Pregnant women meditating

You found out that you’re pregnant, and now you’re thinking if you can continue doing your yoga practice. The good news is you can still do — prenatal yoga that is.

Prenatal yoga was created to provide pregnant women with a therapeutic application and specialised instruction of yoga poses that takes into account its benefits, risks, and alternatives. If you have yet to find prenatal yoga classes at Kindred, you can continue practicing yoga at home with these guidelines.

During Your First Trimester

This is the most delicate time of pregnancy. It’s when the fetus is preparing to implant itself so it’s best to avoid sudden movements such as inversions and jump backs to avoid miscarriage. You should likewise avoid practicing Bikram or hot yoga and closed twists. You should also avoid doing deeper folds as your belly grows or if you must, move your legs wider apart to accommodate your growing tummy.

During Your Second Trimester

In general, this is when most mums-to-be begin to feel better and get used to being pregnant. Your belly might not be that big yet and your morning sickness or fatigue might have also passed by this time. In addition, your precious little one is now implanted and secure in your belly where they will continue to grow until it is time for you to give birth.

If you did inversions and jump backs before you got pregnant and want to give them a try, do so only if you feel 100% confident doing them. Be careful when attempting to do a shoulder stand because that pose compresses the lungs. Again, only do this if you feel certain that you won’t be injured.

It’s likewise best to avoid doing poses, such as cobra, locust, and bow pose, that require you to be on your belly. You should also begin modifying deep abdominal work and deep backbends. If you start to feel a hint of dizziness while doing yoga, go into the thunderbolt pose and take long deep breaths.

During Your Third Trimester

Group of pregnant women doing yoga on their mats

At this time, you should focus your practice on calming and strengthening your muscles and preparing yourself for birth by doing plenty of hip openers. You must also avoid doing poses that require you to lie on your back. You can instead place yourself at a slightly elevated angle with pillows, bolsters, or blocks to support you.

When doing balance poses, have a chair or wall nearby to make sure you can hold on to something should you lose your balance. Focus on restorative poses and gentle stretches like side bends that make you feel refreshed instead of exhausted.

Listen to what you’re body is trying to tell you in each pose, pay attention, stay present, and don’t forget to practise mindful breathing. If a pose does not feel right, just do something else or a modified version of it. If you feel pain, stop and reassess what you’re doing. Listen to your gut and always be mindful of your needs.