Laurel Hicks - photo by Iron Street Studio

Laurel, the founder and owner of Mindful MamasTM, is known for being a soothing and skilled yoga teacher as well as for her warm, gentle and compassionate approach to helping students enjoy being in their bodies. She believes that any student, no matter the level, can benefit greatly through yoga. She aims to make her classes accessible and enjoyable for all.

She is very passionate in helping pregnant women find peace in their body and mind through the practice of yoga and mindfulness. She holds a dual-title Ph.D. in Social Work (Clinical concentration) and Infant Mental Health, is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 200), a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT) with Yoga Alliance. She is also a Social Work Therapist (LCSW) and has taught hundreds of women yoga during pregnancy as well as postnatally. In 2011, Laurel began teaching yoga teachers how to teach prenatal yoga classes safely and effectively through her Yoga Alliance registered prenatal yoga teacher training program. If this isn’t enough, she is also a Certified Labour Doula (CLD) and assists women birth their babies by providing emotional, mental and physical support. She believes and has witnessed the benefits of prenatal yoga on the outcome of labour and has found that her students have a great ability to focus, relax, and use effective breathing during the birth of their baby.

Laurel has been practicing yoga since 1998 and has been teaching since 2005. Years of studying yoga and examining what makes her happiest in life led her to leave an unfulfilling ten year career as a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry and pursue her passion of helping others by attending Wayne State University in Detroit for her Master in Social Work and is now completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Neurodevelopmental Research Program at the University of Denver. Her focus is how mindfulness-based interventions like yoga and meditation can improve mental health and birth outcomes of pregnant women.

Her teacher training was completed at the Center for Yoga in West Bloomfield, MI (www.centerforyoga.com). She has also completed Vinyasa teacher training and many intensives with Seane Corn (www.seanecorn.com) as well as assisted Seane with her teaching at national yoga conferences. Laurel has also completed her Prenatal Yoga training with Janice Clairfield (www.urbanyoga.ca). She has also been trained in the Mindful Schools curriculum.

Laurel volunteering in Cambodia with Off the Mat, Into the World

Laurel is very involved in non-profit work. In 2009, she travelled to Cambodia with Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling and twenty other beautiful yoginis to volunteer with the Cambodian Children’s Fund. Check out the Outreach page for more information. Laurel is now teaching yoga to at-risk youth in Windsor, Ontario at New Beginnings (open-custody detention facility for teenage boys) and believes that bringing the tools of yoga to this population will give them the much needed tools to help improve their lives.

 

 

 

** The yoga therapy components of Laurel’s teachings are based on qualifications as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker,  not derived from her status as an E-RYT 200, RPYT with Yoga Alliance Registry.