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“Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life.” ~ Judy Ford
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Prenatal Yoga Practice Do’s & Don’ts

By Arielle Nash – Degagne

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Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman, and also a time that must be approached with care and love. Maintaining a yoga practice while pregnant provides an expectant mother with an opportunity for deep connection with her unborn child. There are many important things to consider in the approach to practice in order to ensure a healthy mom and baby. Although every woman is different and pregnancies vary, here is a general list of do’s and don’ts to assist you as you teach or practice:

This list is compiled for NORMAL pregnancy and does not constitute medical advice


  • Check in with your health care provider to ensure it’s safe for you to practice
  • Practice in a cool space or by an open window or door
  • Stay hydrated; drink fluids as needed during practice
  • Eat something small before asana to ensure adequate glucose levels
  • Nourish & rehydrate immediately following practice
  • Monitor energy levels throughout the day and adjust practice accordingly
  • Continue with practice, but include pregnancy modifications
  • Take Savasana or Balasana when needed during asana practice
  • Approach deep spinal twists with caution
  • Decrease the number of asana days per week according to energy levels
  • Include restorative asana or full restorative practice days
  • Use practice as a time to connect with your baby
  • Invite your baby to practice with you
  • Continue with a seated practice
  • Practice asana or yoga therapy exercises that support sacroiliac joint stability
  • Include more asana that open the front of the body
  • Practice inversions; use a wall or confident spotter
  • Widen your stance as your body changes
  • Prepare for birthing using yoga techniques


  • Stretch to your maximum, never go beyond what you were capable of pre-pregnancy
  • Overheat; this could lead to neurological damage of the growing baby
  • Practice through dizziness; stop immediately and rest
  • Practice any asana that puts pressure on the uterus; modify
  • Change positions too quickly if you are suffering from morning sickness
  • Practice anything that feels uncomfortable
  • Hold your breath – EVER (including pranayama retention)
  • Practice kriyas or pranayama preparations involving the abdominal area (including kapalabhati)
  • Practice Bastrika or Suryabhedena
  • Practice during the first trimester if there is a history of miscarriages
  • Worry about “advancing” in asana practice
  • Lie flat on your back for Savasana after the first trimester
  • Lie on your abdomen after the first trimester
  • Start a practice during the first trimester if you are new to yoga
  • Practice on an empty stomach

More detailed practice considerations and sequencing are taught during “Yoga Practice and the Female Body” and “Prenatal Yoga Training” Continuing education courses. For more information, check our course listing or contact Arielle directly.

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