"Every experience, every challenge has helped me to grow, to discover more of who I am. There is no strength without challenge."
I grew up in a super sporty family. My Dad, Jack Ralston, was a coach to many top level runners and triathletes, so I spent my weekends as a kid hanging out with Dad and his athletes absorbing how inspiring and motivational he was. Not only was he coaching his athletes to their greatest in the sports arena, but assisting them to tap into their unlimited potential.
This is really what lead me to becoming a massage therapist. Not only did I find human anatomy fascinating but I found a love for working with people. I went to my first yoga class in my early 20’s to stretch out my tight ‘runners legs’ and my tired massage shoulders! I absolutely loved the way I felt afterwards – taller, relaxed, so calm and clear in the mind.
Over the next few years I dabbled in a few styles of yoga available in NZ at the time – Iyengar and Astanga. The depth of alignment in Iyengar appealed to the anatomy geek side of me, however it was in the midst of being stuck in a really destructive relationship, physically unwell, and at my lowest point ever that my yoga practice took me in a new direction. At a time when I felt so lost, my time on the mat was the only time that I would remember who I really was. My yoga practice reminded me that I was strong even though at the time I felt so weak, it reminded me that I was worthy of love and belonging... so here started my healing journey.
I gained the strength and courage to leave that relationship, 6 months pregnant. And after a difficult birth and challenging, emotional time, I had to work really hard to rebuild my core and find balance in my life. When my daughter was 2 years old I started teacher training in the rigorous Iyengar method. Once certified I started to travel and experience different styles of teaching, finding what resonated with me. Over this time life presented me with a whole new set of challenges, my beloved father became really sick and required a bone marrow transplant. My yoga practice held me together and took on a different dimension – it was time to put all that wisdom that I’d learned on the mat into my everyday life to help navigate me and my family through this very difficult time.
Sadly my father passed away 2 years later, and this was the biggest kick up the bum to get on and ‘live my bliss’. I opened Urban Ashram in March 2013 and branched out with my own ‘Ralston Method’. Every day I get to watch other people transform their lives and their bodies from what I teach. It’s so rewarding when I see people have breakthroughs or discover something about themselves.
Yoga is the vehicle for a journey deep within. One that can be so transformative, freeing and liberating, opening you up to connect to who you truly are, and live from that authentic place.