Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life, but it’s also a time filled with uncertainty. There’s so much to learn about your upcoming arrival all while coping with the rapid changes in your body. What foods do I need to stay away from? How much exercise is allowed? Is it actually safe to fly while pregnant? These and a million more questions are likely running through your pregnancy brain.
During pregnancy, it’s common for women to experience stress, feelings of restlessness and even depression. But according to Harvard Health Publishing, practicing yoga is a “helpful, safe tool to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression throughout pregnancy.” Yoga is one of the most amazing natural tools for managing stress and creating mind-body awareness. It is proven to lower cortisol levels in the body (the stress hormone) and activate the parasympathetic nervous system that helps your body rest and regulate. But even if you’re a seasoned yoga practitioner, it’s likely you still wonder which yoga poses are safe during pregnancy.
We’ve made a list of 7 yoga poses that are safe throughout pregnancy.
Disclaimer: Before practicing any yoga pose, consult with your prenatal care provider.
1. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Practice Tree Pose standing next to a wall or chair for support. This beginner balancing pose is great for gently opening the hips and relieving pain from sciatica.
2. Cat-Cow Pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
Loosen up your spine with gentle cycles through Cat-Cow Pose. Inhale in cow pose and exhale in cat, being mindful not to force the rounding or arching of your back.
3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Stretch out your spine and hamstrings while relieving lower back with a wide-leg variation of Standing Forward Fold. Use this pose as a time for complete relaxation, listening to the sound of your breath and feeling your baby’s gentle movements.
4. Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
When you feel completely out of whack, like you can’t find your center, try Half-Moon Pose. Half-Moon is a fun and challenging balancing pose that’s accessible during pregnancy using a wall and block. You simply use the wall as your prop, leaning your back and glute against the wall and placing your bottom hand on the block for balance.
5. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Pigeon Pose may become your best friend during pregnancy if you are experiencing tight hips, lower back pain, or sciatica. You can support it by sitting on top of a bolster (a rolled towel or blanket will work) or placing a block under the glute of your bent leg.
6. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, tap into your inner strength with Warrior II Pose. It activates your legs, arms and core while giving you a sense of empowerment. Plus, it’s totally acceptable to smile or shout like a warrior to enhance the effects.
7. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
Work a full-body stretch into your day with this one invigorating pose! Extended Side Angle Pose opens the hips, stretches the entire side body and builds strength in the legs. It can be practiced with the forearm placed along the knee for support.