Pregnancy and childbirth have lasting physical, emotional and spiritual impacts. Yoga, and its many tools, can offer powerful support in navigating this full-spectrum transformation, according to yogi moms and instructors Alexandra DeSiato and Lauren Sacks. They offer guidance that eases not just the physical discomforts of pregnancy but also the existential ones in their aptly titled new book, Whole Mama Yoga.
“Many moms balance boundless love and boredom, overwhelming joy and moments of isolation, self-confidence and self-doubt,” DeSiato said. “Yoga provides an opportunity to practice the much needed body love and self-connection many parents need.”
Accessible to those new to yoga, experienced practitioners and yoga teachers alike, Whole Mama Yoga offers tools for the entire journey of parenthood. 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 moms navigating an entirely different world. This is a book to reference as children grow, change and become little (and big) people.
On their inspiration for the book, Sacks said, “We are both fierce advocates for increased empowerment during pregnancy, in labor and throughout parenthood. Yoga offers a deeply intuitive way to connect to the wisdom inherent in our own body and experience. That powerful connection is what we hope to share through the sequences, philosophy and stories in Whole Mama Yoga.”
With yoga poses at the core of the text, DeSiato and Sacks offer helpful information in movement offerings that meet all moms where they are. Each chapter shares the wisdom of yoga through sections including:
MOVE: poses and sequences for each part of the parenting journey
REFLECT: grounding meditations and mantras
BREATHE: helpful breathing techniques and pranayama practices
WISDOM: yoga philosophy and lessons from perinatal and maternal wellness, mental health, Ayurveda, physical therapy and sleep experts as they apply to motherhood and parenthood
RELATE: a chance to hear from other moms and parents who have also used yoga poses and philosophy along their journeys
About the Authors
Alexandra DeSiato and Lauren Sacks cofounded the Whole Mama Yoga collective, offering yoga classes to support fertility, pregnancy, and the postpartum and motherhood experiences. DeSiato, an expert in prenatal and postpartum yoga, coauthored Lifelong Yoga and Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses and lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with her husband and daughter. Sacks is a perinatal and hatha yoga instructor with over 20 years of teaching experience and lives in Carrboro, NC, with her
husband and two children.
For more information, visit their website at wholemamayoga.com.
Whole Mama Yoga: Meditation, Mantra, and Movement for Pregnancy and Beyond
Publisher: HCI Books
Release Date: August 29, 2023
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Available for pre-order
Reviews, photos, links to previous interviews and Q&As are available upon request.