I started teaching yoga well before I had children of my own and before I started studying prenatal yoga. The prenatal yoga section in my initial training didn’t amount to much and left me praying that I’d never have a pregnant person in class. Then, one day it happened and I was terrified. How would I navigate the whole class through an open level yoga practice without possibly hurting the woman and her baby?
After that first confidence shattering class, I took it upon myself to become better educated of the proper modification for a pregnant student. Since then, prenatal yoga has become my passion. I have now been teaching prenatal yoga for over 17 years, received certification as a Lamaze teacher and labor support doula, and had two kids of my own. I created and continue to teach a Yoga Alliance 85 hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training and have graduated hundreds of new prenatal yoga teachers.
My method and approach to prenatal yoga is having a deep understanding of the anatomical and physiological changes of the pregnant body. This allows me to look at the poses I teach and determine if they are appropriate and how to then modify if they are not. By understanding the “Why” I choose poses instead of just relying on a list of asanas “to do” or “not to do” I can confidently teach anybody who walks into my class. And so can you!
Regardless if you have been pregnant or ever plan to become pregnant, you must learn to skillfully support the pregnant yogi in your class. It’s your job as a teacher. That way, you’ll build trust with all of your students, your classes will be more welcoming and accessible and you’ll be well on your way to being a stand out yoga teacher in your community.
Who’s Afraid of the Pregnant Yogi is a self-guided course built on 5 live, interactive and experiential sessions.
In this 5 week, online course I will take you through my proven system of anatomy based modifications for the pregnant student so that you can have the foundation and clarity to seamlessly adjust a student in class without changing the flow of your class. Finally, you can let go of the fear of not knowing how to support the pregnant student in class.
Each week we will cover new and valuable information to you can confidently teach all parts of an open level yoga class.
If you are looking for a way to enhance your teaching, attract more students to your class, safely teach to everyone in the room and stand out as a yoga teacher, I hope you will join me for my 5 week course, Who’s Afraid of the Pregnant Yogi.
We’ll work together so you can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the anatomical and physiological changes of the pregnant body. Instead of just memorizing a list of poses and do’s and don’ts, you will have the skills and knowledge to understand why a pose may or may not be appropriate and what you can offer instead You will also learn how to identify the intention of your peak pose and provide a pregnancy safe option.
Week 1- Lay your foundation! After our brief yoga session (yup… we’re going to practice yoga inside this online course!) , I’ll teach you the fundamental changes of the anatomy and physiology of the pregnant body with a specific focus on hormonal, spinal and pelvic changes and how this applies to yoga asana. You will no longer have to rely on a memorized list of poses and rules. You will now have a firm foundation make informed and educated decisions about which pose is or is not appropriate
Week 2- Understanding the Belly and Bottom During Pregnancy- Addressing the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Understand the most obvious places of change during pregnancy and have the correct information to best support the pregnant person and not cause injury or harm to the pregnant person. Learn specifically how certain poses can cause abdominal damage and which ones are safe to do. That way, you won’t hurt anybody (or your reputation!) in your classes.
Week 3- Back to the Basics -This week will be dedicated to learning about the back muscles, back pain, and why a pregnant student should not lay flat on their back. This will arm you with go-to advice for a problem 80% of adults suffer from- back pain!
Week 4- Put It All Into Action! Now take all this juicy information and bring it right into your class and apply what you know! Your classes will be inviting for all students at the yoga studio! We will also cover the art of using props. This will make it easier for you to teach the class as a whole as well as involve the pregnant student with less alternative poses. This means classes will be less awkward for everyone.
Week 5 - Asana to Avoid We will look back to what we learned in the beginning of the course and discuss, based on the anatomical and physiological change of the body, what poses would we want to avoid in class and why! You don't want to injure the pregnant student or baby with poses that are unsafe.
Squatting 101! - This video covers how to safely teach squatting to your pregnant students. It also explains the important differences of squatting with feet parallel or externally rotated and how it affects the pelvic inlet and outlet- two things very important for labor!
Squatting can be so beneficial to the pregnant student a great alternative asana when contraindicated poses are being taught!
At the completion of Who's Afraid of the Pregnant Yogi, receive 5 Continued Education Credits from Yoga Alliance
I loved being able to learn online from the comfort of my house. I have been practicing yoga and teaching for almost half my life. I would describe myself as a lifelong learner. When I am interested in something I find myself seeking as much information as possible. Since my very first year teaching I have consistently had a pregnant person in one of my classes. When I first started teaching I wasn't completely confident in how to instruct them and the class at the same time. As I continued to teach I have become more comfortable with pregnant students in an open level or even my more advanced classes. This class gave me even more confidence to guide a pregnant person in a general class. I was very happy with the content in this course and you could feel the enthusiasm and sincere passion from Deb along with her wealth of knowledge not only about yoga but birth as well.
I really enjoyed this training with Deb. I am an RPYT and have taken several other prenatal trainings and I would say this one was my favorite so far. Her training and experience really shined through during the course of this training and I wanted to continue to pick her brain. There were a lot of "ah ha" moments for me and she was able to debunk a lot of the myths pertaining to prenatal yoga. Her explanation of the material and examples she provided were really spot on and she was very supportive throughout the training. At the end of this training, I felt inspired and more confident in my teaching. I highly recommend this training to anyone feeling insecure about teaching prenatal yoga or anyone interested in diving further into teaching prenatal yoga.
Over the past three years I have taken several trainings. Some have been face to face and others online. I was looking for a face to face prenatal training and stumbled upon Deb on a podcast. I joined her group on Facebook and saw posts about this training - ‘Who’s afraid of the pregnant yogi?’. I can honestly say that I learned more from these five webinar sessions plus extra material than I did from two other full prenatal training courses. The weekly calls made me accountable but also gave me time to practice and absorb the materials. I always felt that Deb was available to answer questions and provide encouragement and I truly felt part of a great learning sangha. Thanks so much Deb!
- Jackie Rowan
After graduating from PYC's teacher training in 2016, I was armed with a robust knowledge of the pregnant body and the confidence to teach this population. What impressed me the most was not only my ability to lead a great prenatal yoga class, but how valuable this information was when an expecting mom showed up in an open level class. I was able to suggest specific modifications based on what we were doing that day, and even give informed recommendations for home care remedies based on her unique aches and pains. As a yoga teacher, any opportunity to set myself apart is valuable to my career and my students.
I am a prenatal yoga teacher, Lamaze childbirth educator, labor support doula and self-proclaimed "birth and anatomy geek".
My curiosity and desire to continuously learn about pregnancy, birth, yoga, and parenthood have led to my most recent undertaking the podcast, Yoga| Birth | Babies. Giving me the pleasure of speaking with and learning from some of the yoga and birth world's most influential and respected speakers, Cyndi Lee, Tara Stiles, Penny Simkin, Gail Tully, Pam England, Dr. Sarah Buckley, Rebecca Dekker, Dr. Neel Shah and many more.
Drawing on my experience as a prenatal yoga teacher, labor support doula, childbirth educator and mother, I support the pregnant person with functional yoga asana to create a functional birth and ease into parenthood feeling empowered and honored on this sacred journey of birth and beyond.
For the past 12 years, I have had the honor of training hundreds of new prenatal yoga teachers as they started on their journey to supporting new and expectant parents.
I look forward to working with you as you continue to enhance your teaching skills to teach to everybody who walks into your class.
Does this course count towards Yoga Alliance Continued Education credits?
Yes, you will receive 5 CEU along with a certificate of completion of the course.
Is there a specific start date for the course?
No! Since this is a self-guided course, you can start whenever you are ready. You will have lifetime access to the site.
How do I ask questions since these are pre-recorded sessions?
You will continue to have access to me in the Who's Afraid of the Yogi Facebook group. This is a place where I can continue to offer support and answer your questions as they arise.
What am I missing if I don’t have Facebook?
The online community is a great way to connect with other participants but is absolutely not necessary. It is an added bonus to the training. Our customer service staff, and Deb, are here to support you on your journey via email if you have any questions at all.
How long will the sessions be each meeting?
The session will be approximately 45-60 minutes depending on the week's material and questions that may arise.
How long will I have access to the recorded sessions?
You will have lifetime access to the password-protected website with all 5 videos, the outline for each session and the action guide. You can continue to return to the material to review over and over again.