Prenatal Yoga: How to Get Started April 28, 2013 00:00


It might be difficult to find the time and energy to exercise while pregnant, but the benefits of doing so are numerous. Properly done, it can actually increase the amount of energy you have. It can reduce back pain, constipation, and bloating, and could even make labor a lot easier.

Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay in shape while you are expecting. Prenatal yoga will make you and your baby stronger. It does not matter whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced yogi – prenatal yoga is available to everyone, regardless of experience. There are a few considerations to be made depending on what trimester you’re in, but there are a few things that apply no matter what.

First Timers

Many women around the world have only thought about trying yoga. Now that they’re expecting mothers, it’s the perfect time to try. It is important to only seek classes that are specifically for expecting mothers. Yoga looks relaxing, but it is actually an incredibly stressful exercise, one that can cause trouble if not approached appropriately.

Your regular class may still do if your instructor knows how to teach prenatal yoga. In either event, it is best to inform him or her of your condition as soon as you know so the proper adjustments can be made.

Long-time Devotees

Experienced and expecting practitioners need not stop just because they’re now carrying a child. Some positions will be uncomfortable if not downright dangerous as your pregnancy progresses, so feel free to back out of more intense sessions. Do not feel obligated to do more than you feel your body and baby can take. If necessary, temporarily switch out of your current class to go to a prenatal yoga class so you can stay away from questionable poses.

Dedicated Home Yogis

Home practitioners may either continue practicing at home or sign-up with an experienced prenatal yoga class to make sure that you’re doing it right. If you’re confident in your skills, simply add “Prenatal Sun Salutations” to your routine. “Prenatal Sun Salutations” start in Tadasana, with your feet set as wide as the mat. While inhaling, bring your arms up through the center, up towards the ceiling until you are into the Urdva Hastasana position.

Other positions great for Prenatal Yoga include:

  • Cat-Cow Stretch: Being on all fours helps get the baby in position. To make it even more effective, you can have the relevant movements start in the pelvis.
  • Utthita Trikonasana: This is an excellent pose that opens up the hamstrings, hips, and chest.
  • Parighasana: Your stomach or middle can get exceptionally low on space as the pregnancy progresses, making side stretches extremely satisfying to perform.
  • Pelvic Tilts: Lower back pain is common in most pregnancies. Stretching it out will offer some relief.

There are more positions. It is best to consult with an experienced prenatal yoga instructor to learn more.

Yoga after the Pregnancy

The wonderful day has come and past, but that’s no reason to stop practicing yoga. Yoga has a number of physical and mental benefits that new mothers may want to experience. Doctors, however, strongly recommend waiting for a month and a half after delivery before practicing yoga again if you gave birth vaginally. The recovery period may be significantly longer if you had a cesarean operation. Regardless of which method was used, you will have the opportunity to practice yoga again.