Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is the modified form of Vinyasa yoga, specially designed to suit your body at various stages of pregnancy to ease the prenatal journey and to prepare your body for the delivery day and beyond.

This is achieved without posing harm or discomfort to you or the baby. The focus here is to strengthen the body through subtle practice and techniques, to center the mind, and to connect with the self and the baby at a deeper level.


Ways To Practice Prenatal Yoga

1. Sharing Circle – Sharing Is Caring!

Introduce yourself and brief on your stage of pregnancy (weeks/trimester) and on common pregnancy woes like a backache, dizziness etc… This assists in modifying poses during the class.

It’s a great start to the practice by sharing your ‘joys and concerns’ and this definitely adds to the socializing element.


2. Centering – Guides Your Mind!

Sitting comfortably, aligning body and mind with the breath, and focusing on the moment give perspective to the ensuing practice. To focus on breathing is an objective throughout the poses in the practice.

3. Warming Up – Gears You Up!

Pelvic Tilts or Cat-Cow pose warms up the spine, tones the abdominals, and strengthens the pelvic muscles.


Gentle rotation of arms, neck, wrist, and side stretches is all it takes to warm you up and prepare for the next sequence.

4. Standing Strengthening Poses – Tone Your ‘Body And Mind’ For The D-Day!

Prenatal Yoga - Standing Strengthening Poses


Image Courtesy: Yama Yoga Studios

Modified Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar and standing poses like Mountain pose – Tadasana, Warrior pose – Virabhadrasana, Triangle pose – Trikonasana strengthen the leg muscles and increase your stamina.


Extending poses like Mountain pose, Reverse Warrior, and Triangle pose help to release the chest muscles and tap into the space for relieving breathlessness and congested feeling commonly experienced due to the growing size of belly impinging into the diaphragm and chest.

Ensure your feet are hip-width apart in standing poses to maintain balance and to avoid injury. Bending from hips into the supported forward bend releases ligament and strengthens the thigh muscles (quadriceps and adductors). Hip openers like Goddess pose, Squatting poses – Utkatasana and its variations strengthen the leg and pelvic muscles.


5. Supported Balancing Poses – Boost Your Confidence And Master The Mind!

Prenatal Yoga - Supported Balancing Poses

Image Courtesy: Yama Yoga Studios


Supported Tree pose – Vrkshahsana, Half Moon pose – Ardhachanadrasana, Warrior pose III – Virabhadrasana III etc… enable the body to master the sense of balance as the belly starts to grow and the center of gravity keeps shifting.

It strengthens the body, increases focus, and relieves anxiety. This sequence of poses assists in the slow transition into a soothing practice, thereby, enabling you to connect with yourself and your baby.

6. Seated Poses – Settling Down To Relax!

Prenatal Yoga - Seated Pose

Image Courtesy: Yama Yoga Studios

  • Supported Cow-Face pose – Gomukhasana and Modified Eagle pose – Garudasana activates and energizes the spine by increasing blood circulation and relieve back aches.
  • Pigeon pose with modifications assists in relieving the sciatica pain, however, it has to be practiced with caution to prevent injury to the knee.
  • Head-to-knee pose with the support of bolster and props assists to relieve the ligament pain.
  • Modified Bridge pose relieves anxiety and low back ache.


Prenatal Yoga

Image Courtesy: Yama Yoga Studios

      1. Kegel Exercise

Pelvic muscle carries the weight of the baby throughout pregnancy and has vital importance in the childbearing journey. Kegel exercise tones the pelvic muscles, prepares it for delivery, and assists in the post-delivery healing and incontinence of urine.

The pelvic group of muscles is gently contracted as if holding the urine midstream and then released without affecting the flow of breath or the belly. This is done up to 10 counts as a starter then gradually increased.

      2. Breathing Techniques

Alternate nostril breathing helps beat stress, anxiety, and relieves a headache.


1. Sitting tall and relaxed and alternative closing of right and left nostril while breathing through one.
2. Right thumb gently pressed against the right nostril and inhaling through the left nostril.
3. The left nostril is then pressed with the ring finger and exhaling through the right.
4. Inhaling back through the right nostril and exhaling through the left.

Note: Continue 5 cycles of this breath pattern, and this could then be followed by a deep inspiration through both the nostrils and expiration through the mouth with a sigh!

      3. Visualization

Visualization is a guided meditation practice, creating mental imagery of a process or scenery for relaxing and establishing a connection with the baby.

Head, back, and spine are completely supported against the wall with the help of props, a warm hand is placed on the belly, restorative yoga pose is adopted and with each breath, the body is relaxed. Instructor narrates through a visualization sequence step-by-step, involving you and the baby to connect within and instills it with affirmations.

7. Winding Down – Lying Down To Relax!

Prenatal Yoga - Winding Down

Legs-Up-The-Wall pose Viparita Karani releases tension on the leg and is best to practice towards the end of the day for a good night’s sleep.

Posture: Lying down on the back facing the wall and leg is rotated against the wall, staying in this pose for 2 minutes and then rolling off from your left side out of the pose. If it’s uncomfortable lying on the back, then modification with a folded towel placed under the hip bone assists to release any discomfort.

8. Shavasana – Let Go Off!

Prenatal Yoga - Shavasana

Side-Lying Shavasana or Corpse pose is the final pose and enables to let go off and release the body onto the floor, drifting the mind into a state between sleep and complete awareness, which is utmost relaxing and receptive to the benefits of the practice.

Posture: Lying down on the left with left leg straight and right leg curled onto the bolster, and a blanket rolled underneath the head feels comfortable. After few minutes of relaxing, slowly transitioning back out of the pose by moving the joints one by one and rolling off the bolster from your left.

Finally, sitting comfortably with closed eyes, a moment is taken to reflect on the practice with gratitude. Namaste!