Articles > The First Trimester

Simple techniques to help you ease into your pregnancy

Owner, MamasteYoga

Congratulations on your pregnancy!
We recommend that women take it easy for the first 12 weeks to allow their bodies to adjust to the changes of pregnancy. Our yoga classes are for healthy women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters and can be safely attended right up until you go into labor. Consult with your physician/midwife before starting any exercise program, women who have a history of miscarriage or had trouble conceiving should wait until 16 weeks to give the pregnancy time to settle. Talk to your yoga instructor if you have questions about exercises that can be practiced in the first trimester.

Yoga Practice at Home
The first thing to remember is that every pregnancy is different, even for the same woman, so it is best to listen
to your body at all times and only do what feels right to you. If you are new to yoga, now is not the time for overachieving, so take it easy, especially when trying new poses. Mamaste Yoga Routine One includes gentle postures that are safe for you to practice at home. If you have questions about any of the postures, feel free to contact one of our instructors.

New Breathing

Now is a great time to start practicing your new yoga breathing in preparation for labor and birth. During pregnancy we reverse the 3-part breath during the yoga practice. Normally, one would inhale from the abdomen first and exhale from the abdomen first- however in pregnancy we reverse this to help prepare for childbirth.

1. Sit is a comfortable supported position, place one hand on your belly and the
other hand at your upper chest.
2. Inhale and feel as if the belly were filling with air, then expand the ribs and
finish your inhale by filling the upper chest.
3. Exhale and empty the upper chest first, followed by the ribs and the belly.
4. Continue for several breaths.
5. If you feel light-headed, return to regular breathing. It takes time for the
body to adjust to the increased oxygen.

Finding stillness
Take a few minutes everyday for yourself, whether it be for centering, meditation, breathing, prayer, reflection, journaling- whatever keeps you grounded. There are many changes you will be going through over the next year, physically and emotionally. Learning to take time for yourself now will help you cope with these changes and accept them with openness.

Gentle stretching
Warm-up type stretches and certain restorative yoga postures are safe and gentle ways to get blood circulating, ease the pains of physical changes and alleviate morning sickness. These stretches include; half neck rolls, shoulder raises, wrist stretches, self-massage, Complete Breath, Simple sitting, Cobbler pose, ankle rolls, Simple Seated Twist, Lying Release, Side Rolls and Deep Relaxation.

Talk to your care provider
Talk to your doctor or midwife about your exercise plans and be sure to get a signed permission form so you can attend
yoga classes when you reach the end of your first trimester. See you in class!

If you have questions about yoga or any of these guidelines please contact a certified prenatal yoga teacher.
Mamaste Yoga™ salutes the mother in all of us and nurtures the mother who nurtures the child.

The exercises and instruction presented here are by no means a replacement for regular attendance in a yoga class. Always consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program.

©2003 Karen Prior,


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