Hello! I’m Ariel, the face behind Compassion As My Compass. I started this blog to share my experience with living a vegan and yogi life. After becoming a yoga teacher in 2017 I found that so many people believe yoga is simply the moves you do on your mat, and nothing more. I’ve been so sad that people don’t know the many other wonderful, amazing, inspiring things that yoga has to offer beyond the practice that happens on their mat. Yoga is being good to others, to the planet, and to yourself, but I found that all of those things were lost as soon as my students walked out the door. Even attending classes at other studios, it became apparent so quickly that most of what yoga is in the current day is so body focused. People want to be able to have the deepest Warrior 2, or finally nail that arm balance, or be able to kick up into a handstand and that’s where the love of yoga stops. But it is so, so much more than that and it’s something that has, for me, changed my life. So through this blog (and my podcast) I’ll be explaining what yoga means to me, and what it’s like to follow the practices of yoga through daily life without sacrificing any of your morals.
Over the past few years I’ve made a major shift in my life to focus on growing my understanding of what yoga is and how I can better share that with my clients, and with you, my gorgeous readers. I spent a very short time working in a gym as a personal trainer, but ultimately left when my boss told me, “you just let $460 walk out the door” when a client didn’t resign. It was then that I opened a small private studio in my home. At first I focused on personal training and group fitness classes but I always felt like something was lacking. I didn’t have a way to help my clients deal with the emotional aspect that is often linked with extra weight and negative self image. It was then that I decided to pursue an education in yoga, and I felt like my entire life changed. Finally I had a way to link the physical benefits of exercise with the mental healing required to live a happy, healthy life. I completed my 200 Hour Training with Santosha Yoga Institute, completed a Yoga Trapeze course with Yoga Body and am currently working my way through training to become a certified Yoga Therapist with Breathing Deeply, an IAYT accredited school.
It’s hard for me to explain just how dramatically my life has changed since I deepened my yoga knowledge. Once I was able to step back from the asanas (the physical part of the practice) and see that what my body does is just a small portion of what yoga truly is, it was as though my outlook on every other part of my life changed. I found compassion not only for myself, but for other people, animals, this planet-everything. Taking these practices off my mat and into my daily life, at first, seemed so impossible. There’s the idea that every person should be striving towards enlightenment, and at first all I could think was, “how can I do that when I live in New York, surrounded by so many people and things and life is so stressful!?”. But what I ultimately discovered is that each person’s link to the yogi life is a little different, and that working it into every part of every day truly isn’t that difficult. My journey so far with yoga has taught me that taking care of myself above all else is the most important thing, because it means I can be the best me to offer to those around me.
While my current home base is in New York, I will soon be splitting my time between there and Greece and Cyprus. If yoga has taught me nothing else, it’s that suffering is really not ideal (duh), and unfortunately the winters in New York cause me nothing but suffering (I grew up in California-what do you expect?!). So to remedy that, I’ll be exploring Greece, and possibly other wonderfully warm and sunshiney places during the many, unending winter months in the north east of the US. As I travel, I’ll share with you how I do so as a yogi, as a vegan, and as a blogger. Please, please never hesitate to reach out to me! I’d love to hear your stories, your struggles, your triumphs, and any questions you may have. I’d particularly appreciate any vegan-themed recommendations in Europe that I should add to my to-do list! To get in contact with me, head here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog does not happen without your love and support, and I want to get to know the amazing people that are my readers and followers. So please, if you’d be so kind, comment a few lines below about yourself! Do you practice yoga, or want to know more about it? Are you vegan, or veg curious? Do you like to travel? Let me know about YOU!