Pregnancy Yoga Routine
A Pregnancy yoga routine is considered safe if you have been exercising before getting pregnant. The questions are always what yoga poses are beneficial or risky during pregnancy? What are the changes that need to be made to a yoga practice in each trimester? Most agree that the activity should not harm the mother or the child and is better if it is regular occurring exercise.
If you have never practiced yoga before or have some health risks, you would benefit from a pregnancy yoga routine class specifically designed for pregnant students, usually called Prenatal Yoga. If you are a regular practitioner of yoga or other physical exercise, you should look for a yoga teacher who is able to give advice about how to modify postures in a regular class.
All pregnant yogis can benefit from focus on the structure, muscles, and support of the pelvis. Mula bandha helps develop a stronger and more flexible set of perineal muscles, more awareness of the pelvic area, and greater ease in the future delivery of the baby.
Starting a Pregnancy Yoga Routine
I completely missed out on the benefits of prenatal yoga for each of my pregnancies. For my first daughter, I worked full time at a desk job and lived 45 min from my work place. I did not do any exercise. In my second pregnancy with my son, I taught ballet. Ballet has some of the balance strengthening and hip stretches that yoga offers. I felt pretty good during this pregnancy.
During my last pregnancy, I wore my body out doing heavy cardio classes until 39 weeks of pregnancy. It wasn’t until after I gave birth to this last child that I embraced the benefits of yoga. I was changed by yoga.
Pregnancy Yoga Routine for the First Trimester
Here are some general guidelines for Yoga in the First Trimester:
- Take it easy as your body is adjusting to changing hormones and energy.
- Stay with simple and deep inhales and exhales or ujjayi breathing.
- Do not jolt the body by jumping into asana
- Minimize twists as they may restrict the air flow to the baby.
- You can still lie on your belly until you are showing.
- Develop pelvic awareness with Supta baddha konasana (reclined bound angle pose), Virasana (thunderbolt pose), Upavista konasana (wide-angle forward fold pose), Gomukhasana (cow faced pose), Happy baby, and Malasana (garland pose).
- Learn a variety of shoulder strengtheners and openers.
- Practice poses that open hips and stimulate circulation in the legs like Utthita Trikonasa (Triangle pose) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended side angle pose.)
- Look for a good bolster as you will need it in the second trimester!
Pregnancy Yoga Routine for the Second Trimester
If you want to practice yoga while in your second trimester, here are some tips:
- The second trimester is the perfect time to build strength and stamina to prepare for the challenges that will happen as the baby grows.
- The pelvis is no longer protecting the uterus so it is time to start adapting poses with props like bolsters and blocks.
- Avoid jarring movements like Navasana (boat pose.)
- Work on alignment of the spine with bridge roll practice.
- Use folded blankets to support the ribs and hips while laying on the stomach.
- Practice standing poses to build strength in the legs, hips, and pelvis.
- Explore hips openers like Bharadvajrasana (Sage Bharadvaj’s pose) and Marichyasana A (Sage Marichi’s pose).
- Relax with legs up the wall or raising legs with a bolster in savasana.
- Be aware of sensations when lying on your back. Start propping the back, hips, and shoulders.
Pregnancy Yoga Tips for the Third Trimester
Tips for yoga in the third trimester:
- Limit time lying on the back as the weight of the baby puts pressure on the spine.
- You may notice weakness in the knees and instability in the sacroiliac and other joints.
- Continue working on postural alignment to give support to the spine.
- You may find chair yoga supportive in some standing and sitting poses.
- After week 34, adho mukha svanasana (down dog) and other inversions can cause breech presentation.
- Enjoy a bolster in long holds like Supta Baddha Konasana (see picture above).
- Rest on your side in savasana with a props between the knees, under the head, and under the upper arm.
- Always keep breath flow to the baby.
- Widen the legs in seated forward folds to create space for the stomach
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Pregnancy Yoga Program- Mommy Goddess Yoga
Pregnancy Yoga Program- Mommy Goddess Yoga
Yoga for nine months of pregnancy and beyond. Learn how to ease your body during each trimester. Get yoga to ease common aches of pregnancy. Learn how to use props to support your baby. And get tips through yoga during labor and into postpartum.