There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some things to consider:
1. Choose yoga practices that make you feel restored and renewed afterwards, rather than tired and depleted. Your body is working 24 hours a day on one of the most physically challenging projects it will ever do – making your baby!
2. Stick to yoga and exercise that is specifically designed for pregnancy OR that you are very familiar with before becoming pregnant.
3. Be especially cautious during the first trimester – it’s a busy and delicate time – by the end of week 12 all of your baby’s organs, limbs, bones and muscles are in place and growing!
4. Prioritise stability over stretching. It is easy to over-stretch during pregnancy due to the presence of the hormone relaxin, which softens our ligaments.
5. Yoga postures to avoid include deep closed twists, large back bends and anything lying on your front (e.g. cobra or bow pose).
6. There is no evidence to suggest that inverted postures such as headstand or handstand are beneficial for you or your baby during pregnancy.
7. There is no evidence to suggest that inverted postures such as headstand or handstand are NOT beneficial for you or your baby during pregnancy.
[see what I did there – we literally don’t know about inversions – you have to listen to your inner wisdom]
8. Keep pranayama (breathing) practices flowing and easy. Avoid anything that involves holding the breath or pumping breaths.
9. Make plenty of time for deep, conscious relaxation and connecting with your baby.
10. Spend time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air.
Pregnancy has its challenges but it is also a time to feel strong, graceful and beautiful. Enjoy your pregnant body and allow it to move, breathe and relax.