Prenatal Yoga Class by Sue FullerYoga during the First Trimester of Pregnancy by Sue Fuller

A simple yoga practice can offer support and enhance a pregnancy especially during the first trimester.

During the first three months of pregnancy the body is undergoing many changes.

The body and mind take time to adjust to pregnancy.  During this time it is possible to experience nausea, fatigue, constipation, frequent urination, dizziness, mood swings and stress; these are all very normal occurrences during pregnancy. 

Each pregnancy is very different.  Your experiences will be different to other peoples and to consequent pregnancies.  If you have any concerns speak to your midwife or GP.

Always consult your GP or midwife before commencing a yoga practice.

Here are a few yoga postures that are suitable to perform during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Pelvic tilt

A simple pelvic tilt will help to release tension in the lower back and pelvis.  It will help keep the pelvis balanced and aligned.

Whilst performing the pelvis tilt it is possible to activate the pelvic floor muscles.   Strong and agile pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy are extremely beneficial. 

Lay on your back with your feet on the floor and the knees bent.  Make sure that your knees and feet are hip distance apart and your weight is evenly distributed through the soles of your feet. 

As you inhale allow your lower back to leave the floor a little and as you exhale release the lower back to the floor whilst drawing up the pelvic floor muscles.

Continue this technique for at least twenty repetitions whilst breathing slowly in and out through the nose.

Baddha Konasana - The CobblerBaddha Konasana (The Cobbler)

This posture will increase flexibility through the hips also strengthen the inner thighs.

Sit with the soles of the feet together and a straight spine.  Release the shoulders away from the ears and direct the chin toward the chest a fraction to keep the back of the neck long.  Rest your forearms onto your knees or hold onto the insides of the feet.  If this is not possible lightly rest your finger tips on the floor beside the hips.

Breathe slowly through your nose allow the knees to rise on an inhalation, as the exhalation takes place the knees release towards the floor.  It is also possible to activate the pelvic floor whilst performing this posture.  On the inhalation draw up the pelvic floor as the knees float up and as you exhale relax the pelvic floor as you lower the knees. 

Make sure that your spine remains straight and your shoulders are still.

If you find this uncomfortable then you can raise the hips by sitting on a couple of folded towels or a bolster.

Breathe slowly in and out through the nose for twenty or more complete breaths.

Majaryasana - Cat - Yoga PostureMajaryasana (The Cat)

This posture is fantastic for spinal alignment and releasing tension in the lower back and pelvic region, it also helps to position the baby.

When practicing the cat it is essential that the spine does not curve towards the floor as in a normal practise. 

Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.  Make sure that your weight is distributed evenly between your hands and knees.  If you feel pain or discomfort in your wrists then you can perform this posture on your forearms.

Breathe out and look through the legs whilst rounding the back up towards the ceiling as you inhale return to a flat back.

Repeat for twenty slow complete breaths breathing in and out through your nose.

Majaryasana - Cat - Yoga Posture - prenatalVariation 1

This variation of Majaryasana (the cat) will strengthen the muscles in the legs and buttocks in preparation for labour.

Begin in cat with a flat back and on an inhalation the right leg remains bent and lifts out to the side as the exhalation occurs return to your starting position.  Then repeat with the left leg.

Repeat for sixteen slow complete breaths breathing in and out through your nose.  Each leg should lift and lower for a total of 8.

 

Pose of the Child - Balasana

 

Balasana (Pose of the Child)

This posture provides a comfortable rest position it is executed from a kneeling position.

Begin with your bottom on your heels and a space between your knees, place the forehead onto the floor and relax your arms alongside your body.  As the baby grows the knees will need to move further apart.

If this is uncomfortable it is advisable to make fists with your hands and position them under your forehead. 

Breathe slowly in and out through your nose, resting for as long as necessary.

Please do look at my article Pelvic Pain – 2 moves to help if you suffer from achy hips.

Prenatal Relaxations Audio Yoga ClassSue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher with a range of over 60 audio yoga classes, including a selection of pre and post natal Yoga classes.  All yoga classes are available on CD or as a MP3 download from www.wellbeingworldonline.com  or from www.yoga2hear.co.uk.   Classes are easy-to-follow and suitable for all levels of yoga experience.

Sue is also the author of The British School of Yoga Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teachers Course, The resident yoga expert for Natural Health Magazine UK, a regular columnist for the Yoga Magazine and a mother of two. Sue is also the author of The British School of Yoga Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teachers Course, The resident yoga expert for Natural Health Magazine UK and a mother of two.