The duration of a pregnancy is usually divided into three trimesters, each consisting of three months, and a fourth, postnatal trimester. However, for the purposes of yoga practice, we divided the pregnancy weeks into four stages, which correspond more closely to changes and adjustments experienced by most women.
Early Pregnancy (1 to 16 weeks)
Less is best in these first weeks as you adapt to hormonal changes and your baby undergoes the most rapid and crucial early formation of the nervous system. Rather than sticking to your usual fitness routine, step back and discover the power of deep breathing as you kneel, sit or lie down. When you feel overcome by fatigue, use yoga to rest deeply and surrender to change with a positive attitude. Developing breath awareness in this relaxed state will enable you to use breathing as a powerful tool to banish anxiety during this intense and delicate period of transformation for both you and your baby.
Mid-Pregnancy (16 to 34 Weeks)
Once the placenta becomes fully functional, hormone levels balance out and your pregnancy is well established.
This is the time to focus on building strength and stamina,aligning your spine at all times and making space for two to “breathe as your baby grows up towards your rib cage Most of all, this is the time to enjoy your pregnancy Yoga will give you energy strength and agility, expand your breathing capacity and help you to find the right balance between activity and rest.As you sense the first, fluttering movements of your baby, yoga can become a focus for you to develop a receptiveness and connection with this miraculous feat of life inside you.
Late Pregnancy (34 to 40+ Weeks)
In these last weeks you experience a greater heaviness and a need to focus on the birth. As priorities change, so the aim of yoga now is to keep you comfortable and prepare you physically, mentally and spiritually for labour.
Energetic movements alternate with supported stretches and longer periods of deep breathing and relaxation.
As you continue to tone your pelvic floor muscles, you train yourself to be open and without fear Meanwhile, your baby should respond well to your deep breathing and rotating hip movements as you encourage his or her optimal positioning for birth.
Postnatal (Birth to 16 weeks)
However you feel after your baby’s birth, regaining good posture will be your priority. Your abdominal muscles, which have been very stretched in late pregnancy and may have been cut for the birth, must heal and be strengthened: deep breathing in supported poses is your best ally in toning the muscles of your lower back and abdomen. A safe progression of gentle, adapted poses helps to avoid the strain of too much exercise too soon, which can be counterproductive, while relaxation techniques through the day help you to make up for lost sleep and calmly adjust to life with your new baby.