Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for the Third Trimester

Practicing yoga during your third trimester of pregnancy can be perfectly safe as long as you adjust your poses to have proper support. These final months can be quite hectic, so finding some peace and quiet through yoga can have amazing health benefits. Yoga and meditation can help you relax, bond with your baby and embrace your new life.

How to adjust your yoga poses in the third trimester

Your belly is now bigger and your centre of gravity is slightly shifted towards the front. This means that you will need to adjust most of your yoga poses to accommodate these changes. Ask your yoga teacher about poses recommended for this stage of pregnancy and be mindful about your limits – don’t push yourself if you ever feel that a pose is too intense or uncomfortable.

Set your yoga pad next to a wall, a pole or a chair to have support during standing poses and balance poses. Use props, straps and pillows to make the poses more comfortable. Another major change in your yoga routine is the duration of exercises: it’s now important to keep your body in motion without staying too long in one pose.

Avoid poses on your back in general during pregnancy. Lie on the side for resting in-between poses and at the end of your practice. Put one pillow under your head and one between your legs to feel more comfortable. Replace the Happy Baby pose with the Butterfly pose.

Focus on poses that strengthen your thighs and joints such as Warrior poses, Tree and Squatting poses. Make sure to use a chair or hold on to something solid for support. Try to keep your back straight and elongated and breathe in your belly – this will allow you to take deeper breaths.

Poses that require keeping your upper body lower than your pelvis should be avoided, as they can interfere with the baby’s preparation to shift into the birth position. These include Bridge poses and Downward Dog poses as well. Cat and camel poses are ok, as long as you ease in from one pose to the other as smoothly as possible.

The most important safety tip for third trimester yoga is to take it easy. This is done by reducing the effort, intensity and duration of your practice. Make sure to consult with your doctor on your risks for doing physical effort during late pregnancy.

Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for the First Trimester

Prenatal yoga is a very popular training for mums-to-be. Besides the fitness advantages, yoga also teaches you how to relax and how to breathe correctly while exercising. Pick a class and go. It’s not for everyone, but you might like yoga and maybe even continue with postnatal yoga.

Types of classes

There are plenty of yoga classes in London that are dedicated to pregnant women, offering beginner, intermediate and advanced yoga trainings for women in their first, second and third trimester. Discuss with your yoga instructor to help you pick the one that is the most suitable for you. During the first trimester you probably don’t have too many restrictions regarding physical exercise, so you can also opt for regular yoga classes – unless your doctor suggested otherwise. For practising prenatal yoga in your second trimester, you will need support for most of the poses. One of the lightest yoga styles is Hatha Yoga. It has a slower tempo and it’s very approachable for beginners.

Yoga postures for the first trimester

If you’re new to yoga, you’ll start your training by learning basic postures and how to breathe correctly. Then, the exercises should focus on gradually increasing your strength and muscle flexibility. Meditation is a core part of traditional yoga styles, but you can opt for classes that concentrate more on the fitness part of yoga and less on meditation. Power yoga is the most popular yoga style that concentrates mostly on the fitness benefits of yoga, but it is also one of the most demanding yoga trainings. Below are a few postures that specifically benefit the muscles that prepare you for pregnancy and giving birth.

Sideways swings

Parighasana, or sideways swings, is a great pose to build your muscles on the sides of your body and to improve spine flexibility.

Cat and dog poses

These are relatively easy to do, and very efficient in strengthening the muscles in your lower back. Alternate the positions to relax and increase flexibility of the spine.

Urdhva Dhanurasana backbends

This pose is a good start point for more advanced backbend yoga poses. This exercise will improve the flexibility of your spine and it will help you build energy and strength.

Warrior poses

These poses will help you strengthen your joints and prepare your body for supporting the extra weight.

Stay safe

Remember to consume extra calories in the days when you exercise and to always consult with your doctor or midwife before starting a new exercise class. If you ever feel that a yoga position is uncomfortable for you, adjust your position. Ask your class instructor to guide you or to suggest another position with the same benefits.

Top 5 Activities and Events for Pregnant Women and New Parents in London

Having a baby for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. You’re preparing for a challenging journey and many changes are going on with your body, mood and lifestyle. Now is the time to meet people who are going through the same thing as you do. Workshops, classes, meetups and other fun activities and events can help you connect with expecting mums or new parents in the UK.

Antenatal classes

Antenatal classes are a great place to start preparing for the journey ahead of you. It’s a place where you can ask any questions about pregnancy and issues related to pregnancy, consult with professionals and share experiences with other mums to be.

Exercise classes

Go to a pregnancy yoga class or other exercise classes dedicated for pregnant women. Besides the health benefits you get out of exercising, you will be offered support and information related to pregnancy and get the chance to socialize with other mums to be.

Meetups

Meetups are a great opportunity to get in touch with people you have something in common with and make new friends. What do you do at a meetup? You share thoughts and experiences with others, participate in workshops and join fun activities and classes. A popular online platform in the UK is Netmums Meetups. This can help you meet expecting parents and new parents living in your area. If you’re expecting, check out the Due Date Clubs, where you can meet mothers to be who have the same due date as you. Can’t find a meetup in your area? You can easily set up a new group through the platform.

Support groups

Somewhat similar to meetups, support groups are a little less casual and a little more organised, focusing on activities designed to stimulate interaction and information exchange among participants. London Mums is a fruitful peer support group, organizing both online and offline activities for mums (or dads) based in London. Signup to the newsletter to get all the updates and enjoy activities where you can meet other like you face to face: meetups, conferences, workshops, movie nights, parties and more.

Swap and sales events

Events where you can swap or sell clothes and items are now trending among mums to be and parents of toddlers. NCT Nearly New Sales are local events everywhere in UK organized through the NCT platform. Babies grow fast, so it becomes costly to keep buying new clothes and accessories. You can also find or sell pregnancy essentials, so be on the lookout for these local events that are closest to you. You’ll be helping the environment and the fundraising organized by NCT to support other parents in the UK.