Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
Ashlee teaches Ayurvedic postpartum cooking and herbal foods at the Center for Sacred Window Studies. She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula, and Birth Doula. Ashlee is also a mother to a 15 month old son and lives in Grass Valley, California.
Ashlee is passionate about working to empower other women to embody the feminine. She believes the work we do as postpartum caregivers is revolutionary work that honors our lineages similar to the Iroquois nation’s philosophy of the impact of our actions on seven generations – “When you do the healing on yourself, you are shifting the energy from the past and for the generations ahead of you.”
Ashlee sees her work and the work of Center Sacred Window Studies as revolutionary, supporting a shift in the generational patterns from the past as well as the generational patterns forward.
Ashlee’s journey to Ayurveda started in college with a Bachelor’s in Clinical Nutrition at Cal Poly.
She felt like there were individualized pieces missing from what she was learning. After graduating, she traveled throughout South East Asia and eventually heard her first lecture on Ayurveda. Ayurvedic medicine made sense to her. She found Ayurveda practical because it is based on the laws of nature and she knew studying Ayurveda was her next step.
Ashlee then attended the California College for Ayurveda where she completed their full program and Body Therapies Training Program. When she started studying Ayurvedic Medicine she planned to write a research paper on Ayurvedic birth and postpartum practices. Her teacher recommended she contact Ysha Oaks CAP, who was the only person teaching on the subject in the US at the time. Ashlee and Ysha spoke for over an hour and Ashlee was so excited to hear about Ayurvedic postpartum care and was thrilled to learn more. Two years later she got to study with Ysha Oaks when Ysha came to Grass Valley to teach an in-person two week intensive. Ashlee followed this experience with a six month externship with Ysha.
Ashlee knew working in women’s health with moms and birthers was her path.
Since 2017 Ashlee has been studying Ayurveda on a deeper level with AYU Academy with her teacher Jessica Vallela, BAMS. The AYU Academy program has provided Ashlee with a greater depth of understanding of Ayurveda and with the tools to access the classical Ayurvedic texts when questions arise.
Following the basic principles of doshas, qualities, and their normalizing opposites through the lense of Ayurveda, is her biggest takeaway to share with a new mom from studying the classical texts of Ayurveda.
Through the Ayurvedic texts including Caraka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hrdaya, and Bhava Prakasa, she has studied the classical recommendations on postpartum care for birthers in healing their bodies and reducing Vata dosha. Some of these basic practices include:
- Maintaining warmth around the mother in the immediate postpartum window by anointing her with warm ghee or medicated oil (also known as giving the mother abhyanga)
- Keeping Mom and Baby warm with simple measures such as taking a warm bath and medicinal fumigation or steam baths
- Providing appropriate food and agni support to ensure digestion is strong and her body is replenished
- Applying a belly wrap after bathing to support the womb and the postpartum birther’s back
Ashlee loves how Ayurveda can provide a whole different perspective on the world, health, and healing. She also loves having the tools to be able to apply this wisdom to supporting new families, inviting them to carry those nuggets of wisdom into their daily life beyond the Sacred Window.
Listen to the full podcast interview below:
Written by Danielle Kramer, CSWS student. Podcast courtesy of Nicole Hunt, CSWS student.