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Integrating a pregnant woman into a yoga class - with Wendy Teasdill

14th October 2017
at Costessey Centre

Integrating a pregnant woman into a yoga class - with Wendy Teasdill

Tutor: Wendy Teasdill

Date: 14th October 2017

Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Location: Costessey Centre

Type of Event: IST Days

Places Available: 18

Aims of the Morning

1. To identify existing knowledge base regarding the needs of pregnant women in a yoga class – and to build on it.

2. To address fears about teaching pregnant women and to transform them into a positive outlook and practical experience.


1. By the end of the session, participants should be able to describe the basic prohibitions and precautions for teaching/practising pregnancy yoga.

2. By the end of the session, participants should be able to demonstrate simple ways of integrating pregnant women into a general yoga class in a manner which would benefit the whole class, not just the pregnant woman.

Aims of the Afternoon

1. To empower participants to convert what they already know in order to enhance the experience of all students.

2. To create bridges rather than divisions when including pregnant women into a general class.


1. By the end of the session, participants should be able to discuss aspects of pregnancy which are helpful to all students.

2. By the end of the session, participants should be able to confidently prepare and safely teach a range of postures, from the most simple to advanced, to a general class including a pregnant woman.

Teaching Material Used on The Day

BWY Pregnancy Yoga Guidelines (after the brainstorm)

Flip-chart, posters,

Doll and pelvis to demonstrate the 3 trimesters of pregnancy

Sample lesson plan of a general class to introduce post-lunch discussion

Exercise balls to show how a pregnant woman can be given simple and affective alternatives while the rest of the class do parallel practice.

Doll and pelvis to demonstrate how the ball helps with positioning the baby.

Generic general lesson plan for dissection

Belts and blocks for modification of various postures (we begin with these as we sit and do the initial brainstorm and continue to use them in various ways throughout the day)

Role-play cards for afternoon group and pair-work

Handouts to support each section

Methods of presenting the subject


Didactic with Flipchart


Practical asana work

Group work

Pair work


About the Tutor

Wendy has been practising yoga for over thirty years and is a DCT and a BWY Modules tutor, currently serving on the education committee as Modules Officer. She has a back-ground in Iyengar Yoga and practises and teaches with attention to the pranic flow in asana, encouraging students to think creatively while honouring their own capabilities and limitations. She has spent many years in Asia and has written two books: Walking to the Mountain, about a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, and Yoga for Pregnancy. Go to  for more details. Wendy lives in Somerset.

Outline plan for the day

10.00 - 10.30 – Introduction and brainstorm experiences

10.30 - 11.00 – Warm-up introducing practical considerations which might apply to anyone, not just pregnant women, via simple standing asanas

11.00 -12.00 – The 3 trimesters and their changes what we need to consider introduction to the BWY Pregnancy Yoga guidelines

12.00 - 1.00 – Yoga practices which would suit both pregnant women and non-pregnant students observing the guidelines and including Pranayama and Relaxation.


2.00 - 2.30 – Analysis of normal class – relate it to what may or not suit a pregnant woman in the light of what we have done so far

2.30 - 3.00 – The practicalities of advising a pregnant woman while teaching a parallel class eg during back-bends – ways in which this can be done (including some small group-work with role-play)

3.00 - 3.30 – Yoga practice demonstrating how we can take the positive aspects of pregnancy and give these methods to everyone  creating a bridge rather than a division (including some pair-work)

3.30 - 4.15 - Integrating a pregnant woman’s needs with the teaching of more advanced asanas eg. Nataranjasana (demo and teaching session followed by group work with role-play).

4.15 - 4.30 – Seed syllable chanting and feedback forms


Other information

Rather than seeing the presence of a pregnant woman in the class as a disadvantage, this session focuses the positive possibilities that arise. We will look at the general format of a yoga class, analyse what pregnant women can and cannot do, and relate this to the other people who might be in the class. We will also look at alternatives for pregnant women and how these might be introduced without disrupting the class.


Recommended pre-course reading: BWY Pregnancy Yoga Guidelines



Costessey Centre
Longwater Lane, Old Costessey


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