a way to motivate our members to stay consistent with their yoga. More importantly, we wanted to find a way to give back, and that’s when the idea to quantify classes with tree planting was born. 312,000+ trees planted later, we couldn’t be more proud of the impact this has had for our members, the planet, and for the farming communities in Sub-Saharan Africa where these trees are planted. 

6. Van-life seems like an adventurous lifestyle choice. How has traveling around the country with your husband and rescue dogs influenced your work and personal growth, if at all?

Like any form of travel, van life can be intense, stressful, and full of unknowns and this has taught me a lot about myself. It has opened me up to personal growth in ways I never expected, from deepening my self-reliance and trust that everything will work out, to helping me with my patience and ability to go with the flow instead of trying to control everything. 

As an entrepreneur, van life has taught me flexibility, discipline, and immense gratitude for the life I’ve built that I’m able to travel and work remotely. As an author, nothing is more inspiring than being on the open road! Travel in all forms has influenced my writing and deepened my prowess as a writer. 

Follow the Author:

award seal
Editor’s Choice, Award of Literary Excellence  is presented to Ashton August and a select group of exceptional authors by Reader’s House magazine.
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