A unique way to see and process the motherhood experience through the lens of yoga, Whole Mama Yoga covers all phases and stages of becoming and being a mother or birth parent—offering a way to extend yoga’s gifts and tools for all who parent.
Women are drawn to yoga for its physical benefits, its ability to induce calm and presence, and its offering of spiritual depth. Whole Mama Yoga offers a way to extend yoga’s gifts into the motherhood experience and offers guidance that eases not just physical discomforts but existential ones. Many moms and birth parents balance boundless love and boredom, overwhelming joy and moments of isolation, self-confidence and self-doubt. Yoga provides an opportunity to practice the much needed body love and self-connection many parents need.
Accessible to new yoga students, advanced yoga practitioners, and yoga teachers alike, Whole Mama Yoga is for parents with children of all ages. It is for those just thinking about beginning a family, those in the early stages of pregnancy, those getting close to labor and delivery, and for those new moms, who often feel harried and overwhelmed. This is a book to reference as children grow, change, and become little (and big) people.
With yoga poses at the core of the text, yogi moms and instructors Alexandra DeSiato and Lauren Sacks offer helpful information in movement offerings that meet all moms and birth parents where they are. Organized into sections titled Relate, Move, Reflect, Wisdom, and Breathe, Whole Mama Yoga provides breathing techniques, suggestions for meditation and mantra, inspiring tidbits of yoga philosophy, funny and uplifting stories from yoga-moms, and journal prompts that allow readers to reflect on their own experience of parenthood.
Alexandra DeSiato, MA, E-RYT 500 is an expert in yoga for the prenatal and postpartum time periods. She is recognized internationally for her work on creating (and helping others create) powerful and resonant themes in yoga classes. Her workshops have been offered nationally, including at Yogaville Ashram in Virginia and Kripala Yoga and Healing Arts Center in the Berkshires. Together with Lauren, she co-founded and co-leads Whole Mama Yoga (wholemamayoga.com), where they, along with a collective of teachers, offer fertility, prenatal, postpartum, and motherhood yoga classes. Alexandra and Lauren also co-teach a highly-lauded prenatal and postpartum yoga teacher training and lead mothering and parenting retreats. Alexandra has co-authored two books with Sage Rountree, Lifelong Yoga and Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses. Alexandra holds a Master’s degree in English literature, and in addition to teaching yoga classes, has taught college writing and literature for over 20 years. She lives in the Chapel Hill area with her husband and daughter.
Lauren Sacks, E-RYT 500, PRYT, is a perinatal and hatha yoga instructor with over 20 years of teaching experience. She was a founding member of Carrboro Yoga Company in 2004 and taught thousands of students during her 15 year tenure. Practical alignment, whimsical humor, and fierce authenticity are hallmarks of Lauren's classes. For 12 years, Lauren worked as an event and retreat planner in the field of arts and higher education administration and draws from her experience there to facilitate retreats that are heart-nourishing, soulful, and fun, and expand on the community created through her yoga classes. Along with Alexandra, Lauren co-founded Whole Mama Yoga (wholemamayoga.com). Along with a collective of teachers, they lead yoga classes, workshops and other events to support all aspects of parenting—from pre-conception to perimenopause. Several times a year, Alexandra and Lauren also co-teach an internationally renowned Pre and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training program. Lauren's expertise in perinatal yoga as well as her beloved Yoga for Motherhood classes make her a sought-after presenter in yoga teacher training programs, and she works regularly with both UNC and Duke to teach tools of yoga to residents, obstetricians, midwives, and their patients. Lauren loves reading, cooking, eating, quilting, napping, and her family and friends (in no particular order). She lives in Carrboro, NC with her husband and their two children.
Publisher: Health Communications Inc (August 29, 2023)
"Welcoming, accessible, and inclusive for new yogis, yet filled with information and insights valuable to experienced practitioners who want to know how to modify poses or reset expectations during and after pregnancy. This title benefits yoga instructors as well by providing tips on how to support yoga practitioners during their pregnancy and postpartum experiences."
—Emily Bowles,Library Journal
Alexandra and Lauren are gifted teachers—I know this from working alongside them over 20 years, during which both of them became mothers. In this compassionate, friendly book, they guide you toward greater connection with yourself, your child, and your community. This connection is yoga. Best of all, Whole Mama Yoga meets you where you are—no yoga experience needed—and points you toward practices and philosophy that will help you feel held and nurtured even as you work to hold and nurture your child. Whole Mama Yoga is an invaluable guide for every state of the journey, from preconception through parenting. It will make the perfect gift for your friends and family as they embark on the road to parenthood.
—Sage Rountree, PhD, E-RYT 500, co-owner of Carolina Yoga Company, author of Everyday Yoga
Whole Mama Yoga does a great job exploring how yoga practice can support parents along the spectrum of pre-conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. It presents a welcome balance between evidence-based information from experts and deeply personal stories. This book offers a refreshingly down to earth and supportive take on the many benefits of yoga for the parent-to-be and new parent, while putting to rest some common misconceptions about yoga during pregnancy. Highly recommend!
—Libby Hinsley, PT, DPT, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, YACEP, author of Yoga for Bendy People
No matter where you are on your journey into motherhood, Alexandra and Lauren are the wise and compassionate companions you need to navigate this most precious and auspicious time in your life. Through practical advice, meditations, movements, and moments of reflection, Whole Mama Yoga gives you everything you need to remember and deeply connect with your innate ability to mindfully and lovingly enter into parenthood. Whole Mama Yoga should be an integral part of every mama’s birthing (and parenting) team.
—Linda Sparrowe, author of YogaMama: The Practitioner’s Guide to Prenatal Yoga