Performing yoga within the first trimester is completely safe and has a host of benefits to both yourself and your little one. The combination of it being a low impact, gentle exercise provides benefits for both your physical and mental health. Continue on to learn about the many benefits of prenatal yoga and the best poses to perform within your first trimester.
Can I do yoga in first trimester?
Yes. Performing yoga within the first trimester would be my go-to choice of exercise when looking to relieve stress, anxiety and build on flexibility. The majority of yoga poses will be safe to perform for women in their first trimester, however, caution must still be taken and there is a select few of exercises to avoid. Your body will be going through major changes in the early stages of pregnancy. It’s essential to listen out to any signals your body gives off indicating when it may be best to rest or perform a lighter yoga routine.
What are the benefits of yoga in early pregnancy?
Keeps you fit – Yoga is a fantastic exercise for staying in shape and should be a part of everyone’s fitness routine, both men and women. This is even more specific to mums in the early stages of pregnancy. I would advise combining yoga with cardio exercises such as walking, light jogging etc to keep you toned and flexible.
Pain Relief – Performing prenatal yoga is proven to help relieve pain in the lower back and joints. It can also help ease common pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, nausea and headaches. The combination of gentle movement and acupressure is a natural remedy to help cure morning sickness.
Prepares you for labour – Yoga teaches you deep breathing techniques helping you to relax and ease stress. This is vital when going into labour and maintaining calm in stressful situations. Ujjayi is the technique that focuses on you slowly inhaling through your nose and filling your lungs with as much air as possible while expanding your belly. When this technique is mastered, you’ll notice your ability to stay calm.
Protects your little one – Studies have shown that performing yoga in early pregnancy and throughout each trimester lowers the risk of pregnancy complications and difficulties. This is due to the overall reduction of stress levels from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and yoga routine.
What yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy?
As a rule of thumb for pregnant women, I would suggest avoiding the majority of inversion poses. Regardless of which trimester stage you may be in. This is due to the emphasis on blood circulation being away from the uterus – the opposite of what we want. Inversion poses can also cause dizziness, especially for women in the later stages of their trimester. Poses that place pressure on the abdomen should also be avoided.
You can discover our SAFE, trimester yoga flow pregnancy class here
to guide you through the final stages of pregnancy.
Pregnancy yoga: The best first trimester poses
Find your most comfortable seated position, close your eyes and rest your hands on-top of one another. As you take a deep inhale, imagine you’re creating a special home inside your belly for your baby. Filled with lots of space and comfort. As you exhale “sigh”, draw your baby in towards yourself and imagine you’re providing them with a warm abdominal hug.
A fantastic exercise that allows to gently work the core and relieve stress. Try this exercise for 5-10 breaths or whatever you feel most comfortable with. It’s important not to over exaggerate the cow part of the pose as this may cause lower back pain in extreme circumstances. Focus on a steady neutral spine to help with mobility and finding your calm.
This pose allows you to open your groin muscles without placing too much strain on the hamstrings. The triangle pose also supports your lower back and is a great exercise to help prepare your hips for labour. As your body changes through the trimesters, you will notice how your centre of gravity also changes. The triangle pose is a fantastic pose at helping your body to adapt to these physical changes and improve balance.
Deep squat into light twist
Lift your chest and maintain a comfortable breathing flow. A great pose for strengthening the legs and core and help prep you for labour. The squat pose also aids in hip mobility and improves all-round blood circulation.
A great pose for building joint strength and confidence. Remember to press your weight through the heels of your feet with a bend on the right knee. Envisage strength and power as you raise up through your arms and repeat on the other side.
First trimester yoga tips
Use props – Always have cushions, chairs and a yoga ball available for added balance and stability whenever you feel certain poses are becoming too hard. Remember, yoga should be done at your own pace, there is no need to rush through any exercise/pose. Modify poses where you feel necessary and what makes them work for you.
Avoid overstretching – Any movement which is too vigorous or causes compression to the abdominals and uterus should be completely avoided. In particular, any form of backbends, inversions and closed twists.
Take your time – Yoga is your time and space to completely focus on yourself. Take as long as you live to completely relax at the end of a routine/class. The final phase of a class is the perfect time for you to focus on your breathing and completely clear your mind of any stress.
Trust your own instincts – Performing prenatal yoga is to help you find your empowerment within your body. Listen to how your body is changing over time and begin to slightly modify exercises as your baby grows. By performing yoga regularly and building upon your strength, it will play a vital role further down the line when it’s time to give birth.
The Mother Fit Pregnancy Yoga Series
Mother Fit is here to support you on your mental and physical journey throughout every stage of your pregnancy. With a holistic approach to motherhood, looking after your mind, body and soul, placing an emphasis on all-round wellbeing, with the end result being a happier, healthier and more active you. The Pregnancy Yoga series is designed to keep you and your baby safe during pregnancy.