This course is about honoring the goddess within women at the most sacred time in their lives. You will learn how to sequence yoga classes that are specifically designed to empower and prepare women for birth.
This 85-hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training is designed for yoga teachers who have completed a Level I Yoga Teacher Training.
Importance of Prenatal Yoga
Yoga offers tremendous benefits to women through every phase of pregnancy, labor and childbirth and throughout the postpartum period. It allows them to connect more deeply with themselves and their unborn babies. During pregnancy, women experience many changes physically, emotionally and mentally. On the physical level, yoga helps women to build and maintain their strength, stamina and flexibility – helping to prepare her for the often long and exhausting process of labor.
In addition, a woman can experience many discomforts as her body changes to accommodate her growing baby, and these can often be alleviated through yoga. Because of the hormonal changes taking place, women can feel very emotional. Practicing yoga helps to balance the endocrine system, giving practitioners an overall sense of well-being.
On the mental level, women often experience feelings of anxiety when thinking about labor and childbirth. The meditative aspects of yoga learned on the mat can be applied off the mat, helping to calm the mind when anxiety-producing thoughts arise.
By practicing yoga throughout her pregnancy, a woman is also preparing for labor and childbirth. The strength gained through yoga asana will help her to endure the physical demands of labor. Yoga’s breath awareness and pranayama techniques can also be used as coping mechanisms during and between contractions. Integrating yoga’s meditative practices can encourage a woman to stay present. Being present allows her to work with her body, breath and baby during labor, which can help labor to progress, decreasing the possibility of dystocia (a slow or difficult labor).
Each day begins with a prenatal yoga class during which participants wear “pregnant bellies” for each trimester to simulate the experience of moving in a prenatal body. Class will be followed by theory, practical application and practice teaching.
Topics covered will include:
- Anatomy and physiology of fetal development and pregnancy
- Stages of labor and birth
- C-Section, Episiotomy and complications of childbirth
- Common birth interventions
- Common discomforts of pregnancy and the postpartum period
- Key points of traditional midwifery
- Contraindications of pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal yoga sequencing
- Discussion, practice and leading of asanas and asana modifications for pregnancy and birth
- Discussion, practice and leading of pranayamas appropriate for pregnancy and birth
- Discussion, practice and leading of visualizations for relaxation and meditation
- Leading and sequencing a prenatal yoga class including language, visualization and hands-on assisting
- Developing teaching skills with feedback
- 4th trimester and breastfeeding
- Pubic symphysis dysfunction
- How’s and why’s of strengthening the pelvic floor
- Postnatal recovery and practice
This Pregnancy Yoga Training is great! After the training I felt totally confident to start teaching pregnant ladies. The training is given by wonderful teachers. Joanne will guide you through a clear program, you will learn how to create safe and lovely sequences. Also the sessions with midwife Corinne, are a true blessing, so much knowledge! The training is clear, practical and will give you a full swing of inspiration.
Esther, Prenatal graduate 2016
In addition, the course will provide tips for labor and birth, partner prenatal yoga and marketing oneself. Our program include knowledge of anatomy and physiology of birth, wisdom from local birth practitioners, examination of birth stories, why yoga and pregnancy work so well together. Students will leave confident, qualified and comfortable teaching prenatal yoga.
“This course was so much more than I could have hoped for! I’ve taken many prenatal fitness courses but his course has been by far the deepest and most informative. I feel completely in what offerings I can provide to prenatal students from what I have learned here.”
Nina, Prenatal graduate 2015
- Participants should have completed a 200 hour Teacher Training diploma or equivalent.
It was an amazing opportunity to do the prenatal yoga teacher training course with Joanne. The course is designed to empower women, Joanne is not only a teacher, she is a guide who supported each of us during on our journey. I became more aware of my body and mind as a woman and that helped me to understand myself better. I recommend this course to all women and all yoga teachers.
Alia A, Prenatal graduate 2021
“Wonderful Course. A very supportive environment to learn and a non-dogmatic approach to pre-natal yoga. It’s been particularly useful to feel comfortable enough to try new things in sequences and get feed back on whether or not something will work for either pre or post natal classes. Nice structure to the schedule. Amazing guest teachers…”
Claire, Prenatal graduate 2015
Joanne Smallwood, E-RYT 500, RPYT
Joanne has been a devoted yoga practitioner since her early twenties and has taught internationally for over 17 years.
As a certified Prenatal Yoga teacher, Joanne’s passion for the practice brought her to train and work closely with midwife, Corinna Stahlhofen to guide women through their pregnancy with yoga. Allowing women to evolve naturally through maternity, providing a safe environment for their yoga practice whilst offering tools and techniques for a natural childbirth is essential for a increased sense of well-being of both mother and child.
By leading the Prenatal Teacher Training course, Joanne will be bringing together key techniques, tools and knowledge for yoga teachers who wish to specialize in teaching yoga to pregnant women in a safe, effective and uplifting manner. Joanne has also studied to be a Birth and Postpartum Doula.
“Corinna’s sessions were incredibly important. I think having an experienced midwife on the course is a huge benefit.”
Anastasia, Prenatal graduate 2015
Corinna Stahlhofen is a certified independent midwife from Germany. She is
continuously practicing midwifery since 1996. In the last 20 years she assisted around 700 home birth and birthing centre birth in Germany and India.
She has basic knowledge in acupuncture and homeopathy, baby massage and breastfeeding consultancy. She is experienced in water birth and offers holistic one to one midwife care. Corinna is one of the founder and of Geburtshaus Düsseldorf e.V. in Düsseldorf/ Germany, an Institution for holistic care in pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal time. (1996 till date)
Coming to India for summer holidays since 1993 she fell in love with the country. 2001 she founded the company Birthing Center pvt. Ltd. in Assagao/ Goa. 2002 she immigrated with her family to India and soon after opened a Centre for natural childbirth and water birth. A sacred space for women and their families to experience pregnancy and birth in an extraordinary most natural way. As a small family business settled in an old Portuguese house the place was always busy (20-40 birth a year) and people came from all over India but also other countries. This Centre is closed now. Corinna inspired and supported Birth Village in Cochin and The Birth Home in Bengaluru and hopes for Birthing Centre to spread all over India.
Now in 2020 she is in the process of opening a new place in Goa. The ASSAGAO BIRTHING CENTRE pvt.Ltd. Corrina is involved with the trainings in Goa.
DONA-trained Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, RYT-300 / Pre & Postnatal Yoga, Childbirth Educator (Lamaze International)
Houyem is passionate about supporting women to feel confident and capable of making their own choices through fertility awareness, pregnancy, birth & motherhood, in order for them to manifest these transformative life experiences with joy, confidence and serenity. She discovered the power of movement and mind-body-heart connection during her first pregnancy and has practiced yoga since then. Houyem is a doula, birth & fertility coach & childbirth educator. She completed her 300 hr teacher training followed by 85Hr Pre/postnatal teacher training and now offers private sessions to pregnant women, new mothers and women on their journey to conception. She loves travelling, working out, and coffee! She is also a busy mom to a happy 6 year-old Zeyna and an 8 month old Waseem.
Houyem will be teaching all of the A&P content on the upcoming Dubai trainings.
What people are saying….
The 2 weeks went so fast, never a dull day. I loved the concise way Joanne delivered her guidance, very clear information. I felt like I could take in the new knowledge and use it for my 1st sequencing straight away.Prenatal graduate 2017
Joanne’s feedback was very supportive and non-judgemental. I felt like I could make mistakes and try out new things and she would not be too harsh on us, she would always find a way to soften whatever needed a bit more fine tuning. Really enjoyed sharing this experience with a lovely group of women all looking forward to further their knowledge and move on with their yoga journey.
I had fun and I learned hots of useful new ways to teach a class full of pregnant women without fear of doing anything I should not. Wonderful experience!
The timetable for the training was well thought out, great day to day structure. The course has not only been incredible in regards to learning about which yoga asana are safe but also informative for more in-depth information on so many other topics surrounding pregnancy and birth. Being a student in such a small group was excellent as we were able to receive individual attention, there was enough time for questions and lots of feedback on our teaching skills. Joanne has passion and decades of experience in the yoga field and that shines through and makes you feel wonderfully comfortable and heightens your confidence further. An absolute awesome training! Great reading list too. I enjoyed all of the books and was a great way to prepare for the training.Prenatal graduate 2017
I am so glad I took this course while pregnant. I would honestly market it to pregnant women (maybe specifically in their 2nd trimester to avoid complications). It was an amazing two weeks where I got to talk constantly about babies and pregnancy, and do all of these wonderful things for my body. I think I will look back on these two weeks as the best part of my pregnancy.Kay, Prenatal graduate 2017
Loved the design of the class sequence. Much nicer than any prenatal classes I’ve attended.
Having an experienced midwife as part of the course was essential. It made everything we learned seem real and also gave it a certain credibility.
The fact we had such and passionate and experienced midwife, Corinna, as part of the course was such a blessing and contributed hugely to what I learned these past weeks.Emily, Prenatal graduate 2017
From a personal perspective, being pregnant during the course was also a huge blessing, talking babies and pregnancy for two weeks has made me feel very happy and excited about having my first baby!
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training was fantastic. It was exactly what I needed. The course was well designed and taught. I enjoyed the theory and practical aspects of the curriculum. I loved Joanne and Corinna, loved my group and I loved the experience as a whole. I am really looking forward to teaching my first prenatal class!Dai, Prenatal graduate 2017
What an amazing training! Great group of teachers. I loved that we had the opportunity to teach so much during the training. It is so great that others get to observe while you’re teaching and you get to receive constructive feedback from experienced teachers. You rarely get this opportunity again once you start teaching. Having Corinna present was the cherry on the cake. She really gave me a new outlook on pregnancy and child birth.Prenatal graduate 2017
Loved this course: informative, supportive and fun. Small group – great to get to know people and feel relaxed sharing. Invaluable feedback on teaching. Learned things regarding sequencing and planning that is useful for my regular teaching too. Great to have two incredible teachers. Thank you so much! I feel like I have learned so much and I feel more confident as a teacher!Prenatal graduate 2017
Thank you for a great 2 weeks. I can’t believe how quickly it went! I now feel way more comfortable to have pregnant women in my classes and I am inspired to teach prenatal (which I didn’t expect to happen!). I appreciated the clear layout of the course and the fact that we went through the do’s and the don’ts right at the start. I also benefited from Corinna’s knowledge and depth of experience which will add much more integrity to my teachings.Pippa, Prenatal graduate 2017
I really appreciated the opportunity to practice teaching. As much as I loathed to observe over practice it was useful for understating how to teach. You made me feel comfortable sequencing, by breaking it down super simply. I thought the documentary were useful and instructive. You used our time efficiently, no wasted time!Prenatal graduate 2017