Birthlight teacher training has an outstanding reputation for quality, professional courses taught by knowledgeable and inspiring tutors. Well structured sessions offer an excellent balance of theory and practice. All information is based on scientific research and the content of the courses has been refined and developed over many years. Birthlight creates a relaxed atmosphere in which to learn, share and develop new ideas. We pride ourselves on our sensitive approach to help you personally to enrich your life and to touch the lives of many families.
Birthlight's World Class Tutor Team
Birthlight Founder Director
Founder and Director of Birthlight, Françoise Barbira Freedman is a medical anthropologist at the University of Cambridge, where she does research and teaches as an affiliated lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology.
After spending long periods of fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon, including two pregnancies and stays with her young family, she was inspired to share the gentle approach to parenting of her Amazonian hosts with friends in the UK. As a trained yoga teacher and therapist, Françoise used the idiom of yoga to create an original programme of movements and nurturing relaxation for mothers to be and new mothers with their babies.
Birthlight Director of Training
Sally Lomas qualified as an Active Birth teacher in 1997 after training at the Active Birth centre in London. She continued her training with Françoise Freedman in Cambridge and qualified as a Birthlight teacher in Antenatal yoga and Postnatal Yoga and Baby Yoga.
Her Birthlight classes have been running successfully for many years in Cambridge. Sally is now a director of Birthlight Teaching Ltd, Joyful Babies and Dolphin Baby Swimming School. She has been involved in the development of teacher training courses. These courses are offered in many locations and have gained international recognition.
Birthlight teacher in Aqua yoga, Baby swimming and Baby Yoga, Alison started her training with Birthlight in 2006 and has since been spreading birthlight’s spiral of joy through her Calmababy centre in Peterborough. Alison has also recently qualified as a birthlight baby swimming tutor.
Alison has been a midwife for 17 years and has been teaching yoga for 5 years. She has taught pregnancy classes in the NHS for several of the large teaching hospitals in London.
Alison particularly enjoys teaching pregnancy yoga as this enables her to combine her two passions of midwifery and yoga in order to help each woman remain fit and active in her pregnancy as well as giving her practical techniques to de-stress, relax, enjoy being pregnant and focus on her own health and her baby.
Amanda is a Swimming teacher, Aqua Yoga teacher, Birthlight and STA tutor, disability swimming teacher and coach, water therapist, Halliwick teacher and speaker.
Inspired by her mother, a swimmer herself who taught Amanda to swim across the river Cam from the age of three. By the time she was fifteen, Amanda was competing in the British nationals swimming event and training in the holidays at Crystal Palace with the British team.
Belinda’s first experience of yoga was when she attended a classjust before turning eighteen. As she was never drawn to competitive sports at school but found that she could do yoga, and what’s more enjoy it! She’s been hooked since then and enjoyed a huge variety of teachers and styles over the years. Belinda is a Hatha Yoga teacher who is open-minded about different approaches to yoga.
Belinda qualified as a Yoga teacher with Friends of Yoga (FrYog) in 2000 just months after giving birth to her second child and started by teaching general classes. Inspired by some of her pregnant students to pursue antenatal yoga further, Belinda qualified with Birthlight to teach antenatal and postnatal yoga in 2004 and started running pregnancy yoga classes that proved very popular. Some of the women wanted to carry on with their yoga practice after giving birth so Belinda was again inspired to study further and became a Birthlight Baby yoga teacher in 2005.
Bryony started her yoga journey in her early twenties and through the many changes in her life has always had a deep appreciation for the steady calming and enriching presence that yoga provided. She discovered Birthlight in her second pregnancy, and through the pregnancy, antenatal and baby classes she gained peace, strength and acceptance.
This life changing experience lead to her to train with Birthlight and she now teaches Pregnancy Yoga, Baby Massage, Baby Yoga and Toddler Yoga.
She is passionate about providing supportive and nurturing spaces around birth and new parenting through her classes, and as a doula.
Toddler Yoga Tutor
Emma Philip qualified as a Baby Yoga teacher in 2006 following the birth of her first child. She has since trained in Toddler Yoga with Birthlight, in children's yoga with Calm for Kids and is also a qualified primary school teacher with nearly 20 years experience. Emma trained with Melanie Hamilton Davies who devised the Birthlight Toddler Yoga course and tutoring the course for Birthlight in the UK from 2011.
Emma, founder of Tiddlywinks Yoga, now runs several weekly baby, toddler and children's yoga classes, working with families, in Montessori settings and through local Children's Centres. She also teaches Literacy and Drama in a primary school.
Gisela's yoga journey began in 1995 when she attended her first Hatha Yoga class. She has since been a dedicated student of yoga, and has trained with many world-renowned yoga teachers from all over the world. After receiving her certificate as a qualified yoga teacher in 2003, Gisela has taught Hatha Yoga in several studios in Zürich, as well as running her own classes.
In 2005 Gisela spent 4 months in India training with the Master of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, Guruji Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, as well as exploring other forms of yoga practice. Gisela joined the Birthlight team in 2005 as apprentice for Prenatal Yoga.
Helen found yoga in 1990 and started teaching in London in 1997. Mother of three gorgeous children she has been living in Australia with her family since 2006.
Helen’s practice and yoga training are a mixture of styles inspired by her life experiences: from Iyengar yoga and then Astanga yoga in her 20’s, pre natal and post natal yoga with the birth of her children and then kid’s yoga as they have grown.
Helen originally trained with the International Therapy Education Council as a massage therapist and later studied northern and southern style traditional Thai massage. After completing her degree in London in 1994, she spent a year in India where she studied yoga and Ayurveda.
Ingrid Lewis took initiation into Kriya Yoga in 1989. This was followed by Birthlight Yoga and Sivananda Yoga teacher trainings. Ingrid has worked in Germany, the UK and Central Africa in both, allopathic and complementary medicine for over 18 years. She is also a trained Physiotherapist, Public Health Professional, Reflexologist, Reiki-Teacher, Bach Flower Remedies Practitioner & Teacher and Doula. Ingrid works in public health in developing countries and complementary medicine specialising in women’s health.
Jane is a fully qualified Sun Power Yoga and British Wheel of Yoga Teacher as well as a Birthlight Teacher and Tutor (for Perinatal Yoga and Birthlight Yoga for Maternity Health Progessionals). She has been practicing yoga since she was a teenager and has been teaching a variety of yoga classes for a wide range of ages and abilities since 2001.
Jane has been teaching Birthlight pre and postnatal yoga classes since 2006 and is passionate about the benefits. She strongly believes that a happy, comfortable and calm mother can have a more empowered and enjoyable pregnancy and labour and that this positively effects the rest of a woman's life, her child's life, and in turn benefits the whole family and the people that surround that family.
Judy began her journey with birthlight in 2007 when she could not find a suitable baby swimming program in Taiwan for her first born. Through Shawn Tomlinson and Liz Doherty, she was touched by the magic of birthlight… and the fact that her son decided to quit daycare… that she left her post-MBA corporate life to become a full-time mom and a birthlight advocate. In addition to sharing the birthlight spiral of joy to many parents and babies since she obtained her diplomas in baby swimming and baby yoga, she also started birthlight Taiwan with her partne and brought on board many more birthlight baby swimming and baby yoga teachers in Taiwan since 2009.
Julia grew up in England and when she was eight years old woke to discover her cat birthing kittens on her bed; at some level this was a seed for her future work.
Julia has taught yoga for twenty five years working in community organisations, schools, the Aboriginal Health Service and government agencies. In 1995 she began teaching prenatal yoga, a passion that grew with her own experience of practising yoga through two very different pregnancies and births.
Kathryn has always been a water baby and, according to her mother, swam out when she was born.
Having spent her early childhood swimming and doing what she found out in later life were yoga poses, she trained as a swimming teacher after giving up competitive swimming in her late teens.
Kirsteen first met Françoise in 2001 and was deeply impressed by the way Françoise skillfully worked with pregnant women, couples, with babies and toddlers. It was a heart-opening experience and she decided this was an area she wanted to study in depth. Kirsteen then trained with Françoise in Perinatal Yoga and began teaching groups and 1-to-1 classes in 2002. She soon went on to gain the Birthlight Baby Yoga Diploma, as the joy of working with Mums and babies after birth was also irresistible. Later, her own pregnancy, the birth of her daughter and herself as a mother were greatly supported by the Birthlight techniques and practices she had been teaching and she was able to have a home birth at 43 weeks and a day! Personally, she feels the Birthlight Yoga practices are gentle and enjoyable, yet work profoundly and the philosophy and approach are applicable to all women everywhere. "This way of practising Yoga made me and my baby feel much more comfortable on many levels, especially in late pregnancy and helped us cope with the intensity of labour confidently."
Luz Dary Schilt has been practising yoga for more then 10 years and qualified in the USA with YogaFit. After teaching in the USA, she moved to the United Kingdom, where she finished her pre/post-natal training with birthlight in 2008, she has been teaching prenatal and postnatal yoga classes ever since. Truly enjoying the teachings of Birthlight, Luz became a tutor, while being in China and trained under the skilful eye of Jane Collins. Luz Dary also trained with the KYM, one of the five best schools in India, bringing yoga philosophy, holistic approach to yoga and therapy together.
“My pregnancies were joyful experiences and the births delightfully memorable, thanks to Francoise’s teachings.”
From a career in Japanese finance Marion turned to her lifelong love of Yoga and became a British Wheel of Yoga teacher in the mid-nineties. It was working alongside Dr Robin Monro, the Director of the Yoga Biomedical Trust, after qualifying as a Yoga Therapist, that Marion had the good fortune to meet Dr Francoise Freedman, founder of Birthlight, pioneering the holistic approach to perinatal wellbeing.
After qualifying as a Birthlight teacher and gaining an early grounding as a Birthlight Baby Yoga tutor for the Amnesty International nursery in London, Marion moved to the North West and used her Birthlight training to break new ground by introducing Pregnancy Yoga and Baby Yoga into the first wave of Sure Start Centres, subsequently delivering courses for Children Centre users in Mobile and Toddler Yoga, Postnatal Depression and Birth Partner Yoga workshops.
Rosanna is a yoga teacher, birth educator, doula and mother who specialises in all aspects of perinatal yoga. She teaches Birthlight yoga for fertility/ healthy conception and pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, and works with couples to prepare them for pregnancy, birth and parenthood. She also teaches yoga for babies, toddlers, children and teens and general dynamic/restorative hatha classes. Her most recent influence is Anusara yoga which she weaves into all her classes.
Rosanna is a Tutor for Birthlight (2009), training yoga teachers, midwives, doulas and other health professionals in yoga for the perinatal period. She is also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.
Shawn began her journey to train as a conventional swimming teacher in 1999 after spending many years as a canoe instructor and life guard. During her training, she became aware of an innermost feeling that there had to be more to swimming than what she was being taught in the conventional classroom.
This awareness ran deep, as she had grown up as a water baby in Brazil, where oneness with the water had only brought great delight. As a mother of many children, all of whom loved to dip and dive and spend countless hours submerged, playing underwater games, she realised that this love for the aquatic environment could be passed on and taught to others.