Yoga in Pregnancy: What you can do and how to do it


yoga for pregnant woman
Embrace the journey of motherhood with the gentle practice of yoga during pregnancy.

Discover what yoga moves are safe and beneficial for expectant mothers, along with expert guidance on how to perform them with comfort and ease. Elevate your well-being and connect with your changing body through the harmonious blend of yoga and pregnancy.

Why is yoga recommended for pregnancy?

Prenatal yoga benefits mind, body and baby. Research shows that moderate-intensity exercise like yoga helps expecting mums decrease stress, anxiety and depression, reduce aches and pains (especially back-ache and leg swelling) improve breathing, increase fitness and flexibility, and develop a deeper emotional connection to the growing baby. Benefits for the baby include increased oxygen and blood flow, and lowered risk of being born overweight or requiring a cesarean delivery.

If you haven’t practiced yoga before, is it ok to start during pregnancy?

Absolutely – if you follow a safe and effective prenatal course from a qualified instructor. Another option is to practice at home with a reputable book or app, but always get approval from your doctor before beginning any exercise, including prenatal yoga. Hot Yoga is not recommended during pregnancy as it raises the core temperature of the fetus beyond normal range.

What are some of the poses you should avoid during pregnancy?

No twists across the abdomen, and no sit ups, crunches or other vigorous abdominal exercises. Plank Pose is fine. No complete inversions like Shoulder Stand or Headstand, which can put too much pressure on the heart. Down Dog is an excellent option as a mild inversion. No lying flat on your back or on your belly.

How can yoga help during labour?

The physical postures can help increase flexibility in the hips, improve muscle tone in the pelvic floor and create the strength and stamina needed during delivery.

What is yogic breathing and how can it assist during pregnancy?

Slow, deep, conscious breathing through the nose is a classical type of yoga breathing and can promote a sense of awareness, calm, confidence and courage. Avoid forceful breathing exercises like the short, explosive “breath of fire” or breath retention exercises, which can disrupt oxygen and blood flow to the foetus.

If you have never meditated before, what’s the best way to start?

Simply close your eyes and breathe slowly and consciously. As you inhale, breathe in feelings of energy, space and freedom; as you breathe out, feel calm, open and free. Continue for a few minutes, relaxing as much as possible. 

yoga poses for pregnant woman

6 yoga poses for pregnant woman

These gentle yoga moves can help support the well-being of pregnant women, fostering flexibility, relaxation, and overall comfort.

  1. Cat-Cow Stretch:
    • On your hands and knees, gently arch your back (cat) and then dip it down (cow).
    • Promotes flexibility in the spine and eases tension.
  2. Modified Child’s Pose:
    • Kneel on the mat, then lower your upper body forward with arms extended.
    • Relieves lower back discomfort and opens the hips.
  3. Prenatal Sun Salutation:
    • Modified sun salutation with gentle movements to improve circulation and flexibility.
    • Incorporates breathing techniques for relaxation.
  4. Pelvic Tilts:
    • Lie on your back with knees bent, gently tilt your pelvis upward.
    • Strengthens the core and helps alleviate lower back pain.
  5. Butterfly Stretch:
    • Sit with the soles of your feet together and gently press knees towards the floor.
    • Stretches inner thighs and improves hip flexibility.
  6. Legs Up the Wall Pose:
    • Sit close to a wall and extend legs up, forming an L shape.
    • Relieves swelling in the legs and promotes relaxation.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially during pregnancy. 


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