Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Course (RPYS)

Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training


Joanne Smallwood, E-RYT 500, RPYT
Corinna Stahlhofen, Midwife


13 March 2018 to 23 March 2018


Satsanga Retreat Goa
Goa IN

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 90-hour Yoga Alliance Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training is for experienced teachers who have completed a Level I Yoga Teacher Training, as well as for experienced childbirth educators, doulas, midwives and other pregnancy health professionals with a committed yoga practice. 

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).

Course Contents

Each day begins with a prenatal yoga class during which participants wear “pregnant bellies” 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 complication of childbirth
•    Common birth interventions
•    Common discomforts of pregnancy and the postpartum period
•    Key points of traditional midwifery from an experienced midwife
•    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
•    How’s and why’s of strengthening the pelvic floor
•    Marketing prenatal yoga classes
•    Client management
•    Doula workshop with a midwife: birthing positions, the basics of being a doula/labor partner
•    Sound Breathing workshop:  sound effects the space and energy around us, learn the importance of vocalizing during labor
•    Birth Into Being workshop:  the way we are born directly affects us in life, the importance of dealing with our emotional issues before giving birth, getting in touch with your primal being

In addition, the course will provide tips for labor and birth, partner prenatal yoga and marketing oneself. Our trainings 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.
  • This course is also suitable for experienced childbirth educators, doulas, midwives and other pregnancy health professionals with a committed yoga practice of at least 2 years.
  • The 90 hour Yoga Alliance®-registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training allows yoga teachers who complete the training to register with Yoga Alliance® as Registered Prenatal Yoga Teachers (RPYT). Yoga teachers can earn 90 Yoga Alliance® CEUs.
  • Please note: For those who have not completed a Level 1 Yoga Alliance Registered Training, or registered with Yoga Alliance at the 200-hour level, you will receive a graduation certificate from Brahmani Yoga upon completion of this training, but you will not be able to register with Yoga Alliance as a Prenatal Yoga Teacher.

Sample Daily Timetable

(subject to some variation)

9:00 am - 11:00 am Techniques, Training, Practice
11:00 pm - 12:00 pm Teaching Methodology
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch Break
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Pregnancy, Childbirth & Postnatal Education
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Anatomy & Physiology
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Break
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm Practicum (Practice Teaching)



£795. Includes course tuition, and a healthy vegetarian lunch each day during the course.  Fees does not include flights or accommodation.  Goa is a popular tourist destination and there are many option available including beautiful rooms onsite at Satsanga Retreat.

A non-refundable deposit of £350 is required to hold your place once you have completed an application and have been accepted on the course. The balance for the course is due 6 weeks before the course begins.  For more details see the cancellation policy at the bottom of this page.

"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.  Nice structure to the schedule.  Amazing guest teachers…"

- Claire, Prenatal graduate 2015



About The Instructors

Joanne Smallwood, E-RYT 500, RPYT

Joanne Smallwood has been a devoted yoga practitioner since her early twenties, and has taught internationally for the past 12 years. Completing her Teacher Training in 2005 at The Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto, with Ron Reid and Diane Bruni, she soon traded the infamous Canadian winters for warmer shores of India.  She took on the role of general manager at Brahmani Yoga, one of the leading yoga centres in Goa, India. This was a time for growth, constant learning and transformation - her love of yoga, teaching and practice evolved.

Joanne’s style of teaching is strongly connected to the Brahmani Style Vinyasa Flow - a light, creative and fun sequence, which allows the body to feel free and the mind to remain present.

As a certified Prenatal Yoga teacher, Joanne's passion for the practice brought her to train and work closely with Jodi Boone and 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. Joanne loves witnessing those beautiful changes, whilst being acting as a guide for women to maintain a healthy state of body and mind throughout the birth - and beyond. She is inspired by natural childbirth, and the potential benefits brought by a natural approach in the journey of pregnancy to motherhood.

Joanne currently teaches in Dubai.  Her classes incorporate yoga postures and breathing techniques which are safe for all stages of pregnancy, and help create a more balanced, calmer nervous system, leading to an increased state of relaxation.

By leading the 90 hrs Prenatal Teacher Training course, Joanne will be bringing together key techniques, tools and knowledge for yoga teachers who wish to specialise on teaching yoga to pregnant women in a safe, effective and uplifting manner.  Joanne is also studying to be a Birth and Postpartum Doula.


Corinna Stahlhofen, Midwife

We are very fortunate to have Corinna Stahlhofen, founder of The Birthing-Center, in Goa, India, as a lecturer on our Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training program. German-born Corinna founded the first birthing center in Düsseldorf. In addition to being a midwife, Corinna is a lactation consultant and has training in homeopathy and acupuncture. Corinna founded Goa's renowned Birthing-Center in 2001. For 10 years women from throughout the world travelled to Goa to give birth at Corinna's center. She has also trained aspiring mid-wives from Australia, the United States and Europe.

"Corinna’s sessions were incredibly important.  I think having an experienced midwife is a huge benefit."

Course Contact

Cancellation Policy For Teacher Training Programmes


A non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place once you have completed an application and have been accepted on the course.


Due 60 days prior to the beginning of the program or once the program is full, whichever comes first, unless otherwise stated above.

Refund and cancellation policy

In extenuating circumstances, such as bereavement or serious illness, the course can be deferred to a later date, subject to availability and deferral fee. NO REFUNDS, CREDITS OR TRANSFERS ARE AVAILABLE ON CANCELLATION PRIOR TO, DURING OR AFTER THE START DATE OF ANY TEACHER TRAININGS.