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.

Exercise during Pregnancy

Exercising for half an hour each day brings plenty of benefits during pregnancy. Combined with a healthy diet, a few light to moderate exercises on a regular basis will improve your muscle tone and give you strength and energy. You will be more prepared for the moment of labour and it will be easier to get back in shape after childbirth. Another plus is that your mood will generally be better and your sleep quality will improve. Below are a few of the most popular exercising activities and their benefits for pregnant women.

Pilates

Pilates exercises are great for strengthening your abdominal, back and kegel muscles. Check with your doctor for advice on physical activity before starting a Pilates class. You should generally avoid positions that require you to lay on your back, especially after the 10th week of pregnancy. Ask your instructor for recommended positions depending on your pregnancy stage. Most exercises can be easily adapted to your needs and limits, so if you’re well informed you can safely benefit from Pilates exercises.

Prenatal Yoga

There are different types of Yoga, so make sure you choose exercises that are safe for pregnant women, or look for a Prenatal Yoga class. Yoga training will improve your muscle tone, help with back pain relief and keep you flexible. Prenatal Yoga exercises are designed specifically for pregnant women, so they are absolutely safe for you to try.

Jogging

Stretching exercises are great for maintaining the muscle tone and for flexibility, but they need to be complemented with cardio exercises. Jogging will give you a great heart workout and it’s time-efficient. The secret to keep up is routine. Go out for a short, 10 to 15 minutes run every day at the same time, it will get easier and easier to stick to this schedule. Don’t push yourself over the limits, intense workouts are generally not recommended during pregnancy. If you haven’t jogged before, start with a lighter form of exercise, such as walking.

Walking

Walking is one of the safest exercising options during pregnancy. If your doctor advised you to limit physical activities, go out for a walk whenever possible. The best part about walking is that you can combine it with fun activities – such as going for a stroll in the park – and with useful activities – like going to the supermarket. Walking quickly counts as cardio training and will improve your circulation.

Swimming

Swimming is a great exercise during pregnancy, safe and with great benefits at the same time. Most pregnant women enjoy the feeling that their body is lighter in the water. Swimming helps relief back aches and gives your heart and lungs sufficient workout. Join an aquanatal class for water-based exercises designed especially for pregnant women.