Birthlight Well Woman Yoga Diploma: Core Training

This foundational core training for Birthlight Well Woman Yoga is led by Dr Françoise Freedman, the Founder and Director of Birthlight Worldwide. Dr. Freedman is a pioneer, Senior Yoga Teacher, acclaimed writer and lecturer of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. This course is for yoga teachers and yoga therapists who wish to offer classes for women’s health and well being through the life cycles (the training does not include pregnancy).

Well woman yoga circle

About the Birthlight Well Woman Yoga Diploma Core Training

The course trains teachers to empower women with therapeutic yoga integrated in their daily lives from menarche to perimenopause and beyond.

Well Woman Yoga helps women actively enhance their vitality as well as addressing common conditions that the female population experiences including pre-conception and post childbearing issues. Wellness, living with ease and joy, and healing are magical but not mysterious: a path of practice, in an inclusive circle of friends, opens the way. Whilst the Well Woman Yoga course does not include Pre & Postnatal Yoga, the Well Woman Yoga course very much complements Birthlight Perinatal Yoga training.

Why you should train in Birthlight Well Woman Yoga:

#1. Well Woman Yoga offers all women unique ways to traverse the hormonal, physiological and emotional changes they inevitably go through during their life cycles, whether they have previous yoga experience or not. With Well Woman Yoga all women can increase their health and well-being because

  • they can enjoy a fluid and dynamic style of yoga without compromising on a safe range of motion, stability and balance.
  • strong and flexible muscles in healthy spinal alignment contribute to wellness, this is the foundation of our teaching in relation to the nervous system and the endocrine glands.
  • this therapeutic yoga empowers women on and off the mat, at all stages of the reproductive cycle and beyond.
  • the practices promote hormonal balance and the regulation of the menstrual cycle before and after childbirth or the childbearing years.
  • Micro-movements of the pelvis and isometric toning with the breath promote deep awareness and health of the whole pelvic area, central to women’s vitality
  • they can practise yoga in a welcoming and caring environment which enhances all aspects of their yoga
  • in face-to-face classes, circle, small group and pair practices promote a sense of connection while allowing each woman to develop her own transformative yoga practice

#2. You will learn a new skill set to specifically support women’s health and well-being, this may be a totally new area of teaching depending on your background or add substantially to what you are already offering, whether you come from a yoga teaching, yoga therapy or another professional background.

#3. Whether you are already passionate about improving women’s experiences of pelvic health, menstruation, fertility, menopause, or just starting in this area this course will give you the experience and skills you need to start running effective enjoyable sessions in generalised well woman yoga classes, more specific themed classes or workshops and tailored 1:1 sessions or integrating the practices into your existing classes.

Structure of Birthlight Well Woman Yoga course

3 foundational core training modules =

  • Foundation 1: Yoga for Women's Health
  • Foundation 2: Yoga for Pelvic Health
  • Foundation 3: Yoga for the Menstrual Cycle

Self study (1 self study Ayurveda module) and Coursework (see below for details)

What you will learn:

  • Principles and hands-on techniques to help you support wellness patterns in women, irrespective of age, health status, degree of fitness or life trajectory.
  • A strong focus on core strength, understood both anatomically and energetically
  • Yoga practices promoting hormonal balance and the regulation of the menstrual cycle before and after childbirth are presented and explained in the light of current advances in yoga anatomy and principles of yoga therapy.
  • The fundamentals of structure and movement together with breathing patterns as specific to women’s bodies
  • Appropriate mudras, use of breath and sound.
  • Experiential anatomy, supported by the use of visual materials and research articles, to assimilate anatomy and physiology in direct ways.
  • Tried and tested sequences with therapeutic benefits that can be integrated in programmes for groups or individuals
  • Elements of practice that yoga teachers can integrate in therapeutic programmes to individualise the practices according to women’s ages, energy levels and health status.
  • Resources for creating a welcoming and caring environment for teaching Well Woman Yoga in studios or in clinical settings.

Assessment, Self-study & Coursework

You will be assessed throughout the course with quizzes and informal teaching practicals. As an extension of the training the self-study hours and coursework consolidate your understanding and skills. All coursework is thoroughly read and commented on to make sure you continue refining and developing your teaching beyond the training days.


  • 1 case-study (each case study documents 4 successive sessions, in a group class or a 1:1)
  • A worksheet of 20 questions
  • A recording (10 minutes) of your teaching as specified by the course tutor

Further professional development:

This course forms the foundational core of the Modular Birthlight Well Woman Diploma Course. To complete the full diploma course, the other component parts include:

1 elective module

Self study and Coursework

(please see Birthlight website for details)


Yogacampus Diversity and Accessibility Bursary

We are offering one part-funded bursary (50% off the full course price) to a dedicated yoga student with a demonstrated financial need and active involvement in a community that could benefit from yoga.

The bursary is provided by Yogacampus – The Life Centre Education, a not-for-profit educational body committed to sharing knowledge and making yoga accessible to all.

Bursary places will be awarded to teachers or trainees who have the ability and commitment to take the course teachings into a disadvantaged community and play their part in the drive to increase accessibility to these profoundly healing practices.

Priority will be given to those who themselves are from marginalised or vulnerable groups or are from a minority ethnic background.

To apply, please fill in this google form before the deadline of 07 October 2022. We look forward to hearing from you.

Notification of bursary acceptance will be sent out the following week.

Meet the Teachers

Dr Françoise Freedman is the Founder and Director of Birthlight. She is a pioneer, Senior Yoga Teacher, acclaimed writer and lecturer of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

Françoise interlaces her academic research at Cambridge with Birthlight’s mission. She combines her expertise as a senior yoga teacher, swimmer and birth attendant with new ideas to open up fresh thinking and develop innovative Birthlight yoga practices.

During her post-doctoral fieldwork as an anthropologist in Peruvian Amazonia, Françoise was deeply inspired by her initiation from a shaman midwife. The experience of living with rainforest people for her first two pregnancies was life-changing and led to the formation of Birthlight in 1984.

Dr Françoise Freedman is recognized as the “Grandmother of Water Babies” around the world for her groundbreaking ideas and developments in baby swimming and baby yoga. She is an accomplished writer and has published ten books internationally: Aqua Yoga for Pregnancy (1998), Baby Yoga (2000), Postnatal Yoga: Strengthening Body And Spirit After Birth (2000), Water Babies: Teach Your Baby The Joys of Water – From Newborn Floating to Toddler Swimming (2001), Yoga for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond (2004), Yoga for New Mothers (2005), Yoga & Pilates for Everyone (2005), How to Teach Your Baby To Swim (2010), Yoga for Mother and Baby (2010) and Step-By-Step Yoga For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond (2013).

Françoise’s vision to inspire a holistic approach to pregnancy, birth and parenting that connects the best clinical practice with indigenous wisdom remains her priority. She is a mother of four and a grandmother and considers caring for her family her finest achievement of all.

Francoise Freedman Birthlight

Belinda Staplehurst

Belinda has been a Hatha Yoga Teacher since 2000 and is a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. She grew up in France but is based in the Midlands, UK. Belinda joined Birthlight in 2015 as a Perinatal Tutor after completing multiple Birthlight diplomas specializing in land practices. Belinda has developed her knowledge and practice further and now also tutors for Maternity Professionals and Well Woman Yoga. She is a tutor for Birthlight courses in France and regularly runs training in the UK, China and Russia.

Belinda perinatal 1