I have found that many women with a regular fitness routine (as well as those without), while they are joyful and relaxed (and maybe a bit nervous, simultaneously) about the prospects of motherhood, begin to feel just a bit too lethargic such that they can’t be necessarily as vigorous as usual.

Pregnancy yoga gets your body moving in a gentle but powerful way that also can reduce your back and joint pain, give you longer more restful sleep, as well as the traditional yoga benefits of increased flexibility and calming your mind.

Before you get started, make sure you ask your doctor or health care provider if it’s OK for you, and whatever you do – don’t overdo it!  Particularly in your first trimester. If you are suffering from morning sickness, then you ought to wait until your second trimester to begin yoga.  Avoid complicated poses that could hurt your back and shoulders instead of relaxing them, as well as poses that focus on your abdominal muscles or anything that involves lying on your back. If you feel pain or nausea while doing yoga, you should stop and talk to your instructor before continuing.

You don’t need to be an old hand at yoga, this is more about listening to your body, focusing on the two of you, and learning how to control your form as it changes.  Pregnancy yoga, no matter what your skill level, can help you maintain serenity and a relaxed frame of mind in the coming months.

One of the simplest poses to start out with for mums-to-be is a variation on the Mountain Pose I mentioned in my last entry.  But instead of standing, sit in a comfortable seated pose or padmasana and imagine yourself opening up and stretching towards the sky with your back. Place your hands in prayer position.  Keeping your elbows lifted, inhale arms until your hands are level with your ears. Make sure you maintain your posture, and you will feel the back pain leaving you as you repeat this pose about three times.  You should feel a gentle stretching, but never a strain.

Make sure to concentrate on your breathing while doing a pregnancy routine, deep breathing will not only ensure your muscles and joints get the most benefit out of the exercise. Either attending a pregnancy yoga class or home practice yoga will help you maintain the peaceful frame of mind you need in this exciting and exhilarating time.