Guatemala Retreat


Yoga and holistic birth support are potent therapeutic tools to empower the birthing journey from pregnancy to parenthood. This internationally recognized training program will ignite your journey to support healing and transformation during pregnancy and beyond. Sacred Birth focuses on nurturing conscious pregnancy and parenthood while addressing the medical, political and spiritual considerations of birthing.

Sacred Birth, Doula and Prenatal Yoga Training is an 85+ hour dual certificate training. This training equips yoga teachers with tools to empower and support pregnant women throughout their pregnancies and labor.

We encourage participants to explore and awaken to the radically healing potential of yoga and holistic birth support as therapeutic tools to empower the birthing journey from pregnancy to motherhood. After the completion of this course, yoga teachers will feel confident accommodating pregnant people in their regular classes, as well as be equipped to teach prenatal, couples workshops and postnatal yoga classes.

PYTT+Doula in Guatemala

March 5-14, 2023

This training is recommended for

Our program is holistically designed for those who are interested in learning a mind-body approach to pregnancy, childbirth and parenting preparation with a therapeutic focus.

Doulas and midwives...

…Educators, counselors, healthcare professionals and people interested in expanding their knowledge in family-centered yoga practice
Picture of people talking

Yoga Teachers...

…seeking to develop a niche in prenatal yoga and to deepen their facilitation and community building skills, learning about birth in a deeper way than other programs
Pregnant person doing prenatal yoga

Yoga teachers...

… interested in learning about full spectrum health, pregnancy and conscious birthing, informed decision-making and supporting and facilitating Sacred Birth

Goals of this course

  • Teach prenatal yoga therapeutically to support a healthy pregnancy and birth
  • Learn how to safely modify postures for pregnancy, with knowledge of modifications, contraindicated and beneficial postures for each trimester
  • Understand anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, including western and eastern perspectives and the effects of pregnancy on the body, mind and spirit
  • Gain a thorough understanding of birthing and pregnancy
  • Learn skills that are immediately applicable to all of your classes
  • Be mentored by a team of experienced and passionate teachers who are leaders in the field
  • Explore the landscape of Birth in all its realms: physiological, psychological, sociological, historical, political and spiritual
  • Acquire knowledge and tools to heal your own birthing stories
  • Discover your authentic teaching voice and uncover the unique gifts that you have to offer through class exercise, the use of imagery, sequencing, birth art and facilitator support
  • Encourage the harmonization of hormones and energy levels using yogic wisdom
  • Design skillful sequencing, positions for labour, asana for childbirth preparation and postnatal recommendations for recovery
  • Integrate all aspects of the practice: asana, breath work (pranayama), vocal toning (mantra), relaxation, working with themes, massage and pain reduction techniques to help create a more positive and relaxed birthing experience
  • Come to an embodied understanding of our innate wisdom and the miracle of birthAll people are welcome, including the pregnant and postpartum. Babies in arms are welcome too!
doula standing behind woman in labour
What a wonderful training! I feel SO inspired to support others. I always knew it's what I wanted to do but felt intimidated. Did I have enough knowledge and experience to do it? The trainers reassured me and I already have my first client booked. I can't wait!

Melissa R


  • Receive an internationally recognized certification in yoga teaching and leadership
  • Open and close your journey with a traditional Mayan Fire Ceremony
  • Learn the fundamentals of our holistic and interdisciplinary approach to yoga
  • Visit successful permaculture projects and learn from local wisdom keepers
  • Discover the resources, inspiration, and community support you are seeking to create sustainable change
  • Nourish your mind, body and spirit through daily yoga, meditation and living in harmony with the earth
  • Return home with a renewed sense of purpose and passion, expanded community and heartfelt inspiration


With deep roots in Northern India, our approach blends traditional Hatha, Vinyasa and the fundamentals of therapeutic yoga to support individuals in leading joyful, empowered lives. Our alignment-based system incorporates mindfulness and traditional yogic wisdom with a modern understanding of the body. We believe yoga is for all people and create safe, inclusive, and engaging learning environments for you to discover your own potential. Our curriculum is developed around the three pillars of Mind, Body & Earth, believing that they are essential, interconnected aspects of the yogic path.


• Daily guided yoga practices
• Eligibility to qualify for doula certification with DONA International
• 85 hour Yoga Alliance Registered Prenatal Yoga Teaching Certification


To gain Yoga Alliance certification as RPYT, a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training is required. Others can participate but will not be eligible for registration as a Prenatal Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance.



• A minimum of 75 contact hours with our yoga trainers (the training meets this requirement)
• 10 observation hours observing or assisting classes in your community
• Successful completion of teaching practicum with our support, teaching team and peers
• 10 hours of homework readings to be completed after the course (this will be assigned in class)


6:30am Yoga & Movement practice
8am Breakfast
9am Yoga Philosophy
10:45am Yoga Lab, Anatomy or Methodology
12:15pm Lunch
2pm Yoga Philosophy
4:15pm Yoga Lab, Therapeutics or Methodology
7:15pm Dinner
8pm Evening activity (meditation, circle, movie or reflection)*
*3 times per week

*first day starts with dinner and last day ends after breakfast

Topics  in this course


  • The stages of pregnancy and effects on body and mind
  • The physiology of pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pregnancy and childbirth as a journey
  • Deconstructing and transforming our relationship to pain
  • The benefits of prenatal and postnatal yoga
  • Modifications, contraindications and beneficial asanas for each trimester
  • Postures to support a healthy pregnancy
  • Sequencing and class themes
  • Hands-on assisting in prenatal yoga
  • Pranayama and sound techniques
  • Relaxation and visualization for childbirth preparation and support of the birth experience
  • Integrating mindfulness and cultivating awareness in your classes
  • Incorporating imagery into cueing for breathwork and asana
  • Massage, birthing techniques and laboring positions using yoga
  • Postnatal yoga for healing and beneficial asanas to support the body after childbirth
  • Simple infant massage and infant stimulation routine
  • How to create a supportive community in your class environment


We’ve combined DONA International-approved Birth Doula Training into the program to provide a well-rounded knowledge base and approach to yoga teaching. Whether you choose to attend births or not, the knowledge, training, and hands-on experience gained from this portion will be invaluable to being able to fully support pregnant women and their families. In the 24 hours dedicated to this topic, you will deepen your knowledge of the emotional, physical, and psychological aspects of pregnancy, birth, and the early parenting experience so you will feel prepared to answer common questions accurately and knowledgeably.


  • Role of the Doula
  • Emotional, physical, and informational support of women and families in the prenatal period, at birth, and in the early postpartum period
  • Involving support people
  • Comfort measures
  • Common interventions and medications
  • How to become a Certified Doula with DONA International
  • Scope of practice and Code of Ethics
  • Interprofessional relationships
  • How to build a Doula business

Investment - Tuition

$1600 USD
Plus $550-880 for accommodations. Price includes: 9-day PYTT + Doula training including all classes, workshops, training manual. Does not include: airfare, required reading texts.
  • Step 2: Place your deposit. Once registered we will send you an electronic invoice that you can pay in full or in partial payments.
  • Step 4: Pay any remaining tuition balance and book your flights! Please confirm with us before booking flights.

Accommodation Options

Remaining options include: Shared $550, Twin $650, or Semi-Private $750. This fee is for your entire stay. See more pics of options below. You’ll be brought over to our partner site AwakenedSpiritYoga for your accommodations booking.

Shared Accommodations

(4 person cabana)

Reserve now

Twin Accommodations

(2 person cabana)

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Semi-Private Accommodations

(1 person per room, 2 rooms in cabana)

Reserve now

Awakened Spirit Yoga is a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS 200) and one of the few Registered Prenatal Yoga Schools (RPYS). We offer an 85-hour prenatal training as well as a combined prenatal yoga training and doula course. Intimate classes allow our dedicated team of teachers to provide personal attention, expert guidance and personal feedback throughout our trainings.

Graduates of our program are eligible for the Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT) designation with Yoga Alliance.

Meet your trainers – Stefanie Antunes & Julia Forest


Stefanie AntunesStefanie Antunes has been a Lamaze® Educator and doula since 2002, after the birth of her second son showed her just how valuable it is to be prepared for birth and to have good support around you.

Stefanie is a visionary in the childbirth field. She leads the Discover Birth organization providing a variety of services to expectant parents and training for those wishing to pursue work in the childbirth field. Stefanie has been on the board of the Association of Ontario Doulas,  DONA International. and sits on many local boards and coalitions to improve our communities. She is a DONA-approved Birth Doula Trainer, and runs the Institute of Childbirth Educators, a Lamaze-Accredited Childbirth Educator Program.

Stefanie is the founder of The Birth Doula Program, a hospital-based doula program operating out of several hospitals.

Stefanie is a contributing author in the best selling Power of Women United and the book Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas. She is a regular contributing writer and blogger, and has done many interviews online and for TV/radio.

She believes that the world can be a better place if parents can have more positive childbirth experiences, allowing them to bond properly with their babies. She works tirelessly to change the world in this aspect…one family at a time.


Julia ForestJulia is an international yoga teacher, birth doula, women’s health advocate, and closet artist who is passionate about health, environmentalism and empowered birth. She is founding director of Awakened Spirit Yoga and co-founder of the Wellkind Foundation.

During the past 20 years, Julia has been practicing and studying with extraordinary teachers in North America and in India and deepened her practice in several lineages such as classical hatha yoga, mindfulness meditation, vinyasa, Scaravelli inspired, yoga therapy and kundalini. A solo journey to Spain sparked a 10 year pilgrimage to Rishikesh India, where she taught and studied yoga and meditation in ashrams and monasteries.

The emphasis in her classes is on alignment, yoga as a tool for transformation, the healing qualities of inner stillness, movement and breath for the cultivation of inner peace, health and wellbeing. Her approach is trauma informed and accessible. She teaches from the heart and creates an environment in which her students can explore and discover their inner wisdom and potential. She believes that we all have within us what we need to heal ourselves and is passionate about honoring source tradition while exploring the potential that yoga has to offer in everyday life.

Julia has been deeply influenced by her many teachers and mentors such as Thich Nhat Hahn, Jetsumna Tenzin Palmo, Monica Voss, and Judith Hanson Lasater. She offers retreats, yoga teacher training programs, anatomy and physiology intensives, and specialty workshops worldwide.


San Marcos la Laguna is a small Mayan village on Lake Atitlán in the western highlands of Guatemala. It has become a Mecca for international travellers attracted by its beauty, tranquility and diverse options for spiritual exploration and therapy. Terraced into the side of a cliff, The Yoga Forest is a twenty five minute hike up into the valley from Lake Atitlán. To escape to our lush tropical food forest please travel to us with

a backpack, organic soaps, a head torch and a spirit of adventure.

The Yoga Forest is a sacred sanctuary with ancient Mayan altars and natural springs that have been protected as a Natural Reserve in order to honour the land and the heritage of its people. Take your time here to connect to Mother Earth and create space for

 transformation and self healing while enjoying the peace and tranquility of mountains looking out over the lake towards volcanoes San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlán. This is a unique retreat space within a tropical forest with amazing views, comfortable beds, delicious vegetarian meals, daily yoga and meditation and friendly community living.

The shared cabañas at The Yoga Forest accommodate four people, in large single beds.

Using natural building techniques, the  cabañas are constructed with either bamboo or cypress, palm roof and natural adobe walls or traditional bahareque (wattle and daub) of this area. The beds are comfortable, with warm feather duvets and pillows, and decorated with Peruvian Shipibo fabrics and Guatemalan Cushions. All circus tents come with a comfortable mattress, feather duvets, blankets and cushions to keep you warm and cozy, all within beautiful natural forest surroundings.

About  DONA International

DONA International is the world’s first, largest and leading doula certifying organization. Founded in 1992, DONA professionalized the role of the doula. Since then, they have certified more than 12,000 DONA International doulas in more than 50 countries!

DONA International’s primary function is to provide excellent doula education and certification to a diverse population of doulas world-wide. DONA International promotes the highest quality perinatal support for birthing mothers and their families by setting the standard for doula education and training, and by advocating the research-based benefits of doula care.

Cancellation  Policy

Deposits for all of our courses are non-refundable, but may be transferred to another program occurring within the next calendar year when cancellation notice is given no less than 6 weeks prior to the start date of the original program registered for.

The remaining balance is refundable, less a $150 application fee up until 4 weeks prior to the first day of the course if a student chooses to withdraw application from the program. Once the program begins, no refunds will be granted. A full refund of the tuition will be offered if a workshop, training or retreat is cancelled by it’s facilitators.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions on our partner site – Awakened Spirit Yoga. It has more details about some common questions asked about this retreat. If you still have questions or would like to schedule a call please email us and we’ll be happy to chat with you.

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