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Inspiring Conversations with Ashley Filippi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Filippi.

Hi Ashley, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
“Ayurveda”. In 2015, I had no clue what that word meant. Back in 2015, during my first pregnancy, I was working as a corporate Analyst in Houston, Texas. Feeling intuitive and listening to my body, I started practicing Prenatal Yoga. Noticing the amazing benefits I felt, I started to think about teaching Yoga myself. I was seeing an OBGYN at the time because I had a loss of a twin early on, but that soon changed. I chose a midwife practice and started to use different natural remedies for anemia and prenatal health. Taking these natural remedies and feeling better, I felt there was so much I needed to learn about holistic health. At the studio where I was practicing Prenatal Yoga, they announced a 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training that was starting soon so I eagerly signed up. It was evenings and weekends so I was able to attend outside of my full-time job.

Elan was born at the birth center and postpartum was harder than I had imagined. My husband, Dario, took the week off but there was not much help for me personally. Family came to hold the baby and give unsolicited advice and leave. They were telling me I was eating the wrong food, etc. I thought to myself, “how do I not even know what foods are appropriate for me at this time”? I was feeling as though there had to be another way where the mother felt cared for with all of the work she was doing recovering from birth and breastfeeding. I set a year as a breastfeeding goal and could not imagine being at work without my son. So I gave notice at my job and continued to stay home with him.

When my son was about a year old, my husband and I decided that Houston was not the place for us to raise our family so we set our sights on Denver, Colorado. We made the move in November 2016. In Denver, I found a place called the Mama’hood where they have prenatal, postnatal, and baby and me Yoga classes. I started to attend regularly and met all the great Lactation Consultants, Doulas, and Yoga teachers.

I began another 200 hr Yoga teacher training because the one I was working towards in Houston ended when they acquired new management and new teachers. This time, I chose a Yoga teacher training that was deep and layered because I was drawn to learning from a lineage and more of a traditional practice. This is where I began to learn about Ayurveda. I learned how incredible it is and how simple it is to make some changes to balance out the body. I completed my 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training and I went straight into Postnatal Yoga training. I was then newly pregnant with my son Leo and was going to Prenatal yoga two days a week was very committed to my practice and to the community.

Near the end of my pregnancy, I was given the opportunity to take an 85 hour Prenatal Yoga teacher training. This teacher inspired me with mantras, meditation, and kundalini practices. I delved into books and studied about pregnancy and the fourth trimester.

Around this time, I was also exposed to an Ayurvedic Infant Massage class. I enjoyed the teacher and thought what she was doing as an Ayurvedic Doula was amazing. I hired her for my postpartum Abhyanga and started to look up as much as I could with foods and herbs to give myself an Ayurvedic postpartum window. I realized with all of my research that there are certain foods and lifestyle choices that will help support the mother to heal properly. I was so excited as this is what I was craving from my first postpartum. I also hired a postpartum doula to help with cooking, light cleaning, dishes, and infant care. This showed me how important it is for mothers to have someone with unbiased support. Someone to just focus on what the mother and family need.

As I emerged from my 42-day sacred window, I called my Ayuvedic Doula and asked her where the best school was to take the Ayurvedic Doula training for myself. She told me it was in Boulder, Colorado! How lucky was I to attend the best school right in Colorado near my home. I found out that a new class was starting in a couple of months. I went straight into that training at four months postpartum. Ayurved Sadhana offers a nine months intensive Ayurvedic Doula Certification. Along with this training, I was required to complete a general Postpartum Doula training. I completed this course online while taking the Ayurvedic Doula training in person. All this while breastfeeding an infant and having a toddler running around. I was completing my community hours for the school at the same time as taking full-time care for my sons. Dario definitely helped when he could. He would even park outside the building with the kids if I needed to breastfeed Leo.

Once I completed the training, we decided that our condo was too small for our growing family. In early 2019, we decided to relocate to St. Louis where we were closer to my family and some friends. I was just getting comfortable in the community when Covid hit. I kept up with my website and practiced my craft at home. I did not have much time as the boys school closed down and Dario was working from home but I did what I could. My family traveled to Costa Rica for two months while my husband was working remotely and I offered some virtual support. During all of this, I breastfeed my boys for a combination of four full years!

I am happy to serve families in their homes here in St. Louis.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been many struggles along the way! Some struggles I faced were with advertising, education on Ayurveda, balancing work and home life, and becoming confident in my packages and prices. Being patient while growing my business and my community has also been challenging. When we moved suddenly in 2019, I had to start over. I joined a local Doula support group called Doulas of Greater St. Louis, which has given me a lot of local Doula support. Getting to know other Doulas and supporting each other is important to me. Since then, I was nominated and accepted the position of Vice-President.

Something that I have had to embrace is that most of my weekends and evenings are used for working. It is quite a lot to keep up with small children and develop a business. Most of the time, I want to do more, but I have to slow down and be present with where I am and how this is unfolding.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Ashley Filippi LLC?
As the first and only Ayurvedic Prenatal and Postnatal Specialist in the St. Louis metropolitan area, I offer an abundance of sacred and individualized Ayurvedic Mother care. I have extensive knowledge and resources in the birth and baby world, both locally and online. Preparing your body before conception and care during pregnancy will help bring on a healthy postpartum. Focusing on the mother is important as the body tends to be out of balance during pregnancy and birth. In postpartum, I include cooking, herbs, teas, belly wrapping, medicinal ghee, medicinal baths, infant massage, light Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga, pelvic floor education, parenting support and advice, mother’s warm oil application (Abhyanga), emotional support, and babywearing support. I even wear the baby myself and show clients how to do the same.

I provide a customized plan for each family and work with the family in their own home where they are most comfortable. We start with a meeting where we discuss your goals and what this will look like when the time comes. Some days we don’t complete everything on the list, and some days we might do more! I like to set this precedent early on through meetings and communication so that we are on the same page once the baby arrives.

What sets me apart are my personal experiences, Ayurvedic and Yogic Knowledge, and the extensive and respected teachers and training I’ve accomplished. Another thing that I focus on are the biological needs of mother and infant.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
To be honest, I do most of my shopping at Goodwill. I like to go to the outlet and get clothes, homeware, toys, and books for the kids. I like that I am buying second-hand and that it is affordable and in good shape. It’s like a hunt too, you have to search for what you need and sometimes you are surprised along the way.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brea Photography

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