Is yoga safe in pregnancy?
Spend a few minutes on Google and you may come across a few blogs and articles suggesting that yoga is not safe in pregnancy, or at least not in the first trimester. You’ll be glad to know that neither of these statements are correct.
So long as you incorporate appropriate safety-based modifications - and your doctor or midwife hasn’t specifically advised against yoga due to your individual needs - it is perfectly safe. With this in mind, let’s address both of these common misconceptions in turn:
Q1. Is yoga safe in the 1st trimester?
Yes, if appropriately modified.
From a physical perspective, you want to avoid placing any undue strain on your uterus. That means no high energy sequences, deep core work, strong back-bends or going upside down.
From a psychological perspective, focus on gentle restorative routines that help you overcome the symptoms of morning sickness and fatigue. A slow Surya Namaskara, Cat-Cow, breathing or meditation practice are good examples, as they help improve the quality of oxygen flow to your baby.
Q2. Is yoga safe in the 2nd & 3rd trimesters?
Again, yes, if appropriately modified.
From the second trimester onwards, you can gently start to re-introduce more active routines to help build strength and prepare your body for the physical act of birth. As your baby grows, it places unique pressure on your body. You may find you start looking to yoga to address these specific pregnancy discomforts, such as wrist pain - caused by fluid build-up that’s applying pressure on your median nerve (known as Carpel Tunnel) - or hip pain - which is brought about, in part, by the hormone ‘Relaxin’ as it relaxes your pelvis in preparation for birth.
Around 85% of the women who come to the pregnancy yoga classes I offer in Sydney have never done yoga before. Their driver to start is usually mobility; however, their reasons for staying are mostly to do with the emotional support yoga offers them throughout this unique journey.
Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think makes a great pregnancy yoga class.
If you're interested in pregnancy yoga (also known as prenatal yoga), please feel free to download and try our app - YogiBirth - by clicking here.
(YogiBirth is a pregnancy yoga app that also includes pregnancy meditation and online childbirth education classes)