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Spain Well Woman Yoga Retreat and Course

Take advantage of an amazing opportunity to spend days with Birthlight founder, Françoise Freedman, for a combined retreat and 80-hour teacher training course in "Well Woman Yoga" offered in conjunction with the Yoga Academy. This is a specialty yoga post-graduate course for qualified yoga teachers where all aspects of women's health are covered except for pregnancy. Birthlight has a well-established reputation as a training provider in women's yoga. You will have an enjoyable balance of personal restoration and intensive training for over seven days and you will have customized teaching, meeting individual participants' needs in a warm style.

Meet the instructors

Françoise & Kirsteen
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  • Teaching resources and practices for women of all ages and fitness levels
  • Opportunity to renew your yoga practice and teaching from a special angle
  • The only integrated course in yoga for women through their life-cycle changes
  • Sharing and privacy by interactive teaching in circles of women
  • Led by internationally-experienced senior yoga tutors
  • All meals will be served daily
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Yoga styles

7 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 18 participants
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  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Tour assistance

Accommodation options are in single and double ensuite rooms. Set in a secluded location, Santillán is an Andalusian paradise, ideally suited for the Well Woman yoga retreat course. It's located in the countryside, surrounded by the silence of the mountain and with wonderful sea views. A farm of 30,000 square meters, it is located in the peace of the Spanish countryside, and yet, is conveniently only 20 minutes from Málaga airport.

The family atmosphere, the delicacy of service, gardens, small corners, and interior spaces make it an ideal venue for yoga, retreats, or explore meditation, deepening silence, and stillness space.

Santillán staff have informed that they have used the lockdown time to develop the new and existing vegetable and tropical gardens, expanded their animal family, worked on improvements to the yoga studio and retreat facilities, and have added delicious new recipes and homemade conserves from the kitchen. The original studio and the pergola have also been renovated for offering additional indoor and outdoor yoga practice spaces.


This week-long training retreat is intensive to cover the hours and contents of four or the five modules of the Birthlight Well Woman Diploma course (80 contact hours). Yet it is also an opportunity to restore, go deeper into yoga practice and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, facilities, and pampering accommodation and food offered by the Santillan Center.

Santillan is the perfect environment for supporting Birthlight Well Woman Yoga and as in all of the courses, they wish to give course participants the best possible experience with high-quality standards and lasting inspiration. They have postponed this retreat course due to lockdown and they hope that the October 2021 dates will remain open.

The Santillan staff have kindly offered to arrange single accommodation at the normal cost of double/triple rooms in order to comply with social distancing. Numbers are limited to 18, ensuring a great deal of individual attention and focused teaching. They have worked out an all-inclusive course fee that covers both teaching and residential costs in full. What is not included is your travel to Málaga and fare from the airport or rail station to the center, by public transport or taxi.

The retreat course

The Birthlight Well Woman yoga diploma course is accredited with Yoga Alliance Professionals as an 80-hour postgraduate course for certified yoga teachers. Since 2020, they have developed this course in a modular form. In Santillan, course participants get the benefit of "live teaching" complemented with online resources that they can study in their own time. Ideally, it should provide the best of both worlds, with quality online resources and a personal contact that you can now appreciate as a life luxury.

The course is currently the most comprehensive teacher training course in yoga for women’s health and wellbeing, covering the entirety of the reproductive cycle in a therapeutic perspective that is holistic and empowering for women.

The Birthlight approach draws on Ayurveda but offers a rejoinder to biomedical health care, teaching a respectful and considerate approach to women’s needs. After a long evolution and maturation, this course offers tried and tested yoga practices, solidly founded on anatomy and physiology, with variations accessible to women of all levels of fitness.

Modular Birthlight Well Woman yoga diploma - 80 hours

3 mandatory 2-day modules

  • Foundation module
  • Pelvic health module
  • Menstruation module

1 of 3 optional 2-day modules

  • Fertility module
  • Post-natal module
  • Menopause module

Daily schedule

Each day includes a careful balance of theory and yoga practice:

Day 1: Arrival day - October 16

  • 19:00 Introduction to the course

Day 2: October 17

  • Foundations yoga for women's health

Day 3: October 18

  • Yoga to optimize the menstrual cycle: Ayurvedic perspective complemented by biomedical knowledge sources

Day 4: October 19

  • Yoga for pelvic health: Anatomy and Physiology, yoga to alleviate common pathologies

Day 5: October 20

  • Half-day review of practice
  • Excursion (Optional)

Day 6: October 21

  • Sequels of childbirth in women's lives to menopause and postmenopause
  • How to teach Well Woman yoga
  • Preparation for a practical assessment

Day 7: October 22

  • Practical assessment (Half day)

Day 8: October 23

  • 14:30 Course close and departure

From the evening of the arrival day, you will be offered full days with long morning sessions (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) with a substantial brunch break (10 to 11:30 a.m.), followed by a light lunch and afternoon break allowing pool or nature enjoyment. The afternoon sessions run from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., followed by dinner and an after-dinner optional session. The retreat course will end on Day 8 at 2:30 p.m.

The program will combine group classes and bespoke individual instruction. The intensive course will provide you with the key techniques to lead interactive yoga classes for women of all abilities and ages. The yoga taught on the course is a unique eclectic set of practices incorporating the principles of yoga and Ayurveda in women’s lives.

By the end of the week, your awareness of how yoga can contribute to women’s wellbeing will have transformed. Plus, there will be an opportunity each evening to participate in dedicated explorations of relaxation for yourself as well as for enriching your teaching.

Why you need Well Woman

Women transform through life in cycles. The reproductive cycle, from the onset of menstruation, to childbirth, and menopause, changes bodies and psyches. Yoga can help women to make the most of their life transitions when the practice is wisely adjusted to support the spirals of growth that each gateway opens.

Each new stage offers opportunities to heal new or old patterns and face current challenges, with an expanded loving connection to themselves and others. Yoga supports personal evolution. Well Woman yoga does so in a way focused on women. At any phase or age in these cycles and spirals and at times of personal challenge, yoga can bring an unprecedented state of vitality and Wellness.

Well Woman yoga is open to interested yoga teachers, both men and women.

5 reasons for teaching Well Woman yoga in your community

  • Most yoga practitioners are women, whose needs to transform their practice at times of life transitions are not met, or not met enough.
  • The increasing medicalization of the reproductive cycle, from adolescence to motherhood (or not) and menopause creates fragmentation and alienates women from their “selves”.
  • “The body keeps the score’ (Bessel Van der Kolk). Gentle yoga can be powerful in unraveling the impact of past experiences that may cause repeat patterns that do not support wellbeing.
  • Women love yoga taught in “circles of friends” with a connection.
  • Well Woman yoga practices are accessible to ALL women, from all walks of life and all levels of fitness, from micro-movements in bed or on chairs to intelligent progressions tailored for advanced yoga practitioners and dancers. Increased opportunities for actual interaction across ages and stages are invariably positive.

Well Woman yoga is not a new brand of yoga that excludes other styles of practice. It is an invitation to interweave gentle, subtle, and interactive ways of teaching into your current style of teaching. Equally, it often also opens up new dimensions and subtleties that may take you in new directions in your own practice and in your teaching.

Birthlight Well Woman yoga training will equip you with:

  • Fresh insights into anatomy and physiology, so you understand and can communicate how neuro-endocrinology links ancient texts of yoga/Ayurveda with new research on women’s health using selected visual aids and tips to “see” somatic patterns.
  • An extensive "repertoire" of adaptations, modifications, and progressive sequences developed over many years of teaching yoga to women of all ages (Asana with flow variations, pranayama, mudra, nada).
  • Clear teaching points and contraindications aligned with evidence-based research.
  • Restorative and dynamic sequences to ease breath and movement for all women.
  • The experience to sensitively explore the power of safe and caring touch in interactive yoga practice in your classes (pairs, small groups, and circles).
  • Ideas of how to orchestrate your classes (or one to one sessions) to cover the whole palette of emotions women bring, using yoga to create positive awareness without words.
  • Ways in which to develop your own yoga practice with new levels of self-understanding, compassion, and enjoyment of life.

Well Woman yoga qualification

This retreat course is equivalent to Well Woman Yoga Part 1 (principles and applications of yoga for women’s health and wellbeing) and Part 2 (focus on the pre-peri and post-menopause stages). If you wish to gain the Well Woman yoga qualification, you will need to complete coursework consisting of two case studies (group OR one-to-one), a worksheet, a DVD/book review, and a home-study report. The training can be taken further later to gain the full accredited Well Woman yoga diploma (Yoga Alliance Professionals), for more information, please send an inquiry.

Included excursions

  • There will be an afternoon sea swim and walk at the Torremolino Jardin del Inca.
  • You will visit a botanical garden including medicinal plants for women.


Françoise Freedman

Kirsteen Ruffell

Retreat location

The retreat will be in an outstanding yoga center with beautiful rural surroundings overlooking the sea. The course will be based at Centro Santillán, judged to be one of the "20 Best Yoga Retreats in the World!". It is close to Málaga in Spain, but a haven of peace in the countryside with sea views.

Santillán is located in Rincón de la Victoria, 20 kilometers from the center of the capital of the Costa del Sol, Málaga. It is nestled in a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It is only 25 kilometers away from Málaga's airport and the train station (RENFE) and buses are 24 kilometers away. Approximately, a taxi transfer is 55 EUR each way, shared wherever possible with other participants. This is a super venue as noted in The Telegraph, The Times, and The Guardian.


All meals that are included are prepared with produce grown at the venue and locally.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Detox juices

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Organic
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

You will have time for optional excursions at additional costs.

What's included

  • Full tuition fee with two dedicated tutors
  • Access to online resources and interactive evaluation online
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 3 meals a day
  • An afternoon sea swim and walk at the Torremolino Jardin del Inca
  • Visit to a botanical garden including medicinal plants for women

What's not included

  • Any transfer to and from Centro Santillan
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Additional activities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
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Arrival: Saturday April 23, 2022
Departure: Saturday April 30, 2022

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