Laura Creswell, RYT 500, CD(DONA)

My yoga journey began while studying Fitness Management at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.  I started attending yoga classes at my college gym as a way to stretch my active body and, while I didn’t particularly enjoy the practice at the time, I could feel the effects beyond the physical, even without knowing any of the philosophy.  Soon after graduating, I sought out a local yoga studio where sanskrit, pranayama, meditation, and philosophy were taught in each class. The more I learned about yoga, the more I realized how much I didn’t know, and I craved more! I chose to study with James Miller of Des Moines, graduating from his 200-hour teacher training program in 2011, and an additional 300 hours by 2014.

Throughout this time, I was practicing and teaching at the only (at that time) yoga studio in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  To fill a need at the studio, I started teaching Prenatal Yoga, and without any personal experience in pregnancy or birth, I approached the task with the simple goal of modifying yoga asana for pregnant women.  This task soon, however, became a full-blown fascination with the strength and adaptability of women’s bodies and spirits when I studied Roots Prenatal Yoga with Sandi Hoover of Des Moines. Beyond building strength and flexibility, I came to realize that prenatal yoga can be a powerful tool for mothers-to-be to feel confident in their bodies, prepare and practice for labor, find calm in their changing bodies and lives, and build an uplifting community with each other.  My passion for supporting women throughout pregnancy led me to become a birth doula in 2014, completing my certification through DONA International in 2015. Since then, I’ve had the honor of supporting more than ten women and their partners throughout the transformational experience of labor and birth as they have welcomed their babies into the world.  My goal now in teaching Prenatal Yoga is to guide each mama-to-be inward so she can recognize her own inherent strength and learn to trust her body and intuition.

In May of 2018, I moved from the Cedar Valley (in Iowa) to the Chippewa Valley along with my husband of four years, Ben, and our two cats.  I work as a Resident Assistant at an Assisted Living and Memory Care facility, and in the Spring, I’ll be starting the Nursing Program at UWEC with the goal of becoming a Lactation Consultant and RN in a hospital birth center.  When we have time off, Ben and I love to travel and go backpacking.

Having had some experience with Universal Yoga (my teacher, James, was a student of Andrey Lappa, and I have taken workshops with Andrey at the Iowa Yoga Festival), I was really excited to find Prajna in Eau Claire.  I’ve re-fallen in love with my personal yoga practice and have felt amazing shifts in my body and mind in just a few months. I’m so honored and excited to be a part of this community and to be able to share my passion of Prenatal Yoga at Prajna!