Yoga During Pregnancy: Safe Poses To Practice

Like you, there are a lot of mothers who are wondering if they should practice yoga during their pregnancy. There are so many opinions out there, with some saying that mothers should just stick to the proverbial rest and taking care of themselves, while others boast in the efficacy and benefits that yoga has on the body during pregnancy. Regardless, if you do have a delicate pregnancy, it is best to avoid yoga so keep that in mind before you read on.

If you have been doing yoga even before you became pregnant, you have to remember that the various poses that you usually do will be limited after you become pregnant.

A lot of women may experience some discomfort during their first trimester and some have actually reported that because of practicing yoga, they were able to lessen the symptoms that they were experiencing. It is important that before you practice yoga, you inform your physician and get the green light because some pregnancies are more delicate than others and more prone to difficulties that may arise with strenuous exercise.

yoga during pregnancy

This standing pose is ok in the first trimester, but not recommended in the second.


Yoga During The First Trimester

The first thing that you should understand is the type of yoga that will be done is different for every trimester you are in. For the first trimester, you may not completely understand why you cannot do the usual yoga poses that you have done in the past because you can barely see your bump. If you are one of the lucky ones, you may not even feel symptoms that signal your pregnancy.  Regardless, this does not mean that you will be lax about the type of yoga that you do.

The first trimester of pregnancy is the most common for miscarriages, so you need to be extra careful in the poses that you practice. You can choose to join a pregnancy yoga class if you want to be safe ( We recommend Lushtums to help find you a class if you are from the U.K).

If you`d like to do practice yoga at home, here is a general guide to follow regarding the poses you can practice during this time:

  • Standing Poses: There are various standing poses that are known to be safe for pregnant women like the extended triangle pose and extended side angled pose.
  • Balance Poses: Balance poses are okay provided that you will be able to keep your balance. Inform your yoga teacher if you think that you would lose your balance easily and they will assist you.
  • Open Seated Twists: While other types of twists should be avoided, open seated twists can help relieve pain that may be felt on the lower back. At the same time, this will not put pressure on the abdomen.
  • Back Stretches: The basic back stretches will not only help relieve back ache, but they may also reduce the pressure pregnant women may usually feel. One you can practice all the time is the child’s pose, just make sure to stretch that back real good!

When it comes to the first trimester, it is important to avoid exercises that will put any pressure on the abdomen, especially on the lower part. Inversions also have to be avoided because this may stop the blood flow that you absolutely need. They may also cause dizziness at times and should generally just be avoided altogether.

Extended triangle pose in yoga

The extended triangle pose.

Yoga During The Second Trimester

A lot of people say that the second trimester is usually the time when they are happy most of the time because they do not encounter too many symptoms with their pregnancy. It seems that doing yoga during the second trimester also feels very natural. It is best to avoid some poses that will cause you to fall because falling will pose serious risk to you and your baby.

Some of the yoga poses that you can perform are the following:

  • Sitting Poses: There are some sitting poses that you can do such as the thunderbolt pose that will allow you to be in tune with your body without having to make too much of an effort. This can help you digest as well.
  • Standing Poses: Remember that when it comes to standing poses; stick with yoga poses that will allow you to keep both feet on the ground so you do not have too much risk of losing your balance.
  • Side Poses: Since your abdominal area is already starting to become bigger, doing side poses can be good for you as this will allow you to relax your muscles without putting too much pressure on your abdomen. Same as the first trimester.

Yoga During The Third Trimester

You have to admit that for the third trimester, doing yoga poses that used to be easy a few months ago will certainly be more challenging. This is because the fetus has already grown and your increasing bump is becoming a burden to your everyday life. You need to be mindful of the yoga poses that you are going to do more than ever during these three months, so follow these general guidelines:

  • Sitting Poses: As long as you would keep the pressure off your abdomen, sitting poses will be fine. Perhaps you can do some shoulder rotation as this can improve your blood circulation by quite a bit.
  • Side Poses: Do remember that you may have to lie low with the number of minutes that you are going to spend on side poses but you can still do them if and only if you feel comfortable.
  • Lying Down Poses: There will be times when you can lie flat on your back and do some basic poses like ankle rotations that can significantly improve your yoga experience.

With all of these details in mind, you know that you will be able to do yoga during pregnancy provided that you are allowed by your physician. If at any time a certain pose does not feel comfortable or “right”, you should pause and avoid that pose for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Lastly, keep in mind that you can continue with post-natal yoga to restore your core strength and relieve yourself from the stress and anxiety that a new baby brings.

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