She acts, she writes, she hosts the FreeBody podcast, and she’s a yoga and meditation instructor. If there’s anything STARZ’s Power Book II: Ghost’s Paton Ashbrook can’t do, we can’t pinpoint it.
You are a yoga and meditation instructor, as well as an actress. Which job is hardest?
“Both acting and yoga are huge healers in my life, and healing is quite hard! I’d say working as an actor tends to be more triggering because of its ephemeral nature and the emotional places I may have to go, whereas yoga and meditation deepen the connection to myself and others, and sometimes that can bring up buried pain. Acting often helps me do shadow work and yoga helps me process and integrate it. Both invite us to accept the entire spectrum of human experience with more compassion and less judgment. That is healing! And it’s hard work. But in simplest terms, the long work hours on set are the most challenging. I love sleep.”
What advice can you give to anyone looking for ways to take a minute for themselves?
“Start small. Carve out a few minutes every day to heal your central nervous system. Society has conditioned us into this hustle culture of go, go, go!—so I cannot stress how life-changing it’s been for me to have a daily meditation, chanting and journaling practice. But you have to start small. We teach our body safety slowly and deliberately. A five-minute meditation, a daily walk in the park, a bubble bath—whatever sings to you…and singing is great too! Just find the body-centered practices that resonate and stick with them daily. When your mind calms down and you drop into connection with your body, everything feels less like an emergency.”
Why is your platform so important to you?
“As I explore more trauma-informed approaches to my work, I hope to spread awareness of the importance of getting into our bodies, especially in this age where technology and trauma keep us trapped in our heads and our often limited perceptions of the world. I believe triggers are our biggest teachers and that when we share our experiences and they’re met with compassion, we can heal. Over the past few years, I’ve experienced a lot of growth and stability in my life thanks to the somatic (body-centered) practices I’ve learned, and I believe that the more people learn about this alternative healing and integrate it into their lives, the healthier our world will become.”
You have spoken openly about freezing your eggs. What advice would you give to anyone considering it?
“Start acupuncture now! I started going right when I began the egg-freezing process, and it was instrumental in easing my anxiety and discomfort. I’ve continued to go in weekly for my “tune-up” and it’s brought my whole system into balance—I haven’t experienced PMS for months now, and I used to get debilitating cramps regularly!
I just launched the third season of my podcast FreeBody where I share my whole experience with egg freezing and all that I learned, so definitely check that out anywhere you get your podcasts. I’m also posting vlogs in tandem with each episode on our Instagram @freebodypodcast for my visual learners out there!”
Are there any beauty products you love or any treatments you recently tried?
“I am a big fan of Gua sha a few times a week, which has become one of my favorite nighttime rituals. I’ve also been using an oil cleanser and moisturizer from Living Libations called Best Skin Ever ($40) that I apply right after hot yoga. It makes my skin feel so dewy and vibrant. As someone who practices hot yoga regularly during a dry New York winter, finding a good moisturizer is EVERYTHING.”