EB Birthing + Foundations Studio have partnered to connect mamas-to-be in the Greater Central Indiana area.
Enjoy this Q+A with Ashley Dirks, Foundations Studio instructor, mom, friend and pre + postnatal yoga instructor, as we talk about how prenatal and postnatal yoga can support your growing and healing body
Tell us about you!
I am originally from the north side of Indy and graduated from Indiana University. I met my husband at IU and after graduation he joined the Army, we got married and moved to Savannah, Georgia! We moved around the country for about 14 years, and have 2 boys, 16 and 12. We decided to move back to Indy about 11 years ago to raise our kids around family.
When and why did you start teaching pre + postnatal yoga?
I have taught group fitness off and on for about 20 years, but I decided to get my Yoga certification 6 years ago. During my teacher training we studied pre-natal yoga and when I attended a class, I knew that was what I wanted to teach. After graduating YTT, I immediately enrolled in a Pre-natal certification course and I’ve been teaching pre natal yoga for about 5 years!
Tell us a little about Foundations Studio.
Foundations Studio is a Pilates, Fitness and Recovery Studio. Our mission is to ensure you are constantly being challenged, while feeling encouraged and supported. Our class sizes are smaller in order to provide the best experience and be attentive to our client’s needs.
How is prenatal yoga different from other kinds of yoga?
The sequences and stretching are gentler, and a bit slower than a traditional vinyasa class. We focus a lot of attention of strengthening and lengthening the muscles needed to support mom and the growing baby to alleviate discomforts, helping circulation and focused attention on breathing.
What are the benefits of taking your prenatal yoga class?
I like to create a sense of community in my yoga class while also being attentive to where each mama is in her pregnancy. I am honored to hold space each week, as we work to strengthen, stretch, soften, and of course laugh to get ready for baby’s birth.
How early should I start prenatal yoga?
Its never too early too early or too late to start!! I have mama’s start as early as 8 weeks and attend all the way through and I’ve also had mama’s start at 35 weeks to reduce anxiety as they get closer to labor.
Is there any point where it’s too late for prenatal yoga?
What if I’ve never done yoga before?
That’s ok! Prenatal yoga is not about getting into a certain pose, its about connecting to the breath and movement, while lengthening and strengthening the muscles that support you during pregnancy.
What makes your prenatal yoga class different from other group classes?
Sometimes I can get a little silly in class, but I think it is important to keep it real…and talk about the things no one may tell you! And after all, it’s not often you weave terms like pelvic floor into regular conversation!
What do I need to bring with me to a class?
Just you! Wear comfortable clothes and if you want to bring your own mat you can. If you forget your mat, or don’t own one that’s ok, Foundations has mats available and has the props that will be used in class (bolster and blocks).
What is your favorite part about teaching mamas-to-be?
The connection and community. I love being able to share the journey of pregnancy, and help alleviate discomforts, anxiety
What motivated you to create an event like this for the women in your community?
Motherhood is such a complex journey, and the sense of community is so important. One of my favorite quotes is “The circle of women around us weave an invisible net of love that carry us when we’re weak and sing with us when we’re strong” ~SARK