Pregnancy yoga: benefits and helpful tips for expectant mothers

Pregnancy yoga: benefits and helpful tips for expectant mothers

The body changes during pregnancy. A new life is growing. The new circumstances often mean stress for expectant mothers. With yoga you can bring your body, mind and soul into harmony. The right exercises can also help you get to know your body better and prepare for birth.

Before you start pregnancy yoga, you should definitely talk to your doctor or midwife in advance. Every pregnancy is different and accordingly yoga can be practiced with a baby bump.

According to general opinion, if you have not done yoga before pregnancy, you should only start practicing yoga exercises for pregnant women in the second trimester. In contrast to “normal” yoga, the asanas and pranayamas should be adapted to the new situation.

For example, it is advisable to simply let your breath flow while practicing. You should avoid intensive breathing techniques that severely interfere with your natural breathing. As a pregnant woman, you should definitely avoid exercises in the prone position, as well as intensive inversions and strong backbends. Asanas performed while lying on your back or side are fine.

Yoga for early pregnancy and pregnant women: benefits

Sleep disorders, back pain, inner restlessness: With the help of physical practice, meditation and breathing exercises, pregnancy problems can be prevented depending on the week of pregnancy. The first trimester, for example, can be about increasing security and confidence in your body. In early pregnancy, you can use yoga to learn how to gain more self-confidence.

In the second trimester the stomach becomes larger and more visible, then it's about finding your own balance. With the help of pregnancy yoga, you can strengthen your relationship with your body and, above all, with your growing baby. You can also specifically strengthen your back and pelvic floor.

In the third trimester, birth gets closer and closer. With the help of pregnancy yoga you can manage anxiety and stress and with meditation and breathing exercises you can achieve more calmness and provide moments of peace.

You should keep this in mind when doing yoga during pregnancy

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing pregnancy yoga. If you have no experience with yoga exercises, breathing techniques and meditation, it may be advisable to take part in a yoga class that is specifically designed for yoga during pregnancy. It is also advisable to consult a midwife or gynecologist.

The exercises should best be tailored to the respective trimester and the respective physical condition. Therefore, be aware of your limitations. Be careful not to overexert yourself. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons will become softer as your pregnancy progresses - so be careful not to overstretch your body. Do all exercises slowly, gently and mindfully. Focus on asanas that strengthen your back and ensure you have enough stability while practicing.

Yoga exercises for pregnant women

If you practiced yoga before pregnancy, you can also practice asanas in early pregnancy. In the first trimester, light yoga exercises as well as gentle breathing and meditation techniques are recommended. The following exercises are also suitable for the second and third trimesters:

  • Cat-cow: relaxes shoulder and neck muscles
  • Tree: provides balance and concentration
  • Meditation seat: ensures an upright posture

Back problems are a common problem during pregnancy. From the fourth month onwards, it is particularly recommended to strengthen the back muscles, as the back supports a large part of the weight of the growing belly. The following exercises, for example, are suitable for this:

    • Warrior 2: provides stability in the core and strengthens the thighs
    • Shoulder bridge: strengthens the pelvis and hips

In the third trimester, standing exercises are particularly recommended, as are meditations with affirmations that mentally prepare you for the upcoming birth.

    • Malasana (The Deep Squat): opens the pelvic area, promotes blood circulation
    • Utkatasana (Chair): strengthens back, upper body and knees

This is what you need for pregnancy yoga at home:

Set up a yoga spot in a quiet room with your yoga mat. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing when practicing. At OGNX you will find a large selection of sustainable leggings, pants and tops that optimally adapt to your practice. When practicing, supporting utensils such as yoga blocks, a yoga strap or a yoga bolster can be helpful to make the asanas more comfortable and to adapt them to your individual needs.

You can decide individually whether you do yoga every day or just once a week during pregnancy. You can also adjust the length of your yoga session to suit your personal needs as your baby bump grows. Always remember that you are not only practicing for yourself, but also for your baby. Depending on the time of day, different exercise sequences are recommended. Exercises with an energizing effect are more suitable during the day or in the morning, and more relaxing, regenerative exercises in the evening.

Breathing during pregnancy yoga exercises

Breathing supplies our body with oxygen. During pregnancy, the body works extremely hard and needs to be supplied with energy accordingly. The right breathing techniques from yoga can help you provide yourself and your growing baby with enough oxygen.

Conscious breathing can be helpful during birth. Breathing exercises help to reduce stress, let go of fears and worries, be in the here and now, feel yourself and regulate your hormonal balance. In addition, targeted breathing exercises can help shorten contractions and the overall duration of birth.

As a pregnant woman you can learn to breathe consciously. This works best with full yoga breathing or 360 degree breathing. This is an entry-level pranayama technique to get an initial feeling for your own breath. Full yoga breathing sensitizes you to the three breathing spaces: collarbones, chest and stomach. To become even more aware of your breathing, you can place one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your heart area.

Pregnancy yoga helps expectant mothers deal with the changes in their body and life. The special time from early pregnancy to birth can be accompanied with yoga exercises adapted to the new circumstances - ideally in consultation with the gynecologist or midwife. Overall, yoga exercises for pregnant women ensure more peace, serenity and self-confidence.