Can I start doing yoga now that I am pregnant?

Yes. Yoga is a great exercise to do during pregnancy as it doesn’t put too much strain on your joints. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety and to help women stay calm in pregnancy and labour.

Women doing pregnancy yoga.

Finding the right class

If you’re a beginner, look for a yoga class specifically for pregnancy. It’s a good idea to let your instructor know if you’re new to yoga. They should be able to adapt their teaching to ease you in gently.

There are many styles of yoga and you are likely to be directed to the more gentle, slower paced styles such as hatha.

Why yoga is a good pregnancy exercise

  • Yoga can also teach you breathing techniques that could help you cope with contractions when you’re in labour.
  • Tommy’s research shows that weekly pregnancy yoga classes can help reduce antenatal anxiety and depression.
  • Joining a pregnancy yoga class is a good way to meet other pregnant women in your area.
  • You may learn positions which will help you get baby into a good position during labour.

Remember

As your baby grows, your centre of gravity will shift because your bump is getting bigger. This means you’re more likely to lose your balance, so take care and move slowly. For standing postures, use support if you need to – a wall or a chair, for instance.

When to avoid yoga in pregnancy

Avoid yoga that takes place in heated rooms, such as Bikram – you could overheat.

If you have symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), otherwise known as pelvic girdle pain (PGP), some poses might feel quite uncomfortable. Speak to your yoga teacher and see if they can point out which poses might help, and which ones to avoid.

Find out more about yoga in pregnancy

Sources

  1. Newham JJ, Wittkowski A, Hurley J, Aplin JD, Westwood M (2014) ‘Effects of antenatal yoga on maternal anxiety and depression: a randomized controlled trial’, Depression and Anxiety, 31 (8): 638: 2014http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/da.22268/abstract;jsessionid=8356994E9CF8683BEBFA426268A1E65D.f01t03
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Last reviewed on July 31st, 2018. Next review date July 31st, 2021.

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