Butter me up

Ash and her equally gorg gaptoothed sister, Jessica Hart (ex-Victoria’s Secret model), make up a stunning duo who have us frantically working out how to crack their genetic code. Glowing skin, toned limbs, blindingly white dazzling smiles… Surely the product of a kale-fuelled lifestyle? Ashley lets us in on a secret: she eats butter. And not just butter, but also oil and ghee – the spicy, creamy butter, that features prominently in Indian cuisine and traditional medicine. “Having a high good-fat diet has changed everything for me. I just feel really on!” she beams. Noakes fans rejoice! But that banging body can’t be made of butter alone. So we asked Ash how we could get her sculpted limbs and rocking abs. The answer? Yoga. (Okay, not what we expected, either…) Hot-body practice Ash discovered Bikram 10 years ago. “I just loved the intensity of it. I love the challenge.” While today she’s Zen to the letter, it was the promise of tone-up gains that got her started. “I didn’t get into yoga because I wanted to have this spiritual experience. What got me there was the physical aspect of Bikram being a hardcore workout. That got me in the door and from there I found my path.

I look forward to just having that peace of mind and having a stretch, but also being able to go really strong and deep within postures with a conscious attitude.” Your daily woosah It’s Ashley’s holistic approach to life that makes her so extra shiny. She meditates twice a day and chooses long walks over loud classes. “Sometimes I use yoga to get my daily workout. But what I really get the most out of it is breathing and actually sitting with the feelings and sensations in my body. Just being able to get that peace of mind makes everything else fall into place.

Yoga is constant learning – that’s why it’s a daily practice.” While the cardio bunny in you might be yawning, these ideas do carry merit. Just one session on the mat has been shown to help lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to greater risk of heart disease and a flabby tum. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine shows that study participants who practised yoga for 12 weeks lowered their oxidative stress levels, improved their antioxidant levels and had reduced amounts of stress hormones, compared to study participants who didn’t hit the mat. Toning and de-stressing in one? Bring on the crow pose! But there’s more to life than sun salutations. What we love most about Ash? She’s human too… “After a big day, there’s something special about coming home and having a glass of wine with my husband.” Now that’s our kind of balance.


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