Ashley Hart is a successful model locally and internationally. Based in New York, she has built an impressive resume and works constantly for US, European and Australian clients. But she juggles her modelling work with her first passion, teaching yoga. I caught up with Hart to chat about finding her inner confidence through yoga, working with Nicole Kidman and sibling rivalry with her sister, Victoria’s Secret model Jessica Hart.
What is a day in the life of you?
What I love about my life is that every day is different; there is no set regime or schedule. One thing I always do is yoga, so I can have that consistency, which is hard in the modelling industry because you are jetting around everywhere. But I get up in the morning and do at least an hour of yoga and meditation.
What are you doing while you are back in Australia?
Swisse have brought me back here. It’s a whirlwind trip but it’s celebrating the expansion of Swisse going into the international market … Modelling is great, but my main passion in life is yoga, and not just the physical aspect but also the yogic lifestyle, and Swisse have given me a platform [as a ”wellness ambassador”] to share that, which is amazing.
Do you get to hang out with fellow ambassador Nicole Kidman?
Yeah, she’s so awesome. She’s shy and that’s what is so appealing about [her]. I couldn’t believe it when I met her. She’s quite timid and it was really appealing.
I hear you are also on a four-month hiatus with your partner, model Buck Palmer.
Yes, he’s in India finishing his studies to become a Vedic meditation teacher, and it’s full immersion, like ashram-style. We only send one email a week – but I’m so proud of him and I actually feel really free at the moment, and it’s given me a beautiful opportunity to just focus on myself. Just knowing that we have such a beautiful underlying love is the background to my life right now.
Do you get to work a lot together?
More and more. It’s kind of the same with [sister] Jess – as people get to know us as a duo – that we’re doing more [modelling] jobs together.
Being in the same industry as Jess and having a similar look, has there ever been any sibling rivalry?
It’s interesting; so many people ask that question. Jess left home to go to Japan when she was 15, when she first started modelling, and I was still at school. We didn’t see a lot of each other. And then I was living overseas modelling, she was living in a different part of the world and we never really crossed paths and it never felt like it was competition. Then when we finally came together in New York we just realised “oh, my God, not only you’re my best friend, you’re my sister and we have everything in common”, so it’s far from competition.
Jess has become so successful so quickly. Was there ever a time you felt like you were living in her shadow?
No, not at all. She’s inspired me and taught me a lot in the industry.
How do you both cope with all the paparazzi?
It’s so funny – it’s crazy getting paparazzi with Jess in New York … You just have to make fun of it.
Is it hard to keep your life private?
Because of things like Instagram, I forget [my life is public] … But I want to do – like what Gandhi says: be the person you want, be the change you want to see in the world. And for me I want to change so much, but I don’t know how to do that, so all I’m doing right now is living the life that I want to share. So I love not keeping it private, I want to talk about love, I want to talk about health and I want to talk about everything. So I don’t mind everyone being able to see it.
Your sister Jess is very private, especially about her relationship with [Greek shipping tycoon and billionaire] Stavros Niarchos. Do you have to keep that part of your life private?
Yeah, Jess is very different like that because she just likes keeping her privacy … People were drawn towards the secrets.
You’re in such a good place in your life. Was there ever a time where you didn’t feel as confident?
Yeah, definitely. I think that that’s what really put me on my yogic path: I moved overseas to Germany when I was 17 and got really lonely and a little bit lost and was trying to be too skinny and trying to be something that I wasn’t. And that’s when I found Bikram yoga. And just wanting to be fit is what first drew me in, but then I found that was the one time that my peace of mind would come and that I would be up and not be anxious about something and that set me on my whole path … I think it’s a whole path of self, love and acceptance.
Do you ever indulge in anything?
I do. I’m so good right now, though … But what do I indulge? My boyfriend’s parents are in the south of France and every time we go away there’s no way that I don’t drink and have butter and breads and things like that.
What’s next in the pipeline?
Buck and I are working on a health and wellness blog called Our Dream.
WE WENT TO Flow Athletic, Paddington.
WE DRANK Smoothies with Swisse Digestion powder and avocado, celery, cucumber and greens.
ASHLEY WORE Mix Apparel sportswear.
See ‘Date with Kate’ interview with Jess Hart.