Prenatal Yoga Classes – What is it And How Does it Help During Pregnancy?

7 min read

Written by Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

pregnant women in prenatal yoga classes

Yoga is a form of art that involves specific breathing, meditation, and a few postures and positions that help keep our body healthy and fit. Prenatal yoga is the yoga offered to women when they are pregnant. Prenatal yoga classes help women stay healthy, relaxed, and fit throughout pregnancy. It also helps their body to prepare for childbirth both physically and mentally.

However, there are numerous benefits related to yoga during pregnancy. Yoga also plays a vital role in keeping your moods in control during pregnancy and helps in coping with symptoms. If you are new to yoga and curious about prenatal yoga and fitness, you have landed on the right page. Before opting for prenatal yoga classes, you need to understand its benefits, and the factors to consider before you sign up for a class. 

In This Article

What is Prenatal Yoga?

Prenatal yoga is a form of yoga that applies to pregnant women. Although there is not much difference between regular yoga and prenatal yoga, some postures are especially recommended for the benefit of pregnant women. There is a myth that exercises, yoga stretches, and postures are forbidden for women once they see two pink lines on their pregnancy test kit. Busting that, some yoga postures and breathing techniques can actually help pregnant women to control their mental state and the symptoms throughout the phase. 

Is Prenatal Yoga Safe During Pregnancy?

is prenatal yoga safe during pregnancy?

Yes, prenatal yoga or pregnancy yoga is safe during pregnancy. But it is always better to take a class and be under the supervision of a professional prenatal yoga trainer. If you are never into yoga before, or if you have conceived with fertility treatments, it is better to take your doctor’s advice and know your body’s condition before you start. After starting, it is important to be in touch with your doctor throughout, and don’t hesitate to put your concerns on their table. 

How Do Prenatal Yoga Classes Help You During Pregnancy?

pregnant women meditating

Your body undergoes several changes during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga can heal such discomforts during pregnancy.

Here are a few things you may learn during prenatal yoga classes, which can be helpful for you in many ways.

1. Breathing

Breathing is a natural human phenomenon. But the breathing techniques that you learn in prenatal yoga classes are helpful for you to cope with shortness of breath in late pregnancy. Practicing breathing techniques can majorly help in contractions during labor.

2. Stretching

You will also be learning to stretch yourself with various poses. Stretching helps your body to be more flexible and helps in relieving back pain. Stretching also helps in muscle relaxation, which eases leg cramps in late pregnancy.

3. Postures

Once you do your warm-up and a few stretches, you will be encouraged to perform specific postures like, standing, sitting, and lying down. These different poses steer your body toward building flexibility, strength, and balance. You can also use accessories like cushions, belts, blankets, etc, to do the postures.

The following are some of the commonly performed prenatal yoga postures. 

  • Easy Pose
  • Standing Side Stretch
  • Cat-cow
  • Comprehensive Knee child’s Pose
  • Yoga Squat
  • Bound Angle Pose
  • Corpse Pose
  • Standing Forward Bend

4. Cool Down and Relaxation

After a strenuous prenatal yoga session, you need to allow your muscles to relax and restore the heartbeat. You will be asked to lie on your back and close your eyes. You will be able to listen to the sounds of your breathing.

When Should I Start Prenatal Yoga Classes?

Are you expecting and not sure when should you start taking prenatal yoga classes? If you are doing it for the first time, then the second trimester is the ideal time to start with prenatal yoga. However, consulting your doctor regarding the same can help you clear your doubts and concerns. Because pregnancy can bring many changes in your body. As your bump grows, your joints and ligaments can loosen up making you feel extremely uncomfortable. Prenatal yoga can help you get through such pains and stay fit throughout the pregnancy. 

How Are The Classes Offered?

There are numerous sources that offer prenatal yoga classes. Here is how you can register and take up a prenatal yoga class.

1. Online Prenatal Yoga class

The world has become so small, and reaching out to various services across the globe has become much easier with the advent of the internet and technology. If you cannot attend a physical yoga class, you can opt for an online prenatal yoga class. Several experts are offering online courses at your convenient time. You can practice yoga at your comfortable place at a preferred time.

2. At-Home Personalized Prenatal Yoga Classes

You can opt for personalized prenatal yoga classes where the experts come to your home at an agreed time. You get a customized yoga practice that can suit your body and comfort level. While the personalized yoga class at home provides much comfort, it can be expensive.

3. At The Gym

You can contact the gym in your area to find prenatal yoga classes. Several gyms also provide yoga classes for customers. Choose a gym that is geographically easy to travel to and offers the best of services.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga Classes

benefits of prenatal yoga

The prenatal yoga classes provide significant benefits to you and your little one. Mainly, breathing techniques may help you immensely to push during labor. The prenatal yoga practice helps the body to recover easily post-delivery, irrespective of the type of delivery – Vaginal or C-section.

Here are a few more benefits of joining prenatal yoga classes

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of preterm labor
  • Reduces Stress
  • Eliminates the risk of miscarriage
  • Helps manage the unstable heart rate
  • Helps to avoid pregnancy-related hyper-tensions
  • Meditation and breathing techniques help to fight depression and mood swings
  • Helps in weight management
  • Helps the body prepare for labor and recover physically post-delivery
  • Promotes good sleeping habits

Things to Consider Before Choosing Prenatal Yoga Classes

tips to choose prenatal yoga classes

When choosing prenatal yoga classes, you must consider certain factors that are important. Not all types of centers can give you the best. Here are a few things that you may need to consider before choosing a rental yoga class

1. Instructor Qualifications And Experience

The qualification and experience of the yoga instructor are the first and foremost factors to consider. Ensure that the instructors are well-certified and duly qualified. Always choose an experienced instructor for you to be comfortable and confident while practicing yoga.

2. Program Duration And No. Of Sessions as Per Convenience

Before choosing the prenatal yoga sessions, check the trimester and week you are currently in. You must plan the program duration and several weekly sessions based on your trimester. Always plan your sessions well ahead before enrolling. Suppose the program is for a shorter term or needs more adequate sessions. In that case, you will spend your time for a lesser benefit.

3. Curriculum / Program Schedule

Before enrolling, check the curriculum or the program schedule. You need to know the kind of practice you will learn and how it will suit your body. If there are stretches or positions that you might not need, talk to your instructor about them. You also need to understand if the program supports you well.

Prenatal Yoga Tips by Trimester

yoga tips for pregnant women

The extent of prenatal yoga practices depends on the trimester that you are in. The posture stretches and the duration of the poses varies with every week of pregnancy. Let us discuss specific yoga tips based on the different trimesters.

1. The First Trimester

It is when fatigue, nausea, and morning sickness control your entire body. During the first trimester, prenatal yoga helps you immensely cope with these symptoms. At the same time, ensure to take breaks between the yoga practices and modify the positions based on your body requirements.

If you have severe morning sickness, the cat-cow posture would be better than a downward dog. Placing your head below your belly could worsen nausea and morning sickness.

2. The Second Trimester

It is often known as the honeymoon period of pregnancy. Most women feel more energized, and the morning sickness is forgotten during the second trimester. This is the best time to gear up your body for labor.

You can practice a lot of stretches and squats that strengthen the pelvic area and opens up the hip muscles.

3. The Third Trimester

The third trimester is the phase where the baby grows rapidly and your center of gravity changes. Stretches and squats can make you feel uncomfortable. You might also feel tired and get stressed over the labor and delivery.

Breathing exercises and meditation are the best prenatal yoga to be practiced in your third trimester. It helps you to stay calm and focused. Breathing techniques help you cope with shortness of breath during labor.

Pregnancy can bring many changes and symptoms to our bodies. You must ensure that your body withstands and copes with each of them and prepare yourself to face the labor. Prenatal yoga is one of the best ways to control your body and prepare itself for delivery. The story does not end with the pregnancy phase. The prenatal yoga practices also help in easy recovery post-delivery. Check all the essential factors before choosing your prenatal yoga classes. Happy Pregnancy!


1. Do I Need Previous Yoga Experience Before Joining Prenatal Yoga?

You need not have any previous yoga experience for prenatal yoga. All you need is approval from your doctor that you can take up yoga and asanas that can support a healthy pregnancy. Ensure to be under the supervision of your trainer while practicing prenatal yoga. 

2. Can Prenatal Yoga be The First Time I Ever do it?

Prenatal Yoga can be the first time you ever do yoga if you do not have any prior experience. It helps in being fit and composed throughout your pregnancy. 

3. What Should I Wear to My Prenatal Yoga Class?

You can choose to wear any trousers and a much more comfortable shirt to practice yoga during pregnancy. Ask your trainer about what to avoid. Ensure not to wear tight clothes at this time. 

Gayathri Lakshminarayanan,CA, B.Com

Gayathri’s passion for writing had its foundation at the very early stages of her life when she was on her college editorial board and also won several awards for writing events and book review competitions. She combines her corporate experience with her writing skills and her experience as a homemaker makes her an empathetic contributor in the parenting domain . Her shift from full-time accounting professional to a homemaker gave her career a new direction.Read more.

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