YogaBirth Postnatal Teacher Training Module Syllabus
Notting Hill, London

The next postnatal teacher training module will take place in spring 2017.

Our teachers are dedicated to enhancing the health and wellbeing of women and their families throughout the childbearing years. Our ethos is to empower women to take responsibility for their experience through a voyage of self discovery supported by the practice of yoga, the sense of community and the provision of up to date research and information, in the postnatal period.  By training new YogaBirth teachers we aim to spread this philosophy. Prospective students will share our passion for this work and show integrity and professionalism in all aspects of study and relationship.

You will learn to teach an empowering style of yoga that harnesses the combined effect of the breath and gravity, which is perfectly attuned to postnatal restoration.  This work has been influenced by Vanda Scaravelli, B. K. S. Iyengar, John Stirk, and the many years teaching experience of the course directors Lolly Stirk (35 years) and Annabel Hargrave (18 years).

postnatal teacher training

Our syllabus offers comprehensive training in this valuable work. As a committed student you will learn all you need to become a professional Postnatal YogaBirth Teacher and how to teach women safely and effectively at this particular stage in their lives.

The course is delivered using a combination lectures and workshops, observation of classes and assignments in the form of questions. The lectures and workshops are given by experts with many years experience in their individual fields. In the class observations you will witness how YogaBirth teachers integrate the profound benefits of yoga with an evidence-based approach to parent education.

Who can apply?

This course is open to teachers who have completed the YogaBirth Foundation Course as well as other qualified yoga teachers wishing to specialize in teaching postnatal yoga.

Where is the course held and how is it run?

  • The course will be held over 2 consecutive days in central London and full attendance is mandatory
  • Students will be asked to observe and keep a diary of a minimum of 4 postnatal classes with listed YogaBirth teachers
  • After the two day course questions taken from the lectures and workshops will be sent by email. These will be in the form of one word, one sentence and small paragraph answers. A deadline date will be given for the questions to be answered and returned.
  • Similarly a deadline date will be set 6 months from the date of the course – the 5th of December 2015 for completion of sitting in and teaching practice

What will the course cover?

  • Anatomy and physiology of the post-natal woman – to include hormonal changes, pelvic floor recovery, birth trauma
  • Specific post natal yoga practice and principles – to include safety issues, maternal posture, core strength, relaxation
  • Emotional Issues – to include reflection on birth, mother and baby attachment, feeding, spectrum of emotions following birth and postnatal depression
  • Housekeeping and Environment – to include class format, venue, health and safety, marketing and publicity

You will

  • Learn about the physiology and anatomy of yoga through lectures and practice with particular reference to the postnatal period
  • Understand the special benefits of yoga in the postnatal period
  • Learn the necessary teaching skills to teach yoga effectively and safely to postnatal women
  • Become familiar with the common complaints and ailments, both physical and emotional, during the postnatal period
  • Be able to give appropriate information and/or advice about how yoga may help and when necessary to guide women towards other professionals
  • Understand the importance of housekeeping and environment, class format options, venue, advertising, and health and safety


By attending the full 2 day course students will automatically be sent a certificate of attendance which can be used towards CPD.  You will also be put on the YogaBirth mailing list and be informed of upcoming events study days and weekends.

On successful completion of the course which includes

  • Written assignments (within time frame given)
  • Observations (within time frame given)
  • Demonstration of teaching skills in a postnatal class

You will be awarded a YogaBirth Postnatal Teacher Certificate. This entitles you to become a Postnatal member of YogaBirth which enables you to attend our CPD study days and weekends, join our special insurance package and have a Postnatal listing on the YogaBirth website.


Course tutors

Lolly Stirk; Course Director
Lolly began her study of yoga in 1969. The birth of her daughter in 1974 gave her the inspiration to begin teaching pregnancy and postnatal yoga. Since then she has been committed to developing and teaching her own innovative approach to yoga as a safe and effective practice for pregnant women and new mothers. Lolly is a founder member of the Active Birth Movement and for 15 years she co-directed the Active Birth Teachers Training Course with Janet Balaskas and Yvonne Moore in the capacity of Yoga Course Director. For many years she gave workshops to midwives at Thames Valley University and has conducted workshops for midwives, doctors, osteopaths and health professionals internationally and in the UK. Lolly is a founder member of YogaBirth an independent group of childbirth educators and specialist yoga teachers. She continues her work with pregnant women and new mothers in West London as well as training teachers in this valuable work.

Annabel Hargrave; Course Director
Annabel has 3 grown up children and qualified as an Active Birth teacher in 1997. She went on to train as a yoga teacher in 2001 with John Stirk, Sophy Hoare and Peter Blackaby. She has been teaching yoga, antenatal and postnatal classes in south west London for the past 18 years. Her enthusiasm and love of her work is infectious. She is also an experienced birth doula, breastfeeding counselor and bereavement counselor. Annabel is a founder member of YogaBirth.

Ann Herreboudt
RN RM. Diploma Mother & Baby Health (Mother-Baby Mental Health Assoc), BA Child Development.   Ann is a counselor, child psychologist, midwife, breast feeding consultant and much more. She was part of the innovative team of Midwives and Obstetricians who established the renowned St. John and St. Elizabeth hospital in the 80’s. For over 20 years she has been working with pregnant and postnatal women and couples in the role of counselor. Her knowledge and experience of the emotions and difficulties of the postnatal period are profound. As a psychologist and family therapist, as well as a mother of grown children, Ann is practical as well as sensitive. Her passion also lies in teaching babies to swim and she is an ASA baby swimming specialist.

Ann’s lecture will cover the following subjects:

  • The emotions of the mother during pregnancy and the possible impact on the baby in the postnatal period.
  • How to identify mothers at risk to postnatal depression
  • The impact of birth on the mother and how to help her debrief
  • Loss of mother’s identity
  • Changes in relationship dynamics within the family, work and friends.
  • The levels of postnatal depression – what help is available
  • Practical tips on helping a mother through depression and knowing when more help might be necessary.

Nadine M Hobson
Nadine qualified as an Osteopath from the British School of Osteopathy in 1978 where in the early eighties she co-founded their Multidisciplinary Sports Clinic.  She went on to lecture to doctors and physiotherapists at the European School of Osteopathy whilst working in a renowned West-End Osteopathic practice and started 2 small group practices in Surrey.  After the birth of her daughter in 1990 she specialised in Women’s Integrated Healthcare at Viveka Clinic where she worked with pregnant and postnatal women and their infants.   She was also on the team of Consultant Osteopaths at the famous Birth Unit at the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth where she worked in close conjunction with the midwifery team and Consultant Obstetrician, Yehudi Gordon, until its closure in 2010.  Nadine continues to work with the entire family including her Osteopathic work with small animals.

Nadine’s lecture will cover the following subjects:

  • Physiological Recovery after birth: The legacy of pregnancy including hormone changes, tissue health and repair: return of ligaments for prevention of uterine and bladder dysfunction postnatally.
  • Pelvic Floor and Ligament Anatomy and Recovery after birth: causes of sacroiliac joint and symphysis pubis dysfunction; importance of recovery of pelvic imbalance for prevention of uterine and bladder dysfunction postnatally.
  • Effects of Pregnancy on Abdominal Wall: how it occurs and importance of recovery for stability of lumbar spine. Implications of diastasis recti
  • Anatomical effects of traumatic deliveries; ventouse, forceps and caesarian section deliveries and the different considerations to assist in recovery and return to health.

John Stirk
John has taught yoga for 35 years and graduated as an osteopath in 1983. He went on to lecture in bio-mechanics and practical osteopathy at the College of Osteopaths in London and was made a Fellow of the College in 1995. From 1998 – 2004 John provided yoga teacher training courses in London and continues to train teachers internationally and in the UK. He is the author of two books, Soft Exercise and Structural Fitness. John’s grounding in Yoga, Osteopathy and Psychology has stimulated a continually evolving practice and approach to teaching that acknowledges bio-mechanical principles, anatomy, physiology, evolution and eastern and western approaches to personal growth.

During John’s yoga session we will focus on a direct practical approach to postnatal restoration.  Participants will learn how to enhance the body’s natural tendency to recover.  We will cover re-integration and strengthening of the pelvic and thoracic diaphragms, pelvis, abdominal area and spine.

Course fees

Fees are £350.00 Please send a deposit of £100 on application which will be banked on acceptance to the course.

To benefit from our early bird offer of £300 book before the end of March 2015

“I found this postnatal course very in depth and felt I had a good understanding of how to teach and manage a postnatal class at the end of the two day course and sitting in on classes.  The course gave me a structure to follow for teaching the class and clearly explained the real benefit being offered to the postnatal women, physically and emotionally.  I’ve been teaching a very successful and busy class for over two years, and enjoyed seeing the mothers able to relax, support each other and make new friends.  My class naturally follows on from my pregnancy class and I also have many women coming with friends from other childbirth classes”… Tracey Luggeri  –  Royston,  Cambridgeshire 

Recommended Reading

Calais-Germain B. (2003) The Female Pelvis – Eastland Press
Chiarelli Pauline (2007) Woman’s Waterworks – Chiarelli Healthcare
Difiore Judy (2010) Postnatal Fitness Third edition – A and C Black London
Fahri Donna The Breathing Book: Vitality and Good Health through essential breath work
Dinsmore-Tuli Uma (2006) Mother’s Breath – Sitaram and Sons
Freedman Francoise (2000) Baby Yoga – Gaia
Franklin Eric (2003) Pelvic Power – Elysian
Gerhardt S. (2004) Why Love Matters – Routledge
Gordon Y (2002) Birth and Beyond -Vermilion
Liedloff J. (1986) the Continuim Concept – Penguin
Motha Dr. G. (2006) Gentle First Year – Thorsons
Murray L. and Andrews L. (2000) The Social Baby – CP Publishing
Stokes Beverley (2002) Amazing Babies; Essential Movement for your baby in the First Year – Move Alive Media Toronto
Peter Walker Developmental Baby Massage
Noble E. (2003) Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year – New Life Images
Rapley G and Murkett T. (2008) Baby-led Weaning – Vermilion
Stadlen Naomi (2004 What Mothers Do: especially when it looks like nothing – Piatkus
Vanderijt H. and Plooij F (20030 THE Wonder Weeks – Rodale
DVD Triple set Mother Nurture: Yoga for Pregnancy, yoga for birth and yoga for postnatal recovery with babies. – Sitiram

For more information
For a more detailed syllabus and application form please contact:
Annabel Hargrave by email at