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Should You Practice Yoga in Your First Trimester of Pregnancy?

The answer isn’t so straightforward.

Some traditional yoga teachings would say ‘no’ as it's a very fragile time in your pregnancy. You are also likely to feel nauseous and exhausted in the first trimester making it an ideal time to focus on rest.

The general advise though is that most yoga is safe to practice during the first trimester especially if you already have an established yoga practice. Even if you are new to yoga and wanting to try it as a safe way to exercise while pregnant, it's still safe to start as long as you are practicing in a prenatal yoga class or notifying your teacher so they can make the appropriate modifications.

It’s important to remember that not all styles of yoga are safe for pregnancy. One things to be mindful of during the first trimester is not to overheat so practices like hot yoga or sweaty vinyasa flows should be avoided in the first trimester.

There are also some other modifications you should start making even in your first trimester when you don’t have much of a bump yet.

What to avoid:

  • Strong or closed twists

  • Poses that put pressure on your belly

  • Getting your heat rate too high (you should be able to have a conversation even when exercising)

  • Overstretching (your body is already starting to produce relaxin)

  • Quick transitions (move slowly and mindfully between poses)

  • Inversions

  • Backbends

  • Anything that doesn’t feel good

Bottom line:

Listen to your body and move gently. If it doesn’t feel good, move into a pose that does.

The first trimester can feel like a very long time when you’re in it, but if you put it into perspective, it’s a short phase of life and a time to honour how your body feels.

If it doesn’t feel good to practice yoga physically (asana) in the first trimester, it can be the perfect time to lean into one of the other limbs of yoga. You can focus on a more regular mediation or pregnancy safe breath work practice.

If you’d like to kickstart your pregnancy safe practices, check out my Pregnancy Yoga Relax & Reset Toolbox here.

As always if you have any specific concerns or diagnosis, please speak to your doctor before taking part in any physical activity.

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