Pregnancy Exercises: Yoga

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Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t keep exercising!

Yoga can be especially good for pregnant woman; allowing you to keep up exercise throughout your pregnancy without the intensity of many other types of regular exercise.

In addition to being a great relaxation technique, yoga can really help to prepare your body for labour.

While pregnant women should have a regular exercise routine in place, there are, of course, precautions one should take into consideration when doing any sort of physical activity throughout your pregnancy.

The most basic rule, of course, is to listen to what you body tells you; stop what you’re doing as soon as you feel any discomfort.


Prenatal Yoga

Whether you’ve done yoga before or not, a prenatal yoga class is ideal, and a great way to meet other mothers-to-be in your area.

Because prenatal yoga differs from a traditional yoga class or workout routine, it is recommended that you research the class first to ensure you find an experienced instructor that you feel comfortable with. It’s also a good idea to visit the class before you make any commitment to get an idea of what happens during each session so you can know what to expect, and see how comfortable you’re likely to be with each of the exercises.


Communication is essential

Those who are already in a yoga class or working with a trainer should immediately tell their instructor they are pregnant and how far along they are. This will help prevent injuries and your instructor can advise on exercises or yoga positions to avoid.


Precautions for pregnant women

  • Bikram yoga (yoga done in a heated room) should be avoided entirely as this risks overheating
  • Deep stretches in the abdominals should not be performed because women are more likely to experience pulled muscles or muscle strains during pregnancy.
  • It’s not a good idea to lie on your back for long periods from the second trimester
  • It’s important for women in their second trimester and beyond to perform standing yoga poses with the support of a wall or a chair because her centre of gravity begins shifting during these phases of pregnancy.
  • Backbends and headstands are not recommended for pregnant women, as well, due to their shifting centre of gravity.

Always keep in mind that you and your baby come first; if you’re not feeling up to it, don’t feel guilty about staying home in bed!

The following is a list of asanas (yoga positions) which are suitable throughout pregnancy. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these, many can be found on Wikipedia

First trimester

  • ardha chandrasana
  • baddha konasana,
  • knee to ankle,
  • pigeon,
  • sun salutations,
  • triangle, &
  • warrior II.

Second trimester

  • All poses from the first trimester;
  • bhadrasan,
  • hasta utthanasan,
  • marjari asan and
  • vajrasan.

Third trimester

  • all the poses from the first and second trimesters;
  • ardha titali asan,
  • poorna titali asan, and
  • supta udarakarshanasan.
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