Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Course (RPYS)


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


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


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.




  • 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.
  • Participants must fill out the application form
  • All participants must hand in the pre-homework on the first day of the course


Sample Daily Timetable


(subject to some variation)


Sunday– Thursday
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 – 5:30 pm Practicum (Practice Teaching)


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 11 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. Since 2005, Joanne has been working in Goa, as the general manager of Brahmani Yoga, one of the leading yoga centres in the region. This enabled her to expand her knowledge and love of yoga, her teaching, whilst allowing her to further develop her passion through courses and in her own practice.

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 at Brahmani Yoga and Satsanga Retreat in Goa over the winter months and has taught prenatal yoga classes in Australia and Thailand. 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.




Early Bird (payment by January 31, 2017): AED 5625
Regular: AED 6250




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

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

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