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Starting a Yoga Practice During Pregnancy: A Guide

Alexis Fletcher
May 23, 2023 3:58:08 PM

Yoga can have many incredible benefits for pregnant women, and I want to help you get started with pregnancy yoga. 

Getting started with your practice

Firstly, you should always wait until after the first trimester (12 weeks) and ensure you have mentioned to your midwife or GP that you are starting to practice yoga. If this is your first pregnancy, you have suffered a miscarriage or undergone IVF before; you should get a doctor's note for your yoga teacher.  

If you are entirely new to yoga, I wouldn't advise you to start yoga whilst you are pregnant. However, if you want to practice yoga while pregnant, I suggest you speak to your doctor first and arrange 1-2-1 yoga sessions with a fully qualified teacher rather than go to public classes. This will ensure that you and your baby remain safe throughout your yoga practice. 

For those who already have an established practice, such as Hatha and Vinyasa flows, I highly recommend attending yoga classes. Yoga is a lovely way to be around other pregnant ladies, and the practice gives you the strength, stretching and relaxation you need. 

I would not recommend Yin Yoga, as you must be cautious about practising yoga while pregnant. During pregnancy, you have some extra hormone of relaxin in the body, making you super hypermobile thus, you are at risk of overstretching. It's just one of the reasons that attending a fully trained yoga teacher is crucial for safe practice.   

Additional points to consider

Your yoga teacher will likely give you a health questionnaire before teaching you. Make sure you disclose any issues such as:

  • High/low blood pressure
  • Aches/Pains
  • Injuries/Conditions
  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Oedema (swollen limbs)  

You should also let your yoga teacher know of any allergies you have. The teacher should check first, but they may use essential oils (lavender is a contraindication for pre-natal yoga anyway), so always worth letting them know.

A few things to avoid in a class, but the teacher would know this, are intense bends & twists, core work, lying on your belly, inversions and (after 30 weeks) lying on your back.  

Above all, enjoy it! Being pregnant can be an anxious time, and this blog isn't to scare you off yoga. It's to make sure you practice safely!

I'd love to see you in my next pregnancy yoga class. Learn more on my site here.

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