How to teach prenatal yoga to women across different trimesters

When you first start to teach prenatal yoga it can feel overwhelming. I remember feeling unsure how to modify the class to suit every woman and her individual situation. In the video above I share how pregnancy yoga should change for each trimester and how to manage teaching a yoga class that includes women from each of the three trimesters.

Teach prenatal yoga across 3 trimesters

Yoga in the 1st trimester

Unless they’ve already been practicing yoga regularly, trimester 1 is not really the time to start an asana practice.  Even those who have previously had a strong practice often find themselves naturally not wanting to do much physical practice during this early stage of pregnancy. 

This is the time to take it really easy on the body. After all, it is already doing the HUGE job of creating a human, it doesn’t need any extra challenge or stress. A woman who has been practicing yoga prior to pregnancy can continue her asana practice but might naturally find she wants to slow down in the 1st trimester. This is the time to focus on meditation and visualisation and some very gentle asana.

Yoga in the 2nd trimester

By the 2nd trimester most women find that morning sickness has passed and energy is returning. Trimester two can often allow for a stronger physical practice and can be a good time to build mental and physical stamina before the belly starts to make certain poses more awkward. 

Yoga in the 3rd trimester

Yoga is safe to practice right up until birth, however many women find that they naturally want to slow down their physical practice by the third trimester. They are often more awkward moving in and out of poses, have less energy and rely heavily on props for support. This is the time to focus on restoring the body, preparing mentally and emotionally for birth and practicing relaxing the body on command.

How do you create a class suitable for all 3 trimesters?

When you first start teaching prenatal yoga make life easy for yourself by planning a super gentle class that is physically accessible to women in all trimesters. Once you meet your students you’ll be able to add in certain poses and their variations for the different trimesters.

The more classes you teach the easier this will become. You’ll start to create a big bank of knowledge on pregnancy yoga and you’ll be able to draw on this when you need to modify poses and practices for certain students.

Another way to make planning and teaching pregnancy yoga easier for yourself is to sell your classes in term packs. That way you’ll know in advance who is attending, where they are in their pregnancy and any physical conditions you need to be aware of.

If you’d like to start building that big bank of knowledge on teaching pregnancy yoga, start by downloading my free basics guide here or check out these other articles on my blog.

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