Practicing Yoga while pregnantYou love your asanas, but what can you safely do while you’re pregnant?  Yoga helps you relax and focuses your breath, which can help you healthily cope with the demands of pregnancy, labor, birth and motherhood. Continuing your yoga practice is definitely possible and can be excellent for your mind and body as long as you keep a few principles in mind.

If you’ve already been practicing at a class not specifically for pregnant women, let your instructor know before class what trimester you’re in so she can show you what adjustments to make. Because your body is stretching and adjusting to accommodate the baby, you’re more likely to strain or pull a muscle. Avoid poses that stretch the abdominals too much, such as backbends and camel pose.

Your center of gravity shifts during your second trimester so use a chair or a wall for support during standing poses, especially balancing poses on one leg, just in case you lose your balance. It’s best to avoid working out in too hot of a room as overheating can distress your baby.

Use straps to help you stretch, and focus on bending at your hips so you don’t compress your stomach. As the baby grows, for seated positions, place a block or towel under your glutes to elevate your body and allow more space for your stomach when you bend forward.

Twist from your shoulders and back rather than your waist. Go only as far as you feel comfortable.

Listen carefully to your body as you’ll need to adjust each pose as your body changes. Consider taking a prenatal yoga class to work with a trained instructor and meet other women who are on a similar journey as you.

Tell us about your experience with yoga during pregnancy. Did you practice yoga until delivery?