Yoga Poses for Pregnancy

Yoga Poses for that Exhilarating, Exhausting, Incredible Time Called Pregnancy!

So, you’re growing a human…..congratulations!

Depending on how far along you are, you may be feeling anything from nauseous, to exhausted, to exhilarated, to just ready to be done. But hang in there, you’re in good company!

As a mom of three, I vividly remember the early days of pregnancy – the afternoons where I never thought I would feel human again, trying desperately to identify even one food item that I could tolerate swallowing. But I also remember the second trimester joy of feeling my baby kick and watching the incredible gymnastics ripple through my belly. And I’ll never forget the home stretch, those last few days of being enormously, hugely pregnant, waiting for even a hint of labor action to start, and wondering if I might just be the first pregnant woman in history to stay pregnant forever.

Good news – all three of my babies came out and my pregnancies are but a happy memory (it’s magic how that works – call it post-birth amnesia).

There are many ways to mark and celebrate this brief, magical, exhilarating, exhausting, difficult, beautiful time of your life.

Few are as sweet as prenatal yoga.

Prenatal yoga offers the perfect blend: it provides you time for much-needed self-care and connection with your baby, gives you tools to alleviate so many of the common pregnancy related aches and pains, and best of all, it’s a built-in community of other expectant moms for support, commiserating, and post-birth friendships.

I can’t tell you how many former prenatal students I run into who excitedly tell me that they met their best mom friend in prenatal yoga, and now their babies are big kids who are going to kindergarten together. Don’t underestimate the beauty of going through something as intense and amazing as pregnancy with like-minded women week after week – the common experience you begin together in prenatal yoga can lead to a bond for life!

I’ve shared a few of my favorite prenatal poses below.

Please note – while prenatal yoga is generally very safe, be sure to get your doctor or midwife’s approval before trying these poses or beginning any yoga or exercise program. And while these poses will feel great to practice most anywhere, you’re best off going to an official prenatal yoga class with a qualified teacher, not only to hear her wonderful tips, prop suggestions, and modifications, but also for the uplifting sense of community you’ll experience with other pregnant women.

Before you begin the pose sequence:

  • Remember – nothing should hurt! If anything feels even slightly uncomfortable, take a step back and/or come completely out of the pose.
  • Focus on stability, strength, and gently mobilizing. The goal during pregnancy is NOT to go for increased flexibility, as this can lead to over-stretching and injury.
  • Begin with the breath, and let it guide you throughout. Find a comfortable position you can maintain with a long spine, and begin with slow, deep breathing to focus on your body, breath, and baby. The calming connection you develop with your breath during pregnancy will serve you well in labor, and as a new mom!



Balancing Table – may also be practiced with extended arm and/or leg resting on floor for additional support


Cow and Cat Pose


Chair Variation – at the wall with Goal Post arms – option to place block between thighs


Dancer Variation –  at the wall – standing balance with quad release


Wide Angle Forward Fold with Down Dog Upper Body – my all-time favorite standing pose during m my pregnancies


Gate Pose Variation – breathe into the side body to enjoy this lateral bend even more


Supported Lizard Variation – emphasize stability over going too deeply into the lunge – a little goes a long way!


Bound Angle with Upper Back Bend – legs may also be supported with blocks


Side-Lying Savasana – the most important pose to practice consistently throughout your pregnancy (and beyond)!

Kerry Maiorca is the founder of Bloom Yoga Studio, a successful independent community offering health and well-being in Chicago for 15 years and counting. She is also the chair of the board for Yoga Alliance. Learn more about Kerry’s teaching, writing, and recent webinar and podcast appearances at

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