The Aqua Yoga area consists of the following courses – Aqua Yoga, Aquanatal Yoga, Well Woman Aqua Yoga, Well Woman Aqua Yoga Diploma and Aqua Yoga Therapy Days.

OVERVIEW

Birthlight Aqua Yoga offers the most comprehensive set of adaptations of classic yoga practices in water.  Aqua Yoga makes the yoga benefits of relaxed stretches, strengthening, full breathing and mindfulness accessible to all in water. Certified teachers are equipped to provide this safe, effective and enjoyable form of exercise to pregnant women, seniors, those for whom land yoga is not suitable, those in good health looking to retain this and those wishing to add yoga to their swimming or swimming to their yoga.

 

 

 

The Aqua Yoga training area includes:

 Teacher TrainingShort CourseCPD
Aqua Yoga (general)*  
Aquanatal Yoga***
Well Woman Aqua Yoga **
Well Woman Aqua Yoga Diploma*  
Aqua Yoga Therapy Days  *

HISTORY

Françoise Freedman originally developed Aqua Yoga in her youth as her personal practice, out of her twin passion for yoga and swimming. Aquanatal Yoga has been an integral part of her pioneering adaptations in Yoga for Pregnancy and organically led to the development of Aqua Yoga Therapy by a dedicated Birthlight team since 2010.
For more information about Aqua Yoga read the article “Aqua Yoga” written by Françoise Freedman for “Yoga and Health” magazine.

Teacher training courses are now available as blended courses (i.e. having both a face-to-face component as well as an online course component through our online Learning Management System or LMS).

 

Aqua Yoga (general)5 days: 3 days online +2 days face-to-face
Aquanatal Yoga4 days: 2 days online + 2 days face-to-face
Aqua Yoga Therapy Short Courses1 day online + 1 day face-to-face OR + 1 day online practice review

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Aqua yoga

COURSE OUTLINE

This course has been developed for Birthlight by Kathryn Offer.

The Birthlight Aqua Yoga for Health exercise programme makes full use of the properties of water for fitness, wellbeing and therapeutic applications. Rather than transposing standing yoga poses in shallow pools, this course offers a range of dynamic adaptations. With innovative prop use, glides, floating stretches and rotations allowing 3 D movements for all, including seniors and those with limited range of movement on land (Part 1). Basic therapeutic applications of Aqua Yoga are taught in Part 2.

Course content includes:

Part 1

  • Benefits of yoga in water
  • Fundamentals of yogic philosophy and the 8 elements of yoga
  • Exercise in water to make full use of the properties of water
  • Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology relevant to Aqua Yoga
  • A repertoire of yoga practices adapted to water
  • Precise teaching points/use of props
  • Progressions from pool wall to free-standing and floating moves
  • How to teach yoga breathing and relaxation in water

Part 2

  • Specific uses of buoyancy aids and props
  • Aqua Yoga sequences to address common ailments
  • Sequences for seniors and those with limited range of movement
  • Aqua Yoga practices to ease swimming strokes
  • How to prepare class materials & sequencing
  • Tips for addressing individual needs in enjoyable group classes

WHO CAN ATTEND THIS COURSE?

  • Swimming, aquacise, aquarobics and aquafitness instructors with an interest in yoga
  • Aqua therapists with a personal experience of yoga
  • Yoga teachers who enjoy water
  • Health professionals using water skills including Watsu practitioners

Applicants should be able to swim 25 metres comfortably without the use of swimming aids, be confident in submerging themselves and comfortable in deep water. Students must participate in the pool for all face to face water sessions. A CPR qualification is highly recommended. Life Saving skills are required for those planning to work in pools without a lifeguard on poolside.

A ‘bridging module’ about teaching in water is required for yoga teachers with no previous aquatic experience

FORMAT AND DURATION

This course is available in three formats.
CLASSIC BLENDED FORMAT5 days face-to-face
Part 1: 3 days (5 pool sessions)
Part 2: 2 days (3 pool sessions + assessment)
COMBINED CLASSIC & LIVESTREAM BLENDED FORMATPart 1:  Live stream tutoring 5 days + home study
Part 2: 2 days face-to-face (4 pool sessions).
LIVESTREAM BLENDEDPart 1: Live stream tutoring 5 days + home study
Part 2:  Online course 2 days + home study + review of practice

These courses consists of face-to-face and/or livestream contact hours plus an online learning component (thus the term “blended”). Participants receive access to this online learning component upon purchase. There you will find our exclusive course materials developed through years of teaching experience by the Birthlight tutor team.

As much as possible our live-streamed tutoring will be GMT scheduled for possible morning access to course participants in America, Asia and Australia.

There is scope to record the training sessions to allow each student to access them when they can get to a pool or when convenient for them.

Study materials include:

  •  an online printable comprehensive manual
  •  explainer videos and presentations of anatomy and physiology
  • video clips
  • class recordings
  • printable handouts.

Break out rooms, discussion groups, quizzes and practical assignments make the course interactive in its online format. Individualised support and assessment by recorded teaching videos uphold Birthlight training quality standards.

ASSESSMENT

This course is assessed with theory quizzes and practicals during the course. To gain your certification you will need to submit a documented case-study of four teaching sessions (templates are provided) and a recorded video (10 minutes) of your teaching as specified by the course tutor.

QUALIFICATION

On successful completion of the course and assignments, participants will receive the Birthlight Aqua Yoga for Health teacher certification.

Accreditation of the Birthlight Aqua Yoga for Health Certification course in blended and online formats are under review.

Successful completion of Aqua Yoga for Health + Aquanatal Yoga + 2 Aqua Yoga CPD days (selected) will confer the Aqua Yoga Practitioner Diploma  (accreditation under review)

AQUA YOGA FOR HEALTH DIPLOMA

LEVEL 1

Students must have either the Foundation Aquanatal Yoga or Aqua Yoga for Health.*

LEVEL 2

Students must have completed both the Foundation Aquanatal Yoga and Aqua Yoga for Health.**

LEVEL 3

Accredited Aqua Yoga Practitioner

*Foundation Aquanatal Yoga is equivalent to the Birthlight previous Level 1 Aquanatal.

**All current Birthlight teachers who have already completed Level 1 and 2 Aqua natal in addition to the two-day CPD for Aqua Yoga for Health/Therapeutic Aqua Yoga could progress to a Level 3 after submitting agreed materials and attending online training. The details of the conversion will be related to how old their certification is and/or proof of working experience so that we can show that they meet the criteria for accreditation and certification.

Our online training modalities are fully recognised by Birthlight insurers, BGi.

TESTIMONIALS

“I used some of the new moves we learned in my lessons and they went down a storm! Some of my ladies were so relieved and happy as they suffer with lower back pain and were so excited about getting back in the water and one comment I had was “ I knew the lesson was going to be great… but that was awesome!” which was from an American lady who has been coming to my classes for about 3 months!

Once again thank you so much for all of your knowledge at the weekend it was wonderful and very very beneficial and I feel even more inspired and excited about Aqua Yoga”

Hayleigh Jones

Aquanatal Yoga

OVERVIEW

Become a certified & confident Aquanatal Yoga teacher to offer this gentle yet most effective form of exercise to pregnant women and new mothers. Aqua Yoga allows stretching without straining and overheating, toning without impact and easy access to deep relaxation. Water provides a soothing yet stimulating environment to prepare for birth and most particularly for waterbirth. Aquanatal Yoga gives pregnant women more than just fitness: water facilitates bonding with babies and positive maternal emotions.

COURSE OUTLINE

The course covers a full range of prenatal moves on the pool floor and in deeper water, with and without swimming aids, for all stages of pregnancy, birth preparation and the postnatal period (with and without babies in water).

Here is an overview of what you will learn in this teacher training course:

  • Yogic philosophy for pregnant women
  • Benefits of water exercise for the prenatal and postnatal periods
  • Women’s needs in the 4 trimesters of pregnancy
  • Fundamentals of pregnancy specific anatomy and physiology
  • Movement in water in function of the properties of water
  • A repertoire of adapted yoga postures and dynamic variations specially designed for pregnant women and new mothers, with precise teaching points
  • How to teach ‘aqua breathing’ and ‘aqua relaxation’
  • Adaptations of swimming strokes maximise benefits of swimming during pregnancy.
  • Postnatal Aqua Yoga practices (for mothers with and without babies in water)
  • How to prepare class materials & use props
  • How to set up your pre and postnatal Aqua Yoga class (group or one to one)

WHO CAN ATTEND THIS COURSE?

The course is open to applicants with an interest in yoga who are:

  • Swimming, aquacise, aquarobics and aquafitness instructors
  • Aqua therapists with a personal experience of yoga
  • Midwives
  • Yoga teachers with a teaching specialty in pre & postnatal yoga
  • Health professionals using water skills including Watsu practitioners

Applicants should be able to swim 25 metres comfortably without the use of swimming aids, be confident in submerging themselves and comfortable in deep water. Students must participate in the pool for all water sessions. A CPR qualification is also highly recommended. Life Saving skills are required for those planning to work in pools without a lifeguard on poolside.

FORMAT AND DURATION

These courses consists of face-to-face and/or livestream contact hours plus an online learning component (thus the term “blended”). Participants receive access to this online learning component upon purchase. There you will find our exclusive course materials developed through years of teaching experience by the Birthlight tutor team.

CLASSIC BLENDED

4 days face-to-face training plus online component learning

COMBINED CLASSIC & LIVESTREAM BLENDED

2 days livestream plus online course component + 2 days face-to-face training (recommended)

LIVESTREAM BLENDED

4 days livestream via Zoom sessions plus online component

Study materials include:

  • an online printable comprehensive manual
  • explainer videos and presentations of anatomy and physiology
  • video clips
  • class recordings 
  • printable handouts. 

Break out rooms, discussion groups, quizzes and practical assignments make the course interactive in its online format. Individualised support and assessment by recorded teaching videos uphold Birthlight training quality standards. 

Our online training modalities are fully recognised by Birthlight insurers, BGi. 

ASSESSMENT 

This course is assessed with theory quizzes and practicals during the course. To gain your certification you will need to submit a documented case-study of 4 teaching sessions (templates are provided) and a recorded video (10 minutes) of your teaching as specified by the course tutor. 

QUALIFICATION

On successful completion of the course and assignments, participants will receive the Birthlight Aquanatal Yoga teacher certification.

This course counts as CPD (36 points) for practitioners of Aqua Yoga qualified with another school than Birthlight

This course counts as a module for the premium Well Woman Aqua Yoga teacher training course (85 hours blended course) accredited with Yoga Alliance Professionals.

Re-accreditation of the Birthlight Aquanatal Yoga Certification course by the Royal College of Midwives is under review to include online teaching

WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT THIS COURSE

‘Fascinating, relaxed, interesting, gentle and professional’ 

Athens course May 2019

‘The course gave me a whole new perspective for a holistic approach to pregnancy. I can use the pelvic floor practices -to relax it and prevent injuries- in my work as a midwife’

Athens course, May 2019

I’ve learned a lot about helping mums-to-be prepare for birth using the water. I’m also a lot more knowledgeable on the body, how to use Aqua Yoga to help the body.

Linton course, June 2019.

FURTHER STUDY

Aquatic Nuture for Newborns – 1 Day

Well Woman Aqua Yoga Short Course / CPD

OVERVIEW

In sessions shorter than land yoga, Aqua Yoga teachers can offer women greater freedom of movement, relaxation from everyday pressures and toning practices that energize and calm bodies and minds together. A growing body of scientific research confirms the benefits of yoga to promote a balanced and strong neuro-endocrine system. Water allows protection, resistance and freedom for managing transitions through the lifecycle from fertility quest to maternity and the menopause.

This course is a stand-alone short course/CPD open to certified teachers of Aqua Yoga (general) or Aquanatal Yoga. It is also part of the premium blended modular Well Woman Aqua Yoga Diploma course (85 hours). Participants are equipped with the knowledge and practical confidence needed to teach Aqua Yoga successfully to women through life-stages, including therapeutic applications.

Practices are accessible to all irrespective of fitness or age, for swimmers and non-swimmers.

COURSE OUTLINE

You will learn: 

  • Yoga principles applicable to women’s health and wellbeing
  • Benefits of Aqua Yoga for women’s health and wellbeing
  • Relevant fundamentals of anatomy and physiology
  • Fundamentals of recent research on neuroendocrinology related to Yoga and Ayurveda
  • Movement in water in function of the properties of water
  • Safety guidelines for specific conditions
  • A selected repertoire of Aqua Yoga practices applicable to women’s life stages and transitions
  • How to teach Aqua Breathing and Aqua Relaxation
  • Sequencing of Aqua Yoga elements (groups and one to one)
  • Therapeutic applications for pre-peri and post menopause
  • Effective use of selected props

You will also learn:

  • Teaching methods to cater for both confident and tentative swimmers
  • How to prepare class materials
  • How to support, assist and correct women constructively in water
  • How to design therapeutic plans to address specific needs (groups or one to one)
  • Promotion aspects of Well Woman Aqua Yoga

WHO CAN ATTEND THIS COURSE?

  • Certified Aqua Yoga teachers
  • Certified Aquanatal Yoga teachers
  • Aqua therapists with a personal experience of yoga
  • Health professionals using water skills including Watsu practitioners

Applicants should be able to swim 25 metres comfortably without the use of swimming aids, be confident in submerging themselves and comfortable in deep water. Students must participate in the pool for all water sessions. A CPR qualification is also highly recommended. Life Saving skills are required for those planning to work in pools without a lifeguard on poolside.

FORMAT AND DURATION

CLASSIC BLENDED

3 days face-to-face training plus online course component

COMBINED CLASSIC AND LIVESTREAM BLENDED

2 days livestream plus course component + 1 day face-to-face training (recommended)

LIVESTREAM BLENDED

2 days livestream via Zoom sessions plus online course component + home study +1 day online Zoom review of practice

These courses consists of face-to-face and/or livestream contact hours plus an online learning component (thus the term “blended”). Upon purchase participants receive access to this online learning component (e.g. online reading, quizzes, etc). There you will find our exclusive course materials developed through years of teaching experience by the Birthlight tutor team.

Our online training modalities are fully recognised by Birthlight insurers, BGi. 

ASSESSMENT. 

You will be assessed continually with quizzes and informal practicals through the course. To gain your certification you will also need to submit a case study documenting 3 sessions (group or one to one) and a recorded video of your teaching (10 minutes) as specified by the course tutor.

QUALIFICATIONS

This course counts as CPD (36 points) for practitioners of Aqua Yoga qualified with another school than Birthlight

On successful completion of all assignments, Birthlight certified teachers in General Aqua Yoga and Aquanatal Yoga can add the WellWoman Aqua Yoga short course/CPD to gain their qualification as certified teachers/therapists in Well Woman Aqua Yoga (85 hours premium blended course)

WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT THIS COURSE

Thank you so much for this journey!

My heart is full of gratitude!

Anna, Sasseta Alta Nov 2019.

Well Woman Aqua Yoga Diploma Course

This premium blended modular course is open to yoga teachers holding a 200/hour certification and to certified Yoga Therapists who wish to apply yoga in water to benefit women’s health and wellbeing.
You can become a certified teacher/therapist in WellWoman Aqua Yoga at your own pace with this blended course or you can attend a residential retreat/course that provides the six/6 contact days required for the accredited 85 hours course and more. The blended format is required to ensure correct practice in water according to Birthlight quality standards.

Module Duration
Module 1 online: Aqua Yoga for women’s health and wellbeing
Pools & Use of equipment and props
Safety guidelines
1 day online + home study
Module 2 blended or online: Aqua Yoga adapted postures & variations for women. Aqua Breathing and Aqua Relaxation (integrated theory and practice) 1 day online (live) and 2 days face-to-face.
OR
1 day online (live) and 2 days online (recorded)
*Module 3 blended or online: Aquanatal Yoga adapted postures & variations, breathing and relaxation for pregnancy
*Birthlight certified aquanatal yoga teachers do not require this module.
1 day online (live stream) and 2 days face-to-face.
OR
1 day online (live stream) and 2 days online (recorded)
Module 4 blended or online: Aqua Yoga therapeutic elements and sequences to promote hormonal balance, pelvic health and core strength. Special applications for pre-peri and post menopause 2 days online (live stream) and 1 day face-to-face.
OR
1 day online (live) and 2 days online (recorded)
Module 5 blended or online: Teaching methods for Well Woman Aqua Yoga. Preparation of class materials and case studies (groups and one to one) 1 day online + home study + preparation of assigned case-studies for assessment and 1 day of practice review (online or face to face)
Total duration (5modules)
Blended format *
The face to face components of this course are combined in 6 day retreat/courses.
10 contact days + home study
4 days online + 6 days face-to-face

The 85 hour Birthlight Well Woman Aqua Yoga course is accredited with Yoga Alliance Professionals as a postgraduate course for 200h yoga teachers. YAP Diploma holders can use the YAP trainer badge.


This qualification entitles you to teach general Aqua Yoga classes, Aquanatal Yoga and Therapeutic Aqua Yoga for women’s health.

Aqua Yoga Therapy CPD days

These are specialist courses that address specific conditions with Therapeutic Aqua Yoga.

FORMAT AND DURATION

Combined Classic and Livestream Blended: 1 day online, + 1 day face to face (or online practice review).
More coming soon!

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT AQUA YOGA THERAPY

There are many benefits I feel from our Aqua Yoga sessions. The support of the water when doing the exercises means that I can achieve far more joint movement than on dry land. I also found that building up core strength helped enormously with my back – which as you know – I broke in a riding accident and had been attending an osteopath on a monthly basis for years. Since doing AY I have not been back. I also find that the “de-stressing” nature of the exercises and being in the water are hugely beneficial after driving for miles with my job, or sitting hunched over the computer – both of which result in exceedingly tight shoulders, twitching legs and short temper!!
Finally – there is the social side of the sessions – enjoying the company of the other ladies and of course you.

Lynne Weedon’s feedback on Birthlight Tutor and Training Coordinator Carol Anne Procter’s Aqua Yoga Therapy classes.

I have adored the aqua sessions. I have especially enjoyed the small classes, and the way you run them, and personalise the exercises. I have poor balance, and have found that working in water to improve that (standing on one leg, working with the float under one foot etc) has helped a lot. The equipment we have used has all been helpful. The new dumb-bells last time I came made my arms ache afterwards (in a good way) and I think that has increased my upper body strength which has helped a lot with the crutches, lowering myself into chairs etc. Finally, the relaxation and stretching out in the water has been bliss. I can’t think of any things which I haven’t enjoyed’

Julia Braggins’ feedback on Birthlight Tutor and Training Coordinator Carol Anne Procter’s Aqua Yoga Therapy classes.