Yoga in pregnancy is a great way to stay active and is healthy for you and your baby. Yoga classes in pregnancy use relaxation and breathing techniques with postures that are adapted for pregnancy.
Yoga has been shown to reduce anxiety and to help women stay calm in pregnancy and labour. It can also improve your sleep. Many of the breathing techniques you use in yoga can help you get ready for giving birth.
If you use them during your labour they will help you stay calm and breathe steadily through your contractions. Doing yoga during pregnancy may even mean you need less pain relief during your baby’s birth.
Tommy’s researchers have found that weekly yoga sessions can help reduce anxiety and depression in pregnancy.
A study looking at the effect of yoga on pregnancies with high-risk complications has indicated that yoga can have a positive effect on the pregnancy and on the health of the baby. Read more about our yoga research.
What kind of yoga should I do in pregnancy?
If you’re new to yoga, look for a class that is specific for pregnant women. If you’ve been doing yoga for a while, tell your yoga teacher you are pregnant – they may be trained to show you how to adapt your postures. Focus on improving your yoga technique while you’re pregnant – this is not the time to try new and advanced postures.
As you move into the middle months of pregnancy and 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 when practising yoga. For standing postures, use support if you need to – a wall or a chair, for instance.
There are many styles of yoga and if you choose to start practising yoga in pregnancy you are likely to be directed to the more gentle, slower paced styles such as hatha. Avoid yoga that takes place in heated rooms, such as Bikram – you could overheat.
Finding a pregnancy yoga class
Some yoga postures and breathing exercises are not suitable during pregnancy. Because of this, it’s best to find a pregnancy yoga class.
Many, but not all, qualified yoga teachers join the Register of Exercise Professionals, so you could try looking for a local yoga teacher.
You could also ask at your local fitness centre or see whether your midwife knows of a pregnancy yoga class near you.
Stuck at your desk feeling uncomfortable and achy? Have a go at our simple pregnancy excises - you don’t even need to leave your desk.
Many people find it helps to set exercise goals to help them stay fit during pregnancy.
Most types of exercise are fine even if you are overweight. Being active during your pregnancy is safe and healthy for you and your baby.
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), also known as pelvic girdle pain (PGP), is a fairly common pregnancy condition. It is caused by the way pelvic joints move during pregnancy. It can make exercise more difficult but there are things you can do.
Yes it is. In fact, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than not to as it brings down the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Frequently asked questions about exercise in pregnancy, including what exercises to try and which ones to avoid.
- NHS Choices. Prenatal and postnatal yoga video: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/prenatal-and-postnatal-exercise/ (Page last reviewed: 30/08/2016 Next review due: 30/08/2019)
- RCOG (2006). Exercise in Pregnancy: Statement No. 4, London, Royal College of Obstetricians andGynaecologists: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/statements/statement-no-4.pdf
ℹLast reviewed on July 31st, 2018. Next review date July 31st, 2021.
By Masego (not verified) on 5 Jan 2018 - 05:00
I am residing in Rustenburg and would like to know of any yoga studios around me.