There are many different opinions about practising yoga in the first trimester.
Some teachers might tell you to completely stop or do not begin any form of yoga practice during the first 12 weeks.
Others, might tell you that you can start or continue in your first trimester without any variations.
Personally, my opinion comes from a teacher’s and student’s perspective. If in fact you are low risk with no health complications and you have a clear for physical activity during your first trimester, I would advise a gentle yoga practice.
Either attend a pre-natal class if you haven’t yet began yoga or if you are a regular practitioner, slightly adjusting your practice to have it be ‘less vigorous’ (especially for the ashtangis, power yogis or hot yogis).
I would always advise to let the instructor know if it is not yet obvious that you are pregnant, especially if you are starting out and attending a general (non-prenatal) yoga class. This however can be uncomfortable especially if you’ve barely shared your news with anyone yet.
The reason for letting your teacher know is that the teacher then (typically) will provide subtle modifications before or during the class – You can always tell them to not make it obvious.
For myself during the first trimester, as I am a regular practitioner – I found that my energy levels were quite low. Alot of the time during vinyasa classes I needed to rest in childs pose as my body was physically tired even though I knew had the strength to do all of the postures.
I slowly began to modify while attending regular classes by using my own body awareness. Initially up until my 15th week, being on my belly felt okay – but this isn’t always the case for many women. During the second trimester, modifications became more apparent therefore it is easy on you and the teacher to begin attending pre-natal yoga classes.
A reason why regular practitioners may not want to attend pre-natal yoga classes is that they feel that it might be too easy compared to their power yoga. This can be true in the beginning, especially for advanced yogis in their first trimester – they probably feel that they can do everything as they’ve always done, which can be true!
But: A reason to attend pre-natal yoga classes is to focus less on the traditional yoga asanas, and more on your feminine and growing body.
Some traditional yoga practices do not include safe or practical postures or breathing techniques for the female pregnant body.
Beginning pre-natal yoga in your first or second trimester is highly advised as you will start to get used to the movements, connecting to your breath, mind and body.
Additionally from your first trimester if you begin prenatal yoga, you will start to reap the benefits of meditation; in turn feeling calmer and more relaxed about your pregnancy and birth process.
The deciding factor to practicing yoga in your first trimester is ultimately you. Read, listen to advise from teachers but most importantly notice how you feel.
Pre-natal yoga doesn’t have to mean that you’re moving alot and working up a sweat, it can be as simple as meditating, breathing and resting in savasana.
- I would love to hear your experience with your first trimester and yoga. Comment below any questions.
Stay tuned for videos and yoga stretches for the first trimester and what poses to AVOID throughout pregnancy.