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Whole Mama Yoga is yoga, community, and commiseration for all phases of motherhood and parenthood– from preconception to parenting. Through Whole Mama Yoga, we offer prenatal and postnatal yoga classes and workshops, prenatal yoga teacher training, motherhood retreats, private movement sessions, and more!

On our regularly updated blog, you’ll find yoga sequences, tips, humor, and philosophy for our readers on the path of motherhood and parenthood, whether you’re looking for fertility support, prenatal help, postnatal support, or community.

We hope to foster that community both online (through questions, comments, and guest posts and in our private social media groups) and offline (in our classes, in our workshops, our yoga teacher training offerings, and in private sessions).

Our mission is to provide yoga resources, education, and community during all parts of motherhood. We believe in supporting motherhood and parenthood in an authentic way, and we strive to recognize the beauty, challenge, and absurdity in the experience of being a mama or parent.

Love,

Lauren & Alexandra

 
 
 

About Lauren, Alexandra, and Liz

 
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Lauren Sacks

Yoga has served as my means of reflection and stability since I began practicing upon my graduation from college in 2000.   It is my constant, and has served as such during my transition to adulthood, various jobs, numerous moves, relationships, and life changes.  Although I had always assumed that I would become a mom, until my son Simon arrived in 2011, I didn’t fully understand the impact that motherhood would have on my life, both on and off the mat.  Now, as a parent of two, thank goodness for yoga – for the strength it provides, the community it creates, the inner awareness it cultivates, and the sanity it offers.

Though, intellectually, I’ve always known that change is the only constant, pregnancy and the transition to motherhood were both very strong reminders.  Yoga helped me surrender to the joyous (and, often, highly uncomfortable) ride of pregnancy, and provides me with (some) presence of mind in the midst of the maelstrom of raising two young children.

As parents and mothers, the pressures, contradictions and challenges can be overwhelming. Yoga, a strong community, and a good sense of humor are paramount to self-compassion and sanity.  And self-compassion and sanity are key (!) to maintaining some semblance of wholeness in the constant quest for balance that is life (parenthood) as we now know it.  That’s the thing, for me, behind Whole Mama Yoga.  “Having it all” may or may not be possible, but the practice of yoga and the emphasis on occasional adult time-outs has been key in my brain having it all together (or, more together than it would be otherwise).  I believe that yoga can help in providing that sense of wholeness, regardless of whether you are just starting to contemplate pregnancy, are awaiting the birth of your first child, or are actively parenting toddlers or teenagers.

I love my work as a yoga teacher.  In addition, reading, sewing, thinking about DIY projects, cooking, and spending time with friends (often while eating food I haven’t cooked) are big interests of mine. I live in Carrboro, NC with my partner, Roy, and our two children, Simon and Laine.

For more about me, please visit my website laurensacksyoga.com.

 
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Alexandra DeSiato

I became a mama at age 35, after years of having a dedicated yoga practice. Approaching pregnancy, being pregnant, and arriving on the shores of postnatal island all seriously changed that yoga practice—both on the mat and off.

The gifts of yoga and motherhood are similar. Both make us more present. Both make us more patient. Both ask us to dig into the deepest parts of ourselves. (Yet only one requires the changing of so. many. diapers.) Because of these similarities, we can use yoga as preparation for and support for all that parenthood and motherhood require. It’s a tool for the challenges of getting pregnant, being pregnant, and being a mom or parent to little beings who require us to show up as our authentic selves (for better or worse!)

Yoga gives us the breathing space, the thinking space, the moving space, and the being space to be a Whole Mama. Yoga has been a source of renewal and strength for me, and it’s been my rock during the often-unpredictable experience of mothering.

Yoga offers mental and spiritual dimensions, and it also connects us to a community of like-minded mamas. The poses and sequences support our physical, birthing bodies. Prenatal women will find yoga a helpful preparation for labor and postnatal women can use yoga to reset their bodies for long-term health. (My real passion is offering information on how yoga can be a tool for postpartum healing and strength-and-stamina building for parenting and motherhood!)

In addition to being a yoga instructor, I’m a runner, avid hiker and backpacker, college English professor, and Pilates teacher. I live in the Carrboro, NC with my partner Alex and our sweet little Seraphina Rose.

Contact me or read more at alexandradesiato.com.

 
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Liz Harden

The birth of my first child in 2011 changed everything, including my yoga practice. I was excited for this new chapter and completely in love with my son, but I’d lost an important piece of myself, and a substantial chunk of my sanity, as days, then weeks, then months went by without yoga. But with time and reflection (while feeding, bouncing, strolling, bouncing, playing with, and “did I say bouncing?,” my son), I realized that with flexibility, I could recommit to my practice, with this reimagined version of yoga including my baby. Yes, he might spit up or pee on my mat, or need to be fed or changed mid-practice, but that would be just fine.

Alongside my little yogi named Walter, and with a newfound flexibility to roll with life’s uncertainties, I discovered the joys of baby and family yoga. I trained and became certified to teach in 2013 and have been teaching yoga on the playground, in my living room, in schools, and studios ever since. In 2015, I had my second baby, Althea, adding to the messiness and joy that is life. My two children are an endless source of inspiration, and a constant reminder of the beauty of living in the now. Babies and children are natural yogis, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to learn from their youthful wisdom as I lead yoga classes for youngsters of all ages.

I love playing yoga with kids and their families and feel so fortunate to have these opportunities to connect with folks in such a joyful capacity. I’m also a health and wellness enthusiast and have a professional background in Public Health as a health educator. When I’m not doing yoga, playing with my kids and hubby, exercising, baking, watching Top Chef, or reading, I’m probably consulting with someone about their family’s sleep. I’ve always been obsessed with sleep (seriously, ya’ll: I LOVE sleep) and founded Little Dipper Wellness LLC, a pediatric and family sleep and wellness business so that I could spend M-F talking about any and all matters of sleep (or lack thereof). You can find out more at www.littledipperwellness.com.


On Inclusivity, Identity, Language, Accessibility, Birth Experience, and Feeding Choices

Whole Mama Yoga is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Any pregnant or postpartum person of any race, ethnicity, religion, relationship status, or gender identity is welcome in Whole Mama Yoga prenatal and postnatal classes, workshops, and trainings. 

As Whole Mama Yoga, we use language that is both gender-neutral and gender-acknowledging, since historically LGBTQIA+ experiences, women’s experiences, and motherhood have all been erased or minimized. We believe that inclusivity has to be both gender-acknowledging and gender-neutral, rather than exclusively gender-neutral, and our language reflects both realities, taking an additive approach, so that parents who identify as LGBTQIA+ feel invited and welcome and women and mothers do not feel erased. Those in healing and health professions need to use more inclusive language and communicate with LGBTQIA+ families with greater sensitivity and competence, and we are making strides to do so. We recognize that not everyone who gives birth is a woman, and we consciously use alternatives some of the time, just as we consciously use women and mother some of the time. As we work to use gender-neutral language along with gendered language embraced by the majority, we hope that you recognize as we do that we are all growing, loving, learning beings. We want what we offer to be of service to anyone who needs it, with no judgement or withholding. 

In our classes, we do not privilege any particular type of birth. We believe all birth experiences are valid, and we make every effort to use the terms “unmedicated birth” and “Caesarean birth,” which are more accurate and inclusive than phrases like “natural birth” or “Caesarean section.” (All birth is natural! And all birth is birth!) Nor do we privilege any one way of infant feeding. We believe the person in the best position to make choices about how to feed a baby is a mother or parent, and we recognize that all ways of caring for and feeding a baby must consider both baby and mother/parent. 

Our classes and workshops are accessible and available to folks of all levels of income. If you would like to attend our offerings but do not have the financial ability to do so, scholarship, free, and sliding scale options are available. Please contact us and let us know your needs, and we will work with you to determine the best way for you to attend.  

Our goal is to help prenatal and postpartum students, facilitate community, and invite healing into the space of mothering and parenting. If we make a mistake with language, phrasing, or anything else, please let us know. We do our work from a place of love.  


 
Lauren’s prenatal yoga class really helped me to realize both my strengths and weaknesses while pregnant. I found that I could deal with pain much better than I previously thought. This helped me to have the birth I wanted. I also learned to not push myself, something I am prone to do, and to accept the limitations of my new body.
— Gretchen Levine
While there are many things that I love about going to your yoga classes and many things that I have learned, I think one of the most important lessons that I have taken away is the importance of taking time during my busy week/day-to-day life to reflect and focus on me. During pregnancy, that meant prenatal yoga was my special, reserved time to just focus on and enjoy my pregnancy (which goes so quickly)! And now, with baby #2, I love having that time set aside each week ONLY for Baby #2. No sharing—just me and baby. It helps me maintain balance.
— Janelle Meadows