Prenatal Yoga Modifications

Exercise is hugely beneficial for pregnant women. Yoga helps to relieve tension in your back and hips which are both pain points when you’re pregnant. It will also help keep you in shape and prepare you for labor. You may need to tone down your workouts while pregnant and yoga offers several gentle options. If you’re already practicing yoga, you can do your normal workouts but may need to find some modifications and wear comfortable yoga pants. Here are some options for safe yoga poses and modifications.

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose is beneficial for pregnancy because it helps to strengthen your core and open your hips which will help when the time comes for labor.

  1. Perform this pose by starting in Warrior II with your right foot bent and facing forward.
  2. Fan your arms so that your right hand is touching the ground and your arms are stacked. Look up at your left hand.
  3. In order to make this pose easier as your belly grows, modify by placing a block on the ground and setting your right hand on it. This will provide more space for your growing belly.

Downward Facing Dog Pose 

The downward-facing dog is part of nearly any class you’ll attend. Its benefits include decompressing your spine and stretching your arms, shoulders, and legs. Poses like the downward-facing dog can become challenging later on in your pregnancies because your balance and equilibrium are thrown off.

  1. To perform regular downward facing dog, start in plank and lift your hips in the air, pressing your heels into the ground.
  2. To modify this pose, instead of having your hands on the ground, use a chair and place your palms and fingers on the seat.

Plank or Chaturanga

Doing a plank or moving through Chaturanga can become very challenging later in pregnancy but they are still great for toning your arms and building core strength.

  1. To modify a plank, start in tabletop then move your legs back keeping your hands and arms firmly in place.
  2. This will still help to build up your muscles but put less stress on your belly.
  3. Instead of doing a full chaturanga, do a few chaturanga push-ups.

Pigeon pose

Pigeon is a hip-opening pose which helps to relieve pain in your lower back. It can be challenging to accomplish un-modified though as you move into your later trimesters.

  1. To perform pigeon, start in the downward-facing dog.
  2. Lift your right leg up in the air for the three-legged dog and then bend your knee and move it all the way under your body so that it is resting just beyond your two hands.
  3. From there you can bend your elbows and lean forward for a deeper stretch.
  4. To give your belly a little more space you can use a block to rest your elbows on and if the stretch is too much for your hips, place a blanket underneath the bent leg.

Pregnancy should not stop you from doing yoga or other types of workouts. You just have to know your options for modification and know what your body can handle. If you are just starting yoga when you find out you’re pregnant, be extra gentle with yourself. Doing yoga and other exercises while pregnant will help keep up your stamina and strength so when it comes time for delivery, your body is in prime shape for handling it.