Yoga During Your First Trimester

Medically Reviewed by Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM
Find out the yoga poses for the first trimester of pregnancy.

Most healthcare providers say yoga is safe during the first trimester, but it is usually advised to use modifications. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may advise against you partaking in yoga during this period.

The most important thing is to listen to your body. If you are over-fatigued, extremely nauseous, or experiencing headaches, maybe you should push yoga to the side for a little bit. If your body is fighting you to rest, but you want to exercise — you should rest and then see if you can work in some fitness.

Once you get through the first trimester, your energy levels will come back up and your hormones will have balanced out. If you feel like nothing is changing in your body, that’s just because there aren’t any changes you can visually see.

Yoga may seem simple, but it does take practice.

Yoga In The First Trimester Tips

You now have a growing baby inside of you, so it’s important you take extra precautions and have an increased awareness of your body.

If your doctor has approved, you can still do your typical routine yoga, you just need to make specific modifications (1).

  1. Abdominal work: Try to limit the work you do on your abdominals. Your body is trying to prepare for its outward expansion, and overworking your abdominals can be seen as fighting back.
  2. Avoid jumping: You should avoid any positions or poses that would require jumping or jerking. You can supplement jumps for steps to still partake in positions requiring this movement.
  3. Steer clear of inversions: It is important you don’t put your body in a position that would encourage blood circulation to flow away from your uterus.
  4. Belly down: It’s okay for you to still partake in poses where you will be belly down. This is because your uterus is still rather small, so it is protected by your pelvis. You should be sure to avoid the bow pose and locust pose because they put direct pressure on your uterus.
  5. Eliminate backbends: Backbends tend to overstretch your abdominals and compress your uterus.
  6. Focus on relaxation: Pay special attention to your breathing, and maybe even focus more time on meditative practices.
  7. No deep twists: You can still do twists that focus on the upper back, but eliminate those twists that focus on the deep belly.
  8. Avoid hot yoga: It is important you do not overheat when you are pregnant — a higher body temperature can be dangerous for your baby.

Just remember to keep it gentle this trimester. Chances of miscarriage are the highest, and you don’t want to hinder implantation.

Best Yoga Poses for the First Trimester

These are the best poses for you to do during the first few weeks of pregnancy:

  • Cobra pose: Decreases stiffness in the back and increases flexibility.
  • Butterfly pose: Improves circulation and relieves anxiety.
  • Cow pose: Improves balance and posture.
  • Cat pose: Improves blood circulation and relaxes your mind.
  • Mountain pose: Helps steady your breathing and relieves aches and pains.

If you are looking for a safe routine, but are not sure where to start, this video has a great prenatal yoga sequence. This sequence is great for beginners and those with a vast amount of yoga experience. The best part about this sequence is it is safe for all trimesters.

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Headshot of Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM

Medically Reviewed by

Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM

Caitlin Goodwin MSN, RN, CNM is a Certified Nurse-Midwife, clinical instructor and educator. She has ten years of nursing experience and enjoys blogging about family travel and autism in her free time.
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