Yoga For First-Trimester Pregnancy: 7 Best Asanas To Try

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Mercier, ND, PhD
Written by Shirin Mehdi

Signing up for yoga is a great way to begin your pregnancy journey. But, are there certain asanas of yoga for the first trimester of pregnancy? And why is it important to practice yoga during this time?

During the first three months of the gestation period, your body builds mechanisms rapidly to nurture a new life inside you. This process makes you feel ill or fatigued.

Yoga helps you rejuvenate your body by stretching it in different ways. It also lets you get to know the life inside your body.

In this article, we discuss how you should and should not practice yoga during the first trimester of pregnancy. Read on!

What Happens During The First Trimester?

Your body transforms extensively during the first trimester building the organs and tissues of your baby. The 12 weeks of the first trimester is phenomenal needing you to rest, contemplate, connect and feel joyful. Be focused and relaxed during this period.

The first trimester is also the most taxing. Although you cannot notice anything externally, the body is rapidly assembling a system inside to accommodate a new life.

Hormone production, blood volume increase, and blood pressure drop occur along with muscle tissues becoming supple and joints loosening to help the uterus stretch as the baby grows.

The first trimester of pregnancy is also a period when miscarriage is likely to occur. There is no proof that prenatal yoga is harmful during the period, but before you start any regime, it is best to consult your doctor and practice prenatal yoga under the supervision of a certified yoga teacher.

Many healthcare professionals recommend prenatal yoga and recent research shows that pregnant women can now try more intense yoga than before with of course the necessary modifications for your safety and comfort.

Let’s find out the yoga asanas that work best for your first-trimester pregnancy, shall we?

Best Poses In Yoga For First Trimester Pregnancy

  1. Bhujangasana
  2. Baddha Konasana
  3. Bitilasana
  4. Marjariasana
  5. Viparita Karani
  6. Tadasana
  7. Virabhadrasana II

1. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

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About The Pose- Bhujangasana or the Cobra asana is a yoga pose that resembles the raised hood of a cobra. It is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and hold it as long as you feel comfortable in it but not more than 30 seconds. Remember not to stretch much in the pose and keep it light.

Benefits For First Trimester Pregnancy- Bhujangasana decreases the stiffness in your lower back. It increases the flexibility of your body and also elevates your mood.

2. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)

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About The Pose- Baddha Konasana or the Butterfly Pose looks like a butterfly flapping its wings or a cobbler sitting down at work. Baddha Konasana is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it on an empty stomach and hold the pose as long as comfortable but not more than 5 minutes.

Benefits For First Trimester Pregnancy- Baddha Konasana stimulates your heart and improves blood circulation in your body. The pose relieves fatigue and anxiety.

To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here – Baddha Konasana.

3. Bitilasana (Cow Pose)

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About The Pose- Bitilasana or the Cow Pose is an asana that resembles the stance of a cow. The Sanskrit word ‘bitila’ means cow. It is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it on an empty stomach and hold as long as comfortable but not more than 15 seconds.

Benefits For First Trimester Pregnancy- Bitilasana improves your balance and posture. It calms your mind and removes stress. The pose stretches your spine and neck.

 To know more about the pose and its procedure, click here – Bitilasana.

4. Marjariasana (Cat Pose)

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About The Pose- Marjariasana or the Cat Pose is an asana that looks like a cat which is stretching its back. It is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Practice the asana on an empty stomach and hold it as long as you feel comfortable but not more than 15 seconds.

 Benefits For First Trimester Pregnancy- Marjariasana improves your digestion. It relaxes your mind, improves blood circulation and also purifies it. The pose works best for stress relief.

5. Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall Pose)

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About The Pose- Viparita Karani or the Legs Up The Wall Pose is a mild inversion which is relaxing and restorative. The asana is a beginner level Hatha yoga asana. Practice it on an empty stomach and hold the pose for as long as you can but not more than 15 minutes.

Benefits For First Trimester Pregnancy- Viparita Karani is great to treat tired feet and legs. It treats a headache and relieves symptoms of insomnia. The pose quietens your mind and calms the nerves.

6. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

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About The Pose- Tadasana or the Mountain Pose is an asana that is the mother of all standing yoga poses. It is a beginner-level Hatha yoga asana. You can practice this asana any time of the day and not necessarily on an empty stomach. Hold it as long as you can but not more than 20 seconds.

Benefits For First Trimester Pregnancy- Tadasana steadies your breathing. It relieves pains and aches throughout your body. The pose rejuvenates and refreshes you. It keeps you enthusiastic and energetic.

7. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose)

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About The Pose- Virabhadrasana II or the Warrior II Pose is an asana that is named after a mythical warrior called Virabhadra. It is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Practice it on an empty stomach and hold it as long as you feel comfortable but not more than 30 seconds.

Benefits For First Trimester Pregnancy- The pose strengthens your shoulders and lungs. It increases your stamina and is therapeutic for osteoporosis. The pose also stretches your hips and groins.

Some guidelines to keep in mind during practice.

 Guidelines During Yoga Practice In First Trimester Pregnancy

  • Avoid practicing in excessive heat or hot yoga. Choose a cool and breezy place for practice
  • Rest whenever you feel like. You do not need to push yourself like normal times
  • Do not over stretch or extend beyond the natural range of motion
  • Above all, listen carefully to your body and do accordingly

 Now, let’s answer some common queries on prenatal yoga during the first trimester.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it recommended to exercise in the first trimester?

It differs from person to person, and you must consult your doctor to know this. A few women are advised bed rest for the first few months of their pregnancy.

Are abdominal exercises recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy?

No, do not exert much on the abdomen area during the first trimester of pregnancy as it tends to become sensitive during this period.

The first three months of pregnancy can be very tiring due to the fast biological processes in the body. Practicing yoga during the first trimester of pregnancy often helps ease the discomfort. The asanas listed in this article help reduce stiffness in the back, increase flexibility, improve blood circulation, tackle fatigue, stress, and anxiety, stretch the neck and spine, and aid digestion. However, do not begin any prenatal yoga sessions without consulting a doctor. Once you get the nod, practice these asanas under the supervision of a yoga expert, as some poses require modification for pregnant women.

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Dr. Jennifer Mercier

(ND, PhD)
Jennifer Mercier has been in the practice of women's health since 1999. Her practice started with Massage Therapy and Midwifery... more

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