Yoga During Pregnancy: 10 Reasons to try!

This post was created in collaboration with Karen Lawrence from The Calm Space yoga. Karen Lawrence is a specialist pregnancy and postnatal yoga teacher based in Billericay, Essex. She’s also a former midwife and mum to seven children. I attended Karen’s yoga classes when I was pregnant with my third baby and loved it as it is more than just yoga class. This is a safe space to chat with other mums about pregnancy & kids, meditate and do yoga! Let’s learn more about yoga in pregnancy and it’s benefits from an expert.

Author: Karen Lawrence (The Calm Space yoga)

Learn more about services Karen provides here.

Yoga is a wonderful way to stay physically and mentally well at any time, but it’s especially helpful in pregnancy.  A number of research studies have demonstrated the benefits of yoga in pregnancy, including a recent systematic review which concluded that prenatal yoga has positive effects on anxiety, depression, perceived stress, mode of birth and duration of labour.[i]

As a pregnancy yoga teacher and former midwife, I am not surprised by these findings.  My students regularly tell me their yoga classes help them enjoy pregnancy and prepare for a calm birth experience.  So what’s so magical about yoga in pregnancy?  Here are ten ways a regular yoga class can promote a happy pregnancy and a confident birth.

  1. Yoga improves posture and mobility in pregnancy

The weight of a growing baby puts strains on the bones, ligaments and muscles.  Many pregnant women suffer aches and pains, especially in the lower back and hips, with sciatica, pelvic pain, and tight shoulders all too common.  A specialist pregnancy yoga instructor will offer specific movements and exercises to help with all these complaints, promoting good posture which reduces discomfort and enhances mobility right up until birth.

2. Yoga promotes calm and relaxation

Yoga classes provide a soothing and relaxing antidote to the many stresses of daily life, helping mums-to-be find crucial calm and release anxieties.  Pregnancy Yoga classes include guided deep relaxation, inviting the pregnant mothers to share a restful time of mental and physical recuperation.  When pregnant mums relax, their babies also benefit from improved nutrition and oxygenation and calming hormones.[ii]

3. Yoga helps with body and baby awareness

Practising yoga is a great way to become more aware of your body and to develop healthy habits of self-care.  A pregnant person who takes time to enjoy yoga is also more likely to eat well and pay attention to the promptings of her intuition.  Slowing down and paying attention to the baby’s activity in utero  – a practice sometimes described as mindfetalness – has been shown to result in improved outcomes, in particular fewer caesarean section births and fewer babies born small for gestational age[iii].

4. People find friendship and community at pregnancy yoga classes

A pregnancy yoga class is a great place to meet like-minded people.  Many of my pregnancy yoga clients have made strong and supportive friendships at class with other local mums-to-be.  Your new mum friends will be a lifeline in those early weeks and months with a new baby.

5. Yoga is a safe and gentle way to exercise in pregnancy

Many health professionals recommend yoga as a very safe form of exercise during pregnancy.  Appropriate yoga poses avoid putting excessive strain on the joints and ligaments, whereas some other forms of exercise might become risky in the later months of pregnancy.  Yoga is both energising and relaxing, helping promote good circulation.  A specialist trained pregnancy yoga instructor will take account of any pregnancy complications and ensure that poses are suitable for each individual client.

6. Yoga is great for strength and flexibility

Yoga practice can enhance a woman’s ability to move well for an active birth.  Squats, sun salutations and warrior poses, as well as other asanas, all help build strength in the lower body to facilitate a wide range of birthing options.  My pregnancy yoga courses include an active birth workshop where clients can learn and practice some of the most helpful positions and movements for labour and birth. 

7. Yoga classes are an opportunity to share information and education 

Many pregnancy yoga classes include discussion and information to help mothers plan for the birth of their choice.  My courses cover a wide range of antenatal education topics, including creating a calm birth environment, coping with strong sensations, and the practical and emotional implications of becoming a new mother.  Clients can learn about pregnancy, birth and new parenthood in a relaxing and friendly environment.

8. Yoga students learn helpful breathing practices

Breath practice or pranayama is an inherent part of yoga.  Pregnancy yoga clients learn breathing techniques especially suitable for relaxation and birthing.  Becoming aware of the breath is invaluable for a calm birth as well as for coping with the day-to-day stresses of life and parenting. 

9. Yoga is an opportunity to slow down and rest

Life can be especially tiring, busy, and stressful during pregnancy. Many pregnant mums are coping with a full-time job, and often older children as well.  Pregnancy can make financial or relationship worries more acute, and many couples move house or build an extension during pregnancy. Yoga classes provide a much-needed opportunity for mums-to-be to slow down and enjoy some much-needed rest, relaxation and me-time.

10. Yoga is fun and promotes self-care

We enjoy lots of fun and laughter at my pregnancy yoga classes.  Spending a relaxing hour in a safe environment with other pregnant mums is a chance to let go and smile.  Yoga isn’t about achievement, but about self-care. It’s wonderful for mums-to-be to appreciate that birth and parenting isn’t a competition either.  Everyone’s individual yoga practice is perfect just for them, and the same is true of birth.

In summary, Yoga in pregnancy offers fantastic all-round exercise and nurture for the body and mind.  If you’re expecting a baby, why not look for a pregnancy yoga class near you?

Be sure to check Karen’s website to see what I wrote about importance of nutrition during breastfeeding. Link here.

Enjoyed reading this post? Have something to share with my audience? Do you want to be a guest writer in my blog too? Contact me to arrange a collaboration for next month.


[i] See  Corrigan, L., Moran, P., McGrath, N. et al. The characteristics and effectiveness of pregnancy yoga interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 22, 250 (2022).

[ii] Fink NS, Urech C, Cavelti M, Alder J. Relaxation during pregnancy: what are the benefits for mother, fetus, and the newborn? A systematic review of the literature. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2012 Oct-Dec;26(4):296-306. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e31823f565b. PMID: 23111717.

[iii] Akselsson, A, Lindgren, H, Georgsson, S, Pettersson, K, Steineck, G, Skokic, V, Rådestad, I. Mindfetalness to increase women’s awareness of fetal movements and pregnancy outcomes: a cluster-randomised controlled trial including 39 865 women. BJOG 2020; 127: 829– 837.

Karen’s Instagram | Anastasia’s Instagram