Pregnancy yoga in the first trimester – is it safe?

Are you newly pregnant and wondering if yoga in the first trimester is safe for you and your baby? This is what you need to know.

Many yoga studios (even those that specialise in pregnancy yoga) will ask that you wait until the second trimester to start coming to classes. Don’t let this put you off starting a yoga practice in your 1st trimester though. If you are feeling well and there is no medical reason you should avoid yoga, you’ll find prenatal yoga offers you many benefits during your pregnancy.

yoga in the first trimester

What you need to know to make yoga in the first trimester safe

The first trimester isn’t the time to challenge your body

Yoga in the first trimester should be gentle and loving for your body. Because all of us start pregnancy at different levels of fitness, “gentle” will look different for every woman.

If you’ve been a marathon runner prior to falling pregnant, then perhaps taking a yoga class instead of going for your regular 10km run IS being gentle and loving. If you’ve doing very little exercise prior to falling pregnant though, a yoga class (and particular stronger forms like power flow or vinyasa) may be too challenging for you.

Listen to your body

While your body might not look different in the first trimester, it will probably feel very different. Bloating, sore boobs, bone-deep exhaustion, belly cramps and heightened emotions are just some of the charming pregnancy symptoms you might be feeling in the first trimester.

Yoga teaches us to listen to our body and what it needs. This becomes even more important during pregnancy. Whether you’re attending yoga classes at a studio or following along with an online class, make sure you rest whenever you need and don’t push yourself in any way that doesn’t feel comfortable for you.

Follow the basic pregnancy yoga guidelines

At this early stage you won’t have to modify your yoga practise too much, but it is a good idea to start becoming familiar with how to practise yoga safely throughout pregnancy.

Generally though, when you practise yoga in the first trimester you should:

  • avoid getting too hot (sip water and rest when you need)
  • stop compressing your belly (your baby is well protected in your womb, but compression will likely feel uncomfortable)
  • don’t push yourself too hard (your body is releasing the hormone relaxin which makes overstretching injuries more likely)

Can yoga in the first trimester cause a miscarriage?

It is HIGHLY unlikely that yoga would cause a miscarriage, unless you fell on your belly. Even then, babies (especially tiny first-trimester-sized-babies) are well insulated and protected in the womb.

Most of the rules around practising yoga in the first trimester are about keeping your body safe and avoiding injury or fatigue. Your body is already doing a massive thing growing a human from scratch. This is reason enough to avoid overly strenuous practices and be gentle with yourself.

What should yoga in the first trimester look like?

Many people think that yoga is just moving their bodies on a mat. But there is so much more to yoga. A yoga practice can also look like meditation, pranayama (breathwork) or following the teachings of yoga in your daily life.

While I know that when it comes to practising yoga in the first trimester you’re probably looking for guidance around how to safely move your body. I also want to remind you that if you’re not feeling up for a physical practice there are many other things yoga can still offer you. Just sayin’


Sitali Pranayama or cooling breath is a great practice to support you during the first trimester. It helps to cool the body and can be helpful in easing nausea. Practise sitali breath with me here.

Restorative and supported poses

Gentle yoga poses can help reduce nausea and fatigue which is common in the first trimester. Some of my favourite poses for this stage of pregnancy include Supta Buddha Konasana (reclined butterfly), Savasana (corpse) and Pigeon pose.

Practise along with me in this gentle first trimester yoga class below. You might also like to download my free yoga guide for pregnancy and birth to get you started.


On days where you don’t feel like you have the energy to move your body, meditation can be a great way to still practise yoga. This guided pregnancy meditation below is one I recommend for Mums-to-be who are still getting used to the idea of being pregnant.

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