Can You Do Yoga While Pregnant?

Many of our female readers ask us: “can you do yoga while pregnant?” Pregnancy does not mean you should have to give up your yoga sessions. Learn what asanas you can and cannot do as your pregnancy progresses.

There are many precautions you should follow when doing yoga when pregnant. Doing yoga while pregnant is all about doing only as much as your body allows and breathing appropriately. However, you should speak to your doctor before practicing yoga asanas, if you an expecting mother.

Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Pregnancy can be very difficult for the body and mind, therefore it is advised to practice prenatal yoga, designed in a way to help pregnant women exercise safely during pregnancy.

You might also like to read : Why Does Yoga Make Me Nauseous?

What prenatal yoga poses can you learn during pregnancy?

The parental yoga poses you can do during and after pregnancy are based on trimesters.

You can try the following postures during the first, second, and third trimesters. 

First Trimester

Easy pose or Sukhasana

This is the most valuable and gentle opener for the hips. This posture will bring the feeling of tranquility and poise in pregnant yogis. You can practice easy pose or sukhasana (its Sanskrit name) with your back supported by a wall. Placing a blanket and sitting on it can also make you more comfortable.

Easy pose or Sukhasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Cat and Cow Pose or Bitilasana Marjaryasana

This pose helps yoga students strengthen and maintain the flexibility of the lower back and abdomen. During this pose, you may feel warmth at the core muscles. You could put a folded blanket under your knees to protect them and for additional support.

Cat and Cow Pose or Bitilasana Marjaryasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Bird Dog Pose or Parsva Balasana

This pose will strengthen the core, obliques and lower back. It is also a great balance practice. You can feel a straight line of energy passing through your body when you do this pose. You can also add a blanket to this pose to cushion your knees.

Bird Dog Pose or Parsva Balasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Down Dog pose or Adho Mukha Shvanasana

It is a stretching exercise that utilizes the complete body from head to toe. It improves blood circulation in the brain and ease tension from the upper back and shoulders.

If you experience any symptoms of nausea and heartburn, you should avoid doing this pose for some time.

Down Dog pose or Adho Mukha Shvanasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Pigeon Pose or Kapotasana

You can also try this hip opener pose that helps in maintaining hip flexibility for labor and delivery. You could use a block to support and cushion your hips.

Practice these poses during the first trimester only. You can practice more poses in prenatal yoga classes and avoid doing risky poses in later trimester.

Pigeon Pose or Kapotasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Second Trimester 

Child’s Pose or Balasana

This is a resting pose that helps you stretch your hips, pelvis and thighs. It also helps you lengthen your spine. It is a great resting pose, in between your more demanding poses. You could keep a folded blanket or a large cushion under your head and arms if you need support and aren’t able to touch the ground.

Child’s Pose or Balasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Goddess Pose or Utkata Konasana

The pose can help you build strength your core stabilizers such as hamstring, abductors, abs, lower back, obliques, inner thighs, and quats. You can adjust this pose by adding a chair to it.

Goddess Pose or Utkata Konasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Dancing Warrior or Virabhadrasana

This pose helps warm the whole body and strengthen the lower back muscles such as the hamstring, quads, abductors, and inner thighs. You can also practice this pose on a chair for safety.

Dancing Warrior or Virabhadrasana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Puppy Pose or Uttana Shishosana

It is a safer and easier pose for stretching the lower back, upper back, shoulders and abdominal muscles. You can add a block between the thighs, if needed. 

Puppy Pose or Uttana Shishosana; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Parallel Squat

The pose strengthens the hips and quads muscles. It also helps build strength in core stabilizers. If you have a problem maintaining balance, you should take support from a rigid body by placing one hand on a stable surface.

Parallel Squat; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Third Trimester

Lateral Stretch 

This helps the body stretch its side muscles such as latissimus dorsi, intercostals, and obliques.

Lateral Stretch; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Hip Circle

The sequence movement provides a dynamic stretch of the lower back and hip and strengthens the core. For prenatal modifications, use a birthing ball to perform this exercise.

Wall Squat

Wall Squat is another exercise that strengthens the hips, legs, and core stabilizers.

Wall Squat; Photograph: Canva Stock Photo

Kneeling Hip Abduction

Performing this exercise will strengthen the hips and thighs. Use a ball to stabilize the core.

Seated Side-to-Side Rock

The pose helps improve the mobility of pelvic muscles movement. You can add a ball if you feel unstable.

You can learn more poses from Yoga Teacher Training courses, or you can take the help of yoga classes.

Can You Do Yoga Teacher Training While Pregnant

What are the precautions you should follow when doing yoga while pregnant?

During First Trimester

  • Some pregnant women might be worried about doing yoga poses once they conceive. Speaking to a doctor and understanding your body and impact of yoga on your pregnancy would help boost their confidence.
  • If your are a yoga teacher, avoid teaching closed twists to pregnant students.
  • A week’s pregnant woman may experience nausea, dizziness, and extreme fatigue.

During Second Trimester

  • Take extra caution when doing abdominal poses and backbends.
  • Avoid doing belly-up poses like supine, locust, blow, and cobra.
  • If you experience back pain while doing Navasana or boat pose, you can modify it with bent knees or feet on the ground.

During Third Trimester

  • Yoga teachers advise their students to work on restorative poses in the Third Trimester.
  • Yoga postures you should do at this stage are pranayama and meditation. Don’t practice breath retention while doing it.
  • You should avoid doing faster pace yoga as you may feel shortness of breath more often.

You might also like to read : Can Bouncing On A Yoga Ball Break Your Water

Answers To Questions regarding Yoga Teacher Training During Pregnancy

Can you teach yoga while pregnant?

According to yoga experts, doing yoga is good for the mother and the unborn baby’s health. There are many safe yoga poses that a woman can try while she is pregnant. And as for yoga teachers, they can train their students to do safe yoga poses during pregnancy. 

Can you do beginner yoga while pregnant?

The answer is yes. You can do beginner yoga while pregnant because beginner yoga does not put too much pressure on your joints. Most women do yoga to relieve their stress, as it also helps in reducing pain from early pregnancy and labor.

Can You Do Yoga Teacher Training While Pregnant

What yoga poses you can’t do when pregnant?

According to a yoga experts, you should avoid doing hot yoga when pregnant because your body will sweat and cause excessive heat that may be dangerous for your baby. You should also avoid deep twists and poses that put pressure on the abdomen.

Which yoga can you do during pregnancy?

There are many poses a pregnant woman can do, and some poses include cat and cow pose, easy pose, lower back, and hip stretch, and more poses you can practice. 

When should you start prenatal yoga?

Gynecologists recommend and approve doing prenatal yoga after your first trimester. Practice easy yoga when you first start prenatal yoga. Doing yoga every day helps avoid exhaustion symptoms such as back pain and nausea during the first three months of pregnancy.

How often should you do pregnancy yoga?

Practicing yoga is safe during pregnancy, but you should not overdo this. Try practicing pregnancy yoga once or twice a week to avoid any possible risk. You can also practice other exercises such as swimming and walking but don’t stress yourself out.

With Precautions, Yoga During Pregnancy Is A Good Idea!

You can do yoga practice and training during pregnancy, but there are some precautions you should get familiar with first. You should discontinue your yoga practice in case of severe back pain, cramps, dizziness, or any other severe medical condition related to pregnancy symptoms.

However, start doing prenatal yoga in the first week of pregnancy which can help you maintain better body posture that will help you in giving birth. Also, practice after-pregnancy recovery poses to help recover from the exhaustion of labor and delivery.