Breathing, Visualization & Deep Relaxation: Yoga Practices for Pregnancy / Prenatal Students

  • During every phase of pregnancy, students will benefit from gentle breathing practices and opportunities to find deeper and deeper levels of relaxation.
  • Sukhasana (Easy Pose) and Virasana (Hero Pose) on props are good options for seated practices. Placing hands comfortably on belly can help to give focused time for connecting with baby.
  • One common relaxation set-up used in prenatal yoga is to create a reclined back support. Use two blocks. The block at the head is at level two. The block in the middle of the bolster is at the lowest height, creating a reclined backrest. Legs can be in Baddha Konasana shape or stretched out with a bolster under the knees.

Gentle Breathing & Meditation Especially Beneficial in Third Trimester

A gentle pranayama practice (just breathing with awareness) and meditation are especially beneficial [during the third trimester] for preparing both the body and the mind for birth by making sure that you get enough oxygen despite the pressure that the big tummy puts on the ribs and the diaphragm.  – Anastasia Shevchenko

Slowing Down & Being Mindful

The best tip is to SLOW DOWN! You don’t need to be whipping through fancy poses or learning anything advanced while pregnant. Your top priority right now is developing a relationship with yourself and your growing child. The easiest way to do this with your practice is to move mindfully, to really pace yourself and to truly inquire as to how the practice is making you feel… You develop the power to recognize what is right for you and what is not. This is not only helpful on the mat, but a superpower when it comes to navigating the info-saturated world of pregnancy and birth… When you connect to [the truest layers of who you are]… you begin to tap into a power that links you to a long lineage of powerful mothers. You develop more self-trust, can move through fears and anxieties with more ease and heal parts of yourself that need tender mending… Yoga, pregnancy, life — it’s all a journey. – Lacy Haynes

Relaxation Needed for Mother & Baby

When it comes to pregnancy, yoga not only helps to deal with stresses of all kinds, it also enables the mother to move toward equanimity by stabilizing her mind, body, and spirit for motherhood… Making the commitment to take care during the nine months through a gentle asana, meditation and relaxation techniques… not only empowers the mother—it keeps the baby free from the mercy of stressful forces. – Ram Rao