A prenatal yoga class is often designed to help women maintain health throughout pregnancy, provide safe delivery of their babies and heal their bodies more quickly after birth. In turn, prenatal yoga training is for those who wish to teach such techniques to women. This requires prenatal yoga certification that may be available from yoga studios, whole birthing centers or at-home study guides. Students may wish to select a program based upon their national governing body of yoga, and specific prerequisites may need to be fulfilled prior to enrollment. Those who successfully complete certification must be aware of local and national licensing requirements, as well as membership in professional yoga affiliations and continuing education expectations.
Prenatal yoga certification may be available from yoga studios, whole birthing centers or at-home study modules. Courses may vary considerably in length, ranging from a one-day workshop to a full nine-month program. Poses that are safe for pregnancy, breathing techniques and ways to relieve aches and pains from pregnancy may encompass study materials. Students may also observe prenatal yoga classes, discuss birthing techniques and participate in prenatal yoga poses. At-home courses are often self-paced and may come with DVDs and other study materials that replicate an actual classroom.
When considering prenatal yoga certification, students may want to use their national governing body of yoga to locate reputable programs. Such a body often accredits quality instructors or facilities. In the United States, for example, the Yoga Alliance maintains the national Yoga Teachers’ Registry. Teachers who meet the criteria set forth by this organization are eligible for Registered Yoga Teachers credentials. Similarly, the British Wheel of Yoga is the unofficial governing body of yoga in the United Kingdom and accredits reputable teacher training associations.
To become a prenatal yoga instructor, students frequently need to meet specific requirements as imposed by the teaching facility. It is often mandatory, for example, for students to have previous experience with yoga, meditation or both. Some courses require students to be licensed teachers in traditional yoga, while others expect students to have existing yoga practices that have been operational for more than one year. Yoga students who are licensed obstetricians and gynecologists, midwives, massage therapists or nurses may also qualify for prenatal yoga certification. Each individual program is likely to have its own prerequisites.
Students need to be aware of yoga licensing requirements imposed at the local and/or national levels. Prenatal yoga certification is usually provided by the instructional facility, and course participants in such areas as the United States do not have to meet additional licensing requirements. To become registered with a national or local yoga governing body, however, yoga instructors of all types may need to have a specific number of study and practice hours. Such registration may be helpful for attracting students, networking and staying abreast of new yoga trends.
After certification, a prenatal yoga instructor usually takes continuing education classes for registration with professional yoga affiliations or the respective yoga governing body. These classes are often available from the same facility that awarded the initial prenatal yoga certification. Continuing education credits are often provided for each course, and these may then be applied to an individual’s certification record.