How to Teach a Prenatal Yoga Class
Have you ever wanted to teach prenatal yoga but didn't know where to start? Here are 5 tips to teach prenatal yoga with confidence.
I have taught prenatal yoga since 1994 and I can say that it is the most challenging and rewarding series of classes I have ever had the privilege of teaching. Teaching prenatal yoga requires creativity, focus, sharpening of our intuition, and much more. We need a knowledge base that 200 hour certification programs don't give us so we have to find information about teaching prenatal yoga ourselves. Where do we find this information?
When I started to teach prenatal yoga there were no prenatal yoga classes and no prenatal training in my 200 hour certification program. I had a nursing background and worked in labor, delivery, and gynecology so I had an idea of what would work for women to have a healthier pregnancy and delivery. I designed a class out of my nursing and yoga experience and married the two. Through trial and error I developed a safe and effective yoga practice for pregnant women. How did I teach my classes you might ask? I saw what needed to be added and did that and I saw what needed to be deleted and did that. Here are 5 tips to teaching a dynamic prenatal class:
1) Start a Prenatal Class Series- When prenatal yoga is offered at a studio, it is usually on a drop in bases. Rent you own space and offer a six or eight week series. This way people will progress and sign up through their pregnancy. This way you can foster community.
2] Create Community- When you have students who follow you throughout their pregnancy a community will develop. You can encourage community by having everyone introduce themselves and talk about where and when they will deliver.
3) Learn to Use Props Creatively- Props will become your best friend when teaching prenatal yoga. You want to develop a way for everyone to feel successful in their yoga practice and props are a way to do that. If someone needs to use a strap while someone else needs to use blocks or an athletic ball to execute a pose, then be ready to integrate these props into the yoga sequence.
4) Find out about the process of labor and delivery- We don't want to talk about the process of labor all the time, but you need to have knowledge about the event of labor and what it entails. Do research on the web about the stages of labor and keep it in mind while you're teaching. Also, keep in mind that the focus of a prenatal class is not the postures, but the end result of a successful deliver, whatever that means for the woman.
5) Creative Sequencing- When we teach a series and women follow us through out their pregnancy we need to create sequences that are creative, safe, but challenging. When women advance in their prenatal practice, we need to create sequences that make them feel that they are progressing in yoga and that they will get into shape much quicker postpartum if they persist in their practice.
Not only does teaching prenatal yoga hold many benefits for pregnant women, but also for us as teachers. We become more confident using props, teaching creating sequences, and pivoting when something isn't working. It is not an easy practice to teach long term, but it is totally worth while and its rewards are many.
If you would like to learn more about Carmela's methodology in teaching prenatal yoga, Don't miss her FREE "How to Teach Prenatal Yoga" webinar on March 18, 11 am, est. To sign my click here.
Teaching prenatal yoga has been my passion for twenty years. I am excited to share my experience and knowledge base with teachers all over the planet. Pregnancy is not a pathology, it is a process. It is a journey that requires fluidity and focus. My online Prenatal Yoga Training program assists yoga instructors, doulas, labor and delivery nurses, and prenatal massage therapists to empower pregnant women through this journey. If you are ready to expand your practice and become known for your expertise in prenatal yoga, or you just want to know how to serve pregnant women as an expert, then this program is for you!