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Happy Pregnancy

Prenatal Yoga - Benefits and Safe Practices For Expectant Moms

by Sherry Lee 05 Apr 2023

Yoga can offer a wide range of benefits for expectant mothers. Some studies even show that yoga can reduce symptoms of high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, as well as improve overall health.

In addition, practicing yoga helps reduce anxiety and stress during pregnancy. And it can also help mothers feel prepared for the birthing process.


parental yoga community

Pregnancy is a time of transformation and expectant moms need support in adjusting to their bodies’ new pace of change. That’s where yoga comes in, offering safe ways to improve flexibility and strengthen body parts like the hips, thighs and shoulders, says Jane Austin, founder of Mama Tree, a San Francisco-based pre- and postpartum yoga studio.

The yoga community is a great place for expecting moms to connect with other mothers-to-be and build a strong network of support. In addition, a recent study found that women who attend yoga classes during pregnancy have a more positive birth experience and an easier postpartum transition than those who do not.

One of the most important benefits that expectant mothers receive from practicing yoga is that it helps them build a deeper connection with their unborn baby. During the class, instructors often incorporate exercises that specifically focus on strengthening this bond. These include breathing with your hand on your heart and one on your belly, energy-directing techniques, or visualizations of the child growing inside you.

Practicing yoga is also an effective way for pregnant women to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Studies show that regular yoga practice can help lower stress levels, decrease inflammation and boost hormones.

While yoga can be a challenging practice for some, it’s important to listen to your body and only push yourself when you’re comfortable. You’ll have the most success when you stick with poses that strengthen your core and stretch your muscles.

In addition, incorporating props like blocks and bolsters can make the yoga practice more comfortable for expecting moms. Using these supports to hold positions or balance on can prevent pressure on your uterus and promote blood flow throughout your body.

Another benefit of a yoga practice is that it can help you manage your weight gain during pregnancy. It’s important to stay active and healthy during this time, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

If you’re not sure what yoga is, it’s a form of exercise that combines physical movement with breathing, meditation and relaxation. It can be done in a studio or online and offers many health benefits, including increased strength and stamina.

Mental Health

parental yoga mental health

Pregnancy is a time of change for your body and mind, but yoga can help you stay healthy and stress-free through pregnancy.

Research shows that a consistent yoga practice can reduce anxiety and depression. It also can improve your mood, strength, and sleep quality. It can even help you connect with your baby through meditation and breathing techniques.

If you're an experienced yogi, yoga can also be a great way to prepare for childbirth and postpartum recovery. The physical poses can build strength, improve flexibility, and reduce pain during labor.

Another study found that pregnant women who did yoga had measurably lower levels of stress hormones in their saliva, which is good news for both you and your baby. This is particularly beneficial since stress can contribute to complications in pregnancy and birth, such as low birth weights and infant development problems.

In addition to reducing stress, yoga can also boost your immune system. Several studies have shown that practicing yoga can increase the number of white blood cells in your body. This helps your body fight off infection and keep your immune system strong, which is especially important during pregnancy.

Practicing yoga also can help you manage your prenatal weight gain, which is important to both you and your baby. It's also a great way to stay active and improve your cardiovascular health, which can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure or heart disease.

One of the biggest benefits of yoga during pregnancy is that it can help you feel more connected with your baby and your body, which can decrease feelings of loneliness and anxiety. It can also help you build confidence, which will make the transition to parenthood a little easier.

It can also give you a chance to get some much-needed rest and relaxation during your busy pregnancy, which will help you sleep better. According to a 2017 study, pregnant women who did yoga had better-quality sleep and felt less stressed than those who didn't.

Finally, yoga can help you relax and calm your body during labor. The calming practices, like deep breathing and guided meditation, can ease your discomfort and help you focus on the task at hand.


parental yoga strength

Pregnancy is a time of great physical change for expectant moms. As a result, it's important to exercise regularly during pregnancy to help keep your joints, hips and pelvic area strong.

Yoga is a great way to get the exercise you need while also supporting your changing body and mind. It's gentle on your body and can also help reduce morning sickness, relieve back pain and lower stress.

It's also helpful for preparing your body and mind for childbirth and can increase self-confidence and strength. In fact, some studies have shown that women who practiced yoga throughout their pregnancy were able to experience shorter labors and easier deliveries.

However, you should be cautious when engaging in prenatal yoga because some poses can be dangerous to your health and safety. Talk to your doctor before trying to perform any yoga poses and find a class that includes a safe, modified version of the pose.

For example, you should avoid crow pose, handstands and balance poses in the first trimester of your pregnancy. These poses can strain the muscles or ligaments that support your baby, and can even negatively affect blood flow to the uterus and fetus.

Many yoga teachers advise pregnant women to modify their poses to avoid these injuries and discomforts. If you're not sure how to modify a pose, ask your instructor or read the instructions in your yoga book.

Some of the best prenatal yoga poses for strength are those that focus on the shoulders, hips and legs. Performing poses that strengthen these areas can help ease lower back pain and sciatica, as well as improve your balance.

Another way you can build strength is by working on poses that strengthen the core, like pigeon pose and modified warrior pose. These shapes can help improve your posture and strengthen your abdominal muscles, says Einhorn.

You can also work on strength through breathing exercises and meditation techniques in prenatal yoga. When you focus on relaxing and releasing tension in your body, it can make you more aware of when your muscles are tight or tense and can help you relax faster. This can be particularly useful for calming yourself during labor or when you're experiencing the intensity of contractions.


Pregnancy is a time of tremendous change and challenge for the body and mind. Luckily, yoga offers a way to ease into those changes and build a strong foundation for your pregnancy.

Whether you're brand new to yoga or a veteran, it's OK to practice it during your pregnancy as long as you make sure to let your instructor know that you're expecting. They'll make the adjustments you need to make the poses safe and comfortable for your body.

Most yoga classes start with breathing exercises that help increase blood flow to the heart and decrease shortness of breath. Breathing techniques that you learn in a yoga class could also come in handy during labor and delivery, and for postpartum recovery.

Another benefit of regular yoga is that it can help you relax and reduce anxiety. Especially since pregnancy is often stressful, it's helpful to keep your mind and body centered through breathing and meditation.

One study even found that integrated yoga (meaning it combines exercise-based yoga with meditation and breathing exercises) helped reduce depression and other stressors associated with being pregnant.

As an added bonus, it's a great way to connect with your baby during a challenging time!

You can find a variety of different styles and instructors to choose from. Some focus on heat building, while others are more calming and relaxing. The key is to find a style that works for you and your body.

Flexibility is an essential part of any yoga practice. The best prenatal yoga classes emphasize stretching to improve flexibility and balance. This is especially important during the third trimester, when your center of gravity shifts and you may feel more uncomfortable than usual.

Several popular prenatal yoga poses can help with flexibility, including the cat/cow stretch and downward dog. These positions can promote deep stretching and strengthen the muscles of your hips, back, and neck.

Some yoga poses can be too risky for expectant moms, so talk to your doctor before attempting any of them. If you have a history of complications like spotting, premature labor, placenta previa or fetal growth restriction, your doctor will likely recommend you avoid them.

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