5 Yoga Poses for Pregnancy Straight from a Pregnant Yoga Pro!

We loved Kristin McGee’s tips for a healthy and energetic pregnancy. So when she shared her favorite yoga poses for pregnancy, we just knew we had to share them with you. Yoga is great for all people, but you may especially appreciate the practice during pregnancy when you don’t feel like hitting the pavement. It’s an easy way to stay active, focus on yourself, and prepare for labor and delivery.

The best thing about yoga is that it can benefit moms throughout the entire pregnancy. Yoga postures open up the hips and pelvis and help prepare the body for labor. They can also help with pain relief and swelling, sleep and relaxation, as well as energy, stamina and strength. According to Kristin, the benefits really are numerous:

  • Pelvic floor strength
  • Overall body strength
  • Flexibility
  • Mindfulness (Moms can better listen to their bodies to know what feels right)
  • Stamina
  • Stability
  • Balance
  • Relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Breath work

Poses that are contraindicated during pregnancy are deep twists that cross the midline, lying on your belly after the first trimester (or as soon as it feels uncomfortable) and lying on your back for an extended period of time. And of course, if any move doesn’t feel right at any time, always to move on to what does feel good. Kristin has been practicing yoga throughout her pregnancy, and she’s got just a few days to go until her due date. She hopes the prep pays off in an easy delivery, and we hope so, too!

Kristin McGee’s Favorite Yoga Poses for Pregnancy (With Modifications!)

Side plank

Side plank

Yoga Move 1: Side plank. This pose is great for maintaining strength in the core region and for stretching the sides and waist. It’s also a great way to train each side to maintain balance and evenness in strength in the arms and oblique muscles.

To do: Start in a plank position, place your right hand in the middle of your mat and bring your weight to the hand and outer right foot. Stack your left leg on top and extend your left arm to the ceiling. Imagine a big beach ball under your right side. Hold and breathe 5 to 8 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

If that’s too challenging, drop your right knee to the floor for a modified side plank, as seen below.


Modified side plank



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  1. For the better part of 25 years, I have worked extensively with pregnant and postpartum women in my profession as a Birth Doula (retired midwife) and as a Pelvic Floor Specialist in the Women’s Health and Wellness world. I love so much of what Yoga offers my clients; it is gentle enough – yet tough enough for all levels of fitness and wellness. While I agree completely that many of the poses in Yoga are perfect for toning and strengthening the pregnant woman’s body, 2 of your 5 poses are actually contraindicated for most pregnant women. Knowing that 98%% of pregnant women will have a Diastasis Recti (DR) by term and that half-if-not-more will have an inadequate pelvic floor, poses such as Boat and Camel may indeed cause more harm than good. Boat pose imposes an increased intra-abdominal pressure which presses on and may increase the muscle separation of the recti and places pressure on a weakened pelvic floor. Camel pose stretches an already very stretched and thinned out Linea Alba (this is a normal response to the hormone Relaxin, which allow cartilaginous structures to accommodate the growing uterus and soften the joints of the pelvis). A yoga teacher or personal trainer worth their salt should be able to offer options that strengthen the core and stretch the hip flexors without incurring more harm than good. I can think of a few just off of the top of my head. Let’s keep our mommas safe and rather educate them in the ways of correct movement patterns that help to prevent DR, Pelvic Girdle Pain and Pelvic Floor Disorders.

  2. Sarah says:

    If you are interested in prenatal yoga http://www.myyogaworks.com offers great prenatal yoga classes. We are offering a 14 day free trial as well! We have an entire Journey series dedicated to pre-natal yoga. Check out this class for a preview of what our online classes are like. https://www.myyogaworks.com/video?embed=J2dGYzODrFHmGS5rtHCqdt-pNa8eV4_y&journey=journey-to-birth