Time with Yahna Fookes of Radiant Birth
Yahna Fookes, is a doula, birth educator, and the founder of Radiant Birth.
We first connected with Yahna over a year ago. I’ll earnestly admit I’ve been a bit enamored with her inspiring narrative and her commitment to empowering mothers.
We are so excited to share this series with you.
If you’re asked to provide a brief “bio,” where do you start?
Hello my name is Yahna Fookes. I am a doula, birth educator and small biz owner founder of Radiant Birth. I am a mother to Sunday and wife to Michael aka Efficient Space. We live in Naarm/Melbourne inner south.
What was your inspiration behind Radiant Birth?
When I was pregnant, no courses like this existed like this. Something that fostered community, paid attention to Eastern philosophies (in a non-voyeuristic way) and integrated breath work and movement for birth. I was frustrated by the lack of good prenatal yoga and finding information for birth prep and postpartum from various sources and trying to tie it all together myself. After birth I was met by a huge surge of creativity and six months postpartum I started slowly writing a curriculum with the help of many other talented birth educators and here it is.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Since I could walk, I have always wanted to be a professional dancer. My sun is in Virgo, so I am headstrong and my rising is in libra so I am a sucker for beauty (the perfect storm). When we moved to London at the age of eight, I started training with the Royal Ballet. Coming full circle and now a “dance mom”, I can see the appeal. Sunday has been dancing since she was 2; this weekend is her first recital (4). You can see the magic in her feet when she moves, with uninhabited expression and pure ecstasy. There is nothing quite like it. Dance teaches grace, determination, focus, reliance and somatic awareness. Not bad lessons for kids imo.
What does it mean to be a mother to you?
Motherhood to me, means evolution. The evolution of oneself and of two beings. This evolution happens together and separately but timely side by side.
Do you have something special in mind you would love to pass down to Sunday?
I just want to instil in her the confidence to do whatever she wants. Whether she starts an underground noise band, dances for the Paris Opera or becomes a chef de cuisine, I’d be into it. As long as it makes her happy. If you meet her, she is a true renegade, super ferocious but also extremely empathic, kind and sweet. She will no doubt make big waves in this world.
You recently travelled to Seoul - How did your trip influence you?
If you love supreme (lol) fashion, delicious food, contemporary art, music, vast sprawls of picturesque scenery, day hikes, and incredible nightlife, Seoul is your place. It’s my place of birth, and even though I haven’t lived there in my lifetime, it feels like home. My girlfriend Annika wrote this really nice exert about the idea of home as a sentiment, home as a heart and home as body. That's what Seoul is to me. It’s all of these things and the feeling is strong. It is my constitution and also my heart.
Any recommendations for anyone planning to go?
Wake up and get a delicious cold pour-over at Matassa. Then catch a fast bus to the Leeum Museum. Their permanent collection is next level but always has local artist rotating shows. A short walk away is my favourite perfume store, NonFiction, which makes the most heavenly scents. Spritz and buy. Lunch you have to go to the most traditional Naengmyeon place in Seoul a cold noodle soup eaten is summer it’s honestly like nothing you’ve ever tried. Buckwheat noodles in a clear consomme it’s so beautiful, paired back and traditional to North Korea. Make sure you use the mustard and nothing else. Head back your hotel for a nap (Seoul summer heat is very intense). Dinner I’d suggest a modern traditional set menu by Aino Kitchen Garden, it’s got a really pretty courtyard and great vibes. The pork belly is ooof. Then finish with a glass of wine at our friend Antoine’s natural wine and pizza bar The Edge
What's on your Muse wishlist this summer?
You can find more about Yahna here: