Women in the birthing field and professional yoga instructors can enroll in prenatal yoga teacher training program to teach yoga to pregnant students. These specialized training programs teach students how to integrate traditional yoga poses and exercises into a routine that will not hurt or harm the fetus or the pregnant mother. Prenatal yoga teacher training programs also include training for mothers who are interested in postpartum fitness and the routines are designed to help the body heal and recover naturally after delivery.

Enrolling in a Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Program

Some prenatal yoga teacher training programs are recognized by fitness and health organizations, including the ACE. Prenatal and postnatal yoga programs must conform with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) safety guidelines for exercise while pregnant. Some also meet th requirements and standards of reputable organizations such as the AFPA and the AFAA.

Anyone interested in completing a prenatal yoga instructor training program can also attend workshops and single-day instructional sessions to learn some of the key techniques and exercises, and to broaden their knowledge of the prenatal yoga style. Some training programs are available as a home study or online course so that students can complete their training at their own pace. These are typically only available to registered yoga teachers and certified yoga instructors.

Components of a Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Program

The primary focus of a prenatal yoga class is to prepare the mind and body for a healthy labor and recovery. The different exercises and poses in a prenatal yoga program help the mother-to-be release tension, maintain a good posture, relax naturally and maintain a positive outlook as she goes through the different stages of pregnancy.

Prenatal yoga teachers are trained to guide the mother-to-be through different exercises effectively, learn all types of standing, seated and lateral poses, and also help her develop focus and relaxation skills. Women who take prenatal yoga classes also learn how to practice meditation and relieve stress naturally, and practice various types of breathing techniques to "hug" the baby as they exhale.

Prenatal yoga instructor training programs encourage teachers to empower yoga practitioners by tapping in to their body's inner resources and wisdom for the birthing process. Students learn how to perform special asanas and breathing techniques that will promote a healthy birth, and also cultivate mindfulness and self-awareness in the soon-to-be mother.

Prenatal Yoga Instructor Training Program Courses

Some of the courses available in a prenatal yoga instructor training program include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Pregnancy
  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Birthing Process
  • Appropriate Prenatal Yoga Asanas
  • Pranayama
  • Childbirth Preparation Exercises
  • Contraindicated Poses
  • Common Problems Associated with Pregnancy and Exercise
  • Yoga Therapeutics during Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Yoga Teacher Responsibilities
  • Birth Ball Routine
  • Chair Yoga for Pregnancy
  • Meditation for Pregnancy and Birth
  • Leading a Yoga for Labor Course or Workshop

Some prenatal yoga teacher training programs are only offered at select times of the year, while others are offered year-round as a home study course or at a local yoga studio. Continuing education for existing prenatal yoga instructors is also available at some schools. Most home-study programs can be completed in up to 10 months, while in-studio courses may be completed within a few weeks.

A portion of most yoga instructor training programs does require observation and a practicum, so students need to be prepared to attend prenatal yoga sessions and workshops in order to fulfill their educational and training requirements.