Lauren Ash is a wellness visionary, yoga and meditation guide, engaging speaker and creative writer, and founder and executive director of the culture-shifting lifestyle brand synonymous with black women’s wellness—Black Girl In Om.
Lauren’s contributions to the world ultimately reflect what she once needed and didn’t see. From the BGIO podcast—which has reached more than half a million listeners—to self-care sessions, her leadership in creating and cultivating meaningful experiences and content for a hugely marginalized community illuminate the compassion, care, and belonging that she affirms all women of color are deserving of. Since founding the leading platform for women of color on their wellness journeys in 2014, OWN, Nike, MAKE UP FOREVER, Wanderlust, HBO, and SXSW have partnered with Lauren—recognizing her as a trailblazer in contemporary wellness and having a tremendous influence on modern beliefs about mindful living and beauty.
And her contributions are resonating with everyone—Lauren was recently named “a leading voice in the healthy-living world” by Well+Good, recognized at the top of ESSENCE’s list of “33 Self-Care Sistahs That Helped Redefine Wellness in 2017,” declared “one of the most important voices in the wellness industry” by Shape, and affirmed on Create & Cultivate’s 2018 100 List as one of 10 champions in wellness.
Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, Lauren grew up in predominantly white settings and didn’t see herself reflected in most of her surroundings. After a series of racially-motivated hate crimes ensued on her college community, she began to take leadership roles and creating and cultivating safe spaces for people of color. After college, the stresses of graduate school nudged her to take up yoga. She fell in love with it and when she serendipitously moved to Chicago in 2013 she followed her intuition and took up yoga teacher training one year later. There, the seeds for Black Girl In Om began to deepen their roots within her.
Carrying a 200-hour power yoga training and a 200-hour vinyasa yoga training, Lauren centers deeper breath-body-mind awareness as well as community, self-acceptance, and radical self-love as a yoga guide. She has toured the nation sharing her Self-care and Yoga for Women of Color and rebirth workshops reaching over thousands of people since 2014 with her good vibes and inclusivity.
A natural teacher, Lauren shares her story and wellness expertise to inspire. From keynote talks at the University of Missouri and moderated panel conversations at SXSW to engaging self-care talks at Nike Chicago and expert speakeasys at Wanderlust, 2018 alone has Lauren motivating people from all backgrounds to reflect on their own narratives and get excited about the possibilities of designing their lives and careers on their own terms.
Girlboss, Glamour, mindbodygreen, Teen Vogue, Thoughtfully Magazine, and Well+Good, are a short list of numerous wellness and lifestyle brands Lauren has contributed to. Catch her cover story at CRWN Magazine and past features in ELLE, ESSENCE, Forbes, Saint Heron, and Yahoo Beauty.
Lauren enjoys a current partnership with Nike as a trainer and SXSW as an advisory member. When she’s not busy creating change, she’s practicing her headstand, making a high-vibrational playlist, or soaking up the sun in tropical climates.