The female body undergoes dramatic changes during pregnancy, and though some women may find it difficult to keep moving, experts say regular exercise such as yoga can actually make pregnancy healthier and more enjoyable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that healthy women get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. This recommendation also applies to pregnant women. In addition to aerobic exercise, the stretching and strength training involved in yoga can ease the aches, pains, and stresses associated with pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
If you’re expecting and interested in yoga, there are truly countless options when it comes to yoga videos online. However, those specifically designed for pregnant women are typically the safest route to go.
As with any new workout routine, consult with your doctor before beginning.
‘Prenatal Yoga with Lesley Fightmaster’
This quick 18-minute yoga session will leave you limber and soothed. This video isn’t filled with sun salutations or heart-pumping poses. Instead, it’s easy going and relaxing. You’ll use pillows for support, so have them ready ahead of time, and instructor Lesley Fightmaster recommends a yoga strap, though it’s not mandatory, or a belt or towel can work just as well.
‘Intermediate Prenatal Yoga (First Trimester)’
Tamara Buschel from The Workout Mama leads this 35-minute session for intermediate level yogi mamas. It’s specifically for women in the first trimester, and is definitely a challenging workout no matter what your pregnancy status. Intermediate yogis will like this, as there is no slowing down for directions, just a constant flow from pose to pose.
‘Prenatal Yoga 101’
SarahBethYoga was 8 months pregnant when she made this video for pregnant women. She uses this video to explain the benefits of yoga during pregnancy, including: improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, and fewer aches and pains. She also includes a list of do’s and don'ts, so moms new to yoga can feel comfortable before beginning a new practice.
‘First Trimester Gentle Flow’
Though it’s only meant to be a preview of her full-length prenatal yoga routine, this 21-minute video is more than enough to get you started. Briohny Smyth produces numerous yoga routines, but this one is unique as it provides valuable feedback and gentle poses for moms-to-be.
‘Prenatal Yoga Flow’
Paula Lay is an Australian yoga instructor who brings us this jewel that focuses on leg strength in moms-to-be. She says it’s appropriate for all trimesters, though some may find the gentle workout increasingly difficult throughout their pregnancy. Your best bet is to have props like pillows available to make you comfortable during various poses.
‘20-Minute Energizing Prenatal Yoga Workout’
Jessica from Sonima leads this prenatal yoga routine. In the opening minutes, she explains that all pregnancies and all expecting mothers are different, so this may or may not be the right routine for you. If it is, work through this gentle, relaxing flow for a boost of energy.
‘Mind, Body, Baby’
Being a busy mom starts when you’re pregnant, preparing for baby’s arrival. Take some time out for yourself today and give this quick video a try. Heidi Murkoff hosts this video from BeFIT, a relaxing 10-minute breath and movement routine that will soothe your stresses and help relieve the aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
‘Hip Opening Poses’
From the Prenatal Yoga Center and its founder Deb Flashenberg, this yoga video pays special attention to the hips. Why? Because while the body goes through many changes while pregnant, the hips experience some of the greatest stress. If you experience hip pain or stiffness while pregnant, this 15-minute video may be able to help.
‘Follow Along Vinyasa’
Sarah Fit made this video while in her third trimester. She invited her friend Erica Bornstein to lead the session. It involves stretching and strengthening, but Erica is careful to modify the normal poses for pregnant mamas. This is a great video for pregnant moms that were physically active before pregnancy and want to stay that way.
‘Gentle Prenatal Yoga Flow’
Lindsey Wise has been doing and instructing prenatal yoga since her first pregnancy, over a decade ago. Pregnant once again, she felt inspired to share this gentle, relaxing class with the masses. It can be hard to carve out 45 minutes, but this class is definitely worth the effort.
‘Easy To Do Poses’
This video from Glamrs.com is hosted by Lamya Arsiwala, co-owner of The Yoga House. It’s designed specifically for pregnant moms who want to make the physical changes of pregnancy more comfortable. The video is under three minutes long, but equips you with the tools needed to relax at any time of day.
‘5 Minute Pregnancy Yoga Workout; The Third Trimester’
During the third trimester, it’s common for women to feel off balance. That’s just one great thing about this short prenatal yoga video — it’s great for balance. Hosted by the Fit Mums Channel out of New Zealand, the video is less than 5 minutes long, but is jam-packed with poses that will keep you limber and grounded.