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Birthlight tutors

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


Francoise FreedmanFrançoise Freedman

Birthlight Founder Director

Perinatal Yoga TutorAqua Baby TutorAqua Baby TutorWellWoman Yoga Tutor  WellWoman Yoga Tutor      

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. 

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Kirsteen Ruffell

Birthlight Training Co-ordinator (Land Tutors)

Perinatal Yoga Tutor WellWoman Yoga Tutor

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."

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Carol Anne Proctor

Birthlight Training Co-ordinator (Aquatic Tutors)

Carol Anne is a special baby swimming tutor and a certified aquatic specialist with more than 10 years experience in warm water therapy for adults and children. 
 
Having one of her own daughters living with a disability from birth has enabled her to have both a professional and parental outlook in the specialised field of Aquatic Therapy for children with disabilities.
 
She has her own aquatic practice offering specialised paediatric aquatic therapy for children with a range of disabilities from Cerebral Palsy, Downs, Rett’s Syndrome, SWANs, Autism and ADHD plus those with an acquired brain injury.
 
By working in partnership with parents, she looks to improve not only childrens’ physical abilities in terms of gross and fine motor co-ordination skills and strength but also communication, sensory integration and behavioural issues.


Sally LomasSally Lomas

Perinatal Yoga TutorAqua Yoga TutorAqua Baby TutorWellWoman Yoga Tutor

Sally Lomas was born in London and has since lived and worked in the UK, Australia and California. With the birth of her first child in 1988 she became interested in yoga and was inspired to move into the specialised world of birth and babies. She qualified as an Active Birth teacher in 1997 and then continued her training with Françoise Freedman in Cambridge and began teaching Birthlight Antenatal Yoga and Baby Yoga, later moving into the world of Aqua Yoga and Baby Swimming.

Sally is now a director of Birthlight Teaching Ltd, Joyful Babies and Joyful Dolphin swim school. She has been involved in the development of Birthlight teacher trainings and whilst based in Cambridge she travels internationally to tutor courses.

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Alison Duff

 

Aqua Baby Tutor Aqua Baby Tutor

 

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. 

 

 


Belinda Staplehurst

Perinatal Yoga TutorWellWoman Yoga Tutor  WellWoman Yoga Tutor

I believe that Yoga should be accessible and enjoyable. I have been practicing Yoga all my adult life but only felt I had come home when I discovered Birthlight yoga in 2003. I knew immediately this was the approach for me to share with others.

I started my Birthlight journey with teaching pregnant women, then they had babies so of course had to learn too about postnatal and baby yoga too! Many of these women then reached the perimenopause and menopause so was inspired to deepen my knowledge of Yoga for women’s health.

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Bryony Vickers

 

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.

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Emma Philip

Emma Philip

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.



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Gill Bann

Gill Bann

Aqua Baby Tutor

I started swimming teaching in 2000, which has taken me on a journey coaching many disciplines, from special needs specific classes to competitive club swimming. I came from a background of dance and adapted to work in the leisure industry for many years.
 
After a defining car accident a number of years ago, I was recommended yoga, and never looked back. Yoga is a path and after qualifying as a Hatha teacher in 2014, I wanted to combine both passions - as a result, discovered Birthlight.
 
Francoise tutored my first Aqua Natal and Therapy courses, and I was totally hooked. I’m passionate about spreading the positive practices of Birthlight to everyone in Northern Ireland and beyond!

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Gisela Collazo

Gisela Collazo

Perinatal Yoga Tutor

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.

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Jane CollinsJane Collins

Perinatal Yoga Tutor  WellWoman Yoga Tutor

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.

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Judy KuoJudy Kou

Aqua Baby Tutor

 

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.

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Kathryn Offer

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.

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Kiki Katsikari

Aqua Baby Tutor

Kiki holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Activity and Sports Science and a Master’s degree in Physical Activity and Quality of Life.

She has worked with with young children since she was 18 years old. She started working as a baby swimming instructor in 2012. While working, she realised that she wanted to deepen her knowledge and search for a deeper philosophy linked to baby swimming.

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Luz Dary Schilt

Perinatal Yoga Tutor

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.

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Marion O'Connor

“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.

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Nicole Sauseng

Aqua Baby Tutor

Nicole Sauseng lives in Trumau in Austria, where over five years ago she founded her own swimming school called Aquababy.

Nicole started babyswimming with her kids Julian and Gabriel over 10 years ago. As she made her experiences as a babyswimming mother she decided to deepen her knowledge. So she started to attend several national and international teacher training courses. She also attended national and international conferences. She ran some teacher training courses in Austria. In Switzerland she learned to work with singing bowls in water with adults as well as with babies and older children.

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Nima Keshavarzi

Nima started yoga in 2005, having moved from Iran to Dubai, whilst looking for something that could help her to cope with the quiet life there.

She explored many styles of yoga at the same time as attending a Sivananda teacher training course in India. Coming upon an aqua yoga class in Dubai, she fell in love with it right away, and searched the internet for any training opportunities. She soon found back-to-back perinatal and aqua yoga courses offered by Francoise in Moscow. She underwent both training courses as part of the first group of Birthlight trainees in Moscow in 2008 and has been teaching classes in Dubai and Tehran ever since.

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Perrine Alliod

Aqua Baby Tutor

During Perrine's first pregnancy in 2005, her husband gave her Francoise Freedman's book "yoga during pregnancy". That is when she discovered her calling and Birthlight.

Perrine learned to follow her intuition, to develop her maternal instinct and to trust her body. At the birth of her son, she undertook a career change that naturally led her to work with future and new parents. She has been trained in baby massage, babywearing, sophrology, mindfulness and yoga at several schools.


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Rosanna Kalliabetsos

Perinatal Yoga Tutor  WellWoman Yoga Tutor

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.

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Vivian Chiang

Aqua Baby Tutor

Vivian is delighted to be one of Birthlight’s Baby Swimming Tutors from Taiwan.  

Since 1996, she has been a swim instructor as well as having been a successful international competitive swimmer.  However, since completing her training with Birthlight, she has come to realise that previously she had taught her swimmers merely to pass exams rather than as a skill for life. This has been a real turning point in her career as she believes water parenting to be a perfect way to teach swimming but also to be a long-term benefit to parents, babies and their family relationships.


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