Is it safe to keep doing my normal yoga class?
Pregnancy yoga instructors
If your instructor doesn’t have experience of teaching yoga to women during pregnancy, they may recommend that you switch to someone who does.
Some breathing exercises and positions aren’t good for pregnant women, especially if you have symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)/pelvic girdle pain (PGP). Therefore, it’s important you are following the advice an experienced pregnancy yoga teacher.
Balancing with a baby bump
As you move into the second and third trimester, your centre of gravity will shift because your bump is getting bigger. You may find that you are less stable, so take care and move slowly.
For standing positions, use a support if you need to. This could be a wall or a chair, for example.
Your body produces a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy, which softens your ligaments (the tissue between your joints). It’s important not to overstretch or push yourself too hard during yoga as it can cause injury.
Listen to your body, go slowly and stop if the position feels painful.
Avoid laying on your back after 16 weeks
Pregnancy yoga classes should avoid positions where you’re lying on your back after the first trimester, but if you go to your normal yoga class you will need to remember this.
Hot yoga and pregnancy
If your preferred yoga style before pregnancy was hot yoga or Bikram, move to a gentler style. Doing yoga in a heated room puts you in danger of overheating, which is not good for you or your baby.
- RCOG (2006). Exercise in Pregnancy: Statement No. 4, London, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/statements/statement-no-4.pdf.
- RCOG (2017) Physical activity in pregnancy infographic: guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/622623/Physical_activity_pregnancy_infographic_guidance.pdf
- Evenson KR, Barakat R, Brown WJ, et al (2014). Guidelines for Physical Activity during Pregnancy: Comparisons From Around the World. Am J Lifestyle Med 2014;8(2):102-21. doi: 10.1177/1559827613498204.
- Amercian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecolgists (2015). Committee Opinion No. 650: Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. Obstet Gynecol 2015;126(6):e135-42. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001214.
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