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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Born to teach. From childhood cancer survivor to kids yoga studio owner

Ashley Goldberg
 After being diagnosed with a form of bone cancer in her femur at age 7, and a recurrence at age 12, Ashley Goldberg, owner of Born Yoga studio in Birmingham, Michigan, chose to live life on the bright side.

"I've always had a positive attitude. I thought, I'm sick, but I'm going to be okay. There was never a question that I wouldn't make it," says Goldberg, now 31.
Courtesy Born Free Yoga

Surviving chemo, hair loss, and the pain of surgeries, Goldberg got in to yoga early on and learned how to use her breath as a healing tool.

"I used my breath, breathing, and deep relaxation to...
get me through," says Goldberg, who pondered her life's purpose about this time, too.

"As a childhood cancer survivor, you see a lot of survivors doing unbelievable things. In my mind, I wanted to work with kids on a regular basis," says Goldberg, who became a pre-school teacher and later brought yoga in to her classroom.
Courtesy Born Free Yoga

"The kids took to it and there were noticeable changes in my classroom. Students were calming their bodies and self-regulating. It was such an incredible thing to witness," says Goldberg, who is also a certified adult and kids yoga instructor. She's completed trainings in pre and post-natal yoga, as well.

"After my Karma Kids teacher training, I called my mom the first day to say, I'm opening a children's yoga studio. For the first time, I felt like this is what I was meant to do. A big part of me is a kid at heart. I lost out on a big part of my childhood, as I was in and out of hospital a lot," says Goldberg.

Working off of a small business loan she was awarded through The Jewish Federation in Metro Detroit, Goldberg searched for a year before finding the proper retail space to open her studio.

"Once I got my space, I opened a month and a half later," says Goldberg. "I had the vision in my head for its look --the colors, logo and furniture. My dad and I laid the floors and painted the crates."
Just two months since its opening, Goldberg offers 25 classes each week from prenatal up to teens and family classes. Aerial kids yoga is offered and birthday parties are hosted here too.
"It's amazing, fun and really taking off," says Goldberg, who teaches most of the classes, along with 3 other staffers.
"I'm so proud of myself and truly feel like I made a dream come true," she says.
Up the road, Goldberg plans to expand in to therapeutic yoga.
"It's important to get in to hospitals and offer classes for kids there. I do it now on a volunteer basis, and it's a personal goal," she says.
As for Goldberg's unique brand message, she says, "I really like my tag line -- where little yogis come to life. Kids have an opportunity here to become who they are, to find their voice, their strength, imagination and playful side. When they're here, I want it to change their lives."






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