yoga class attendees can expect to slow down, practice self-acceptance, and be
present with what they're feeling while letting go of concerns. Prenatal yoga is generally
considered a safe exercise to do while pregnant and studies show consistent benefits.
Women often report a decrease in common side effects of pregnancy such as: back and
hip pain, fatigue, swelling, and stress. Prenatal yoga can be beneficial to improve sleep
and as preparation for childbirth, particularly with breathing techniques. A woman who
has practiced focusing on her breath can use this technique during labor, birth and
Prenatal yoga classes provide support and community for mamas to be. Moms can get
answers to many of their questions and share ideas and experiences within a safe
environment. I've observed that many women who have come to my prenatal yoga
classes become friends and created a support network for each other both during and
after their pregnancy, meeting for tea, walks or setting up play groups.
Qualities of a good prenatal class include some education and discussion on pregnancy
as well as offering a balanced yoga sequence with mindfulness to a women's changing
body. Challenging poses are a great help for mental focus and finding a place of power,
both of which become a tremendous tool for managing contractions during labor.
Conversely, the passive poses allow women to learn how to relax, focus inward and
surrender to the natural process of birth. Through prenatal yoga a woman becomes
more deeply connected to her body and her growing baby. Prenatal yoga can positively
impact a woman’s experience of pregnancy and birth.
So...What are some good yoga poses to do while pregnant???
Poses that help to open up shoulders and chest area are wonderful as a pregnant
woman's breasts grow heavier. Also poses that hope to bring mobility to the pelvic and
low back area can help decrease some of the common discomforts such as low back
and hip discomfort during pregnancy. Some simple and safe yoga poses to enjoy during
1. Cat Back stretch – this pose invites mobility to the spine and can release tension in
the upper back.
2. Mountain pose – this pose promotes good posture and helps women feel grounded
and rooted in a present moment – a difficult task even when you're not pregnant!
3. Seated widespread forward fold – this is a great pose for opening hips and can be
done seated on blankets to help create space for your growing belly.
~ Nurse turned yoga teacher Sandi Hoover, BSN, RYT 500, RPYT, is a mother of three. She specializes in
pre and postnatal yoga and owns The Family Tree Yoga and Massage with her husband, Zachary Hoover.
She is the creator of Roots Prenatal Yoga and offers classes, workshops and teacher trainings through
her Registered Prenatal Yoga School.