I first met the vibrant Ashleigh Clarke a couple of years ago, whilst doing makeup for a photo shoot for Lure Whitsundays.
Since then we have managed to run into each other on many occasions and always seem to be able to have a great chat. Ashleigh is one of those enthusiasts for life. She has made her passion into her job and has become very successful blogging as The Sailing Yogi. Lets find out more about Ashleigh and how she became a The Sailing Yogi.
So what came first Yoga or Sailing?
Sailing. Actually similar times, but was definitely into boating before.
How did you get into Sailing?
I graduated with a bachelor in art history and worked in an Art Gallery in Brisbane. I didn’t enjoy city life and I felt that the art scene was super institutionalised so I head back home to save money to travel and during this stint ended up working on a sailing catamaran.
How did you get into Yoga?
During my overseas trip. I actually tried to do Yoga in University but it was too expensive. I had been travelling for 3 months around the states. At the end of this trip we ended up in New York and were so poor that we signed up for 2 week beginner trial Yoga in Soho. I’d never been to classes where the teacher themed them with life off the mat, it was in one of these classed with Heather Lilleston (who runs Yoga for Bad People) that something clicked and that was the beginning of my yoga journey.
You had your own Yoga studio?
How long did you have it for and why did you decide to close it?
Yes I did for two years in Proserpine. One of the main reasons why I closed it, was that I didn’t have enough teachers to offer the classes needed.
I actually opened it because I was too scared to teach at other studios!
I felt that I wasn’t good enough to teach at other studios so I started teaching my own classes in Proserpine to gain experience and it just evolved from there.
Obviously you have a passion for sailing? How did you come up with the concept of the sailing yogi?
I wanted to niche myself in Yoga, as it is a saturated industry. I loved the concept of doing Yoga all around the islands, something different to stand out and thought it would be a great way to build a following if I ever wanted to announce yoga retreats one day.
Your Blog has received some great reviews and attention, would you say that you have achieved your goal?
I didn’t really set out with a goal and the direction of The Sailing Yogi has definitely changed since I started. I was determined to get the 10k followers though. I spent loads of time building my blog and following. Then after that it has become harder as I didn’t spend as much time on the platforms. Now that I have a small following I spend a lot of time thinking what next, and I put pressure on myself to do better and give value to people.
What is something that most don’t know about you?
Actually a bit of an Introvert.
I love alone time and small groups.
What is your favourite book/movie?
Harry Potter – die hard fanatic. “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” Tom Robbins
I don’t watch television at all really. Love Disney movies.
What is your number one guilty pleasure or indulgent?
Jam on toast. I never ever have it but whenever I am at a hotel or travelling and the option is there I have strawberry jam on toast with a cup of tea.
It makes me feel like I’m about 14 again.
You have just opened your store for the sailing yogi and have your own brand – How did this come about?
I wanted to learn how ecommerce worked so I just decided to start selling products and shirts seemed like an easy option that I could tailor to The Sailing Yogi brand. I currently have three designs available. One is called Bad Yogi. Salty just really fit with my vibe, a little retro. The last shirt has two isolated danger marks on the boobs – a little tongue and cheek and for my fellow sailing/boat loving followers.
How do you juggle all your jobs, whilst still managing time to do your yoga, blogging, sailing etc. Any handy hints?
I don’t know! I forgo a lot of things, nights out, trips away, parties etc. I say no in order to get things done. Whenever you’re juggling jobs I think it’s really important to be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up and make yourself feel guilty if you make a mistake or leave one of your jobs on the wayside for a while.
And make time for yourself – otherwise you will go insane!
Being successful at having created a following for your blog, do you have any handy advice for those just starting out?
I have three.
Get out of your comfort zone – I would say I am scared of most things I do (putting out content for the world to judge and comment on is scary!) but I do it anyway otherwise you never grow as a person or blog/business.
Be consistent – consistently put out new, genuine and authentic content. This is not about uploading something every day. You should never put up shit content for the sake of putting something out there. But you should be consistent (whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly) in putting out genuinely good and engaging content that you are proud of.
Master the basics – be humble enough to take the time to learn and analyse how other people use the platforms you are on. You will then learn that different platforms need different content and that your audience engages differently on both.
Where to next?
I don’t know! The end goal is to one day have a boat. But for now I am setting myself up to be able to have an income while I travel and continue building The Sailing Yogi in other tropical destinations around the world.
You can follow The Sailing Yogi on Instagram or head straight to her website.