Rishikul Yogshala Rishikesh

Pregnancy Yoga Poses To Relieve Stress and Feel Better


Staying active during pregnancy has a lot of benefits for the mom and the baby. Unless your doctor advises against it, basic bodyweight exercises, jogging, and other forms of low-intensity exercise are perfectly healthy. 

Yoga, especially, is incredible during pregnancy because it is a fusion of strengthening and stretching. Other than that, it is a physical form of exercise that brings awareness and mindfulness into your body and mind. If you practice yoga daily, you’ll see a change in your body and mind every day. 

According to a 2014 study, pregnant women who practiced yoga for 6 weeks felt stronger, were more optimistic, and had overall better well-being. Another study shows that prenatal yoga can combat depression while pregnant. Yoga makes you more conscious about your mind and your body. 

Enroll yourself to our 200 hour yoga teacher training program and gain all benefits and make your trimester even more enriching!

With that in mind, we have mentioned 12 pregnancy yoga poses that will soothe you and help alleviate some of the aches and pains from a sore lower back to tight hips. Let’s get started with the yoga poses for pregnancy. 

Pregnancy yoga poses for back pain

1. Ankle-to-Knee Pose

In Sanskrit, this pose is called Agnistambhasana.

Along with opening your back, it creates space for your belly, and relieves stress from your glutes and from muscles below your glutes. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Sit on the floor with your knees bent. This is also known as Sukhasana.

Now place your left knee and place it on top of your right foot. This will look like a half-regular cross-legged position. 

Place the right shin under the left shin in a way that the left foot is resting on your right knee and the left knee is resting on your right foot. 

Rest your palms gently on your knees and foot.

If you want a deeper stretch, hinge or lean forward. 

Switch your legs and repeat for the other side. 

2. Seated Side Bend

In Sanskrit, it is called Sukhasana. Well, it is a variation of Sukhasana. 

A gentle side bend of any kind will relieve stress from a cranky back. You can either go for an open-legged side bend to a cross-legged one. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Sit comfortably on the floor in an upright seated position. Keep your legs crossed or folded in a half-lotus pose. 

Let your right hand rest on the floor

Lift your left arm up and then gently bend toward your right. Keep your chest forward and look toward your left hand. 

If you need more support while bending, lower your right forearm on the ground.

Switch sides and repeat.

3. Standing Forward Bend

In Sanskrit, it is called Uttanasana. 

It is one of the most effective pregnancy yoga poses to relieve lower back tension. Just by simply bending forward with your feet a bit wider than normal, you will feel relaxed. It would be even better if you can sway from left to right with loose knees as it opens up the back.

The Right Way to Do it:

Stand by keeping your feet wider than your hips

Keep the knees slightly bent and your hips leveled 

Lean forward at the waist 

Drop your head toward the mat and keep the knees loose

Hold your right elbow with the left hand and vice versa

Elongate your spine. Even if you can’t reach the floor, don’t worry about it. 

Add a gentle sway to open up your back

Pregnancy Yoga Poses for Tight Hips

4. Yoga Squat Variation with a Block

In Sanskrit, it is called Malasana. 

As you move from one trimester to another, your body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone may make you feel more flexible. However, don’t push yourself beyond your flexibility range. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Sit on the floor with both legs straight and extended in front of you. 

Bend your knees and pull your feet close to your buttocks, one at a time.

Place them a bit wider than your hips.

Put your weight on your feet and gently lift off and come into a wide squat position. 

Keep your back straight and fold your hands together similar to a prayer. 

Place your elbows into your inner thighs and press gently opening your hips.

Note: Use a block for support if necessary. 

5. Pigeon Pose

In Sanskrit, it is called Eka Pada Kapotasana.

This is one of the most effective yoga poses for pregnancy because it receives lower-back tension and hips up the hips. Also, it is super relaxing. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Get down on your hands and knees.

Keep your hips over your knees and shoulders over your wrists.

Bring your right foot forward and bend the knee so that it is placed near the right wrist and your right foot is pointing toward your left wrist.

Extend the left leg on the floor behind you and keep it relaxed, straight, and internally rotated. 

Come on your forearms if you feel comfortable. Join your hands in prayer positions. 

If your belly doesn’t let you bend forward, stay upright. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on your lower back.

Switch sides and repeat. 

6. Low Lunge Twist Pose

Also known as Parivrtta Sanchalanasana in Sanskrit.

There’s a misconception that pregnant women shouldn’t do twists. In reality, pregnant women should only skip moves that compress their knees against their bodies. 

Closed twists change the blood flow in your internal organs by starting a compression effect. When you unwind, fresh blood flows to your internal organs. All you need to stick to is easy twists. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Get down on your hands and knees.

Put your left foot on the ground in a way your knee is over your left ankle. 

By placing your palms firmly on the ground, extend and flex your right foot behind you. 

This will put you in a low lunge position with your right leg straight.

Lift your left palm and shift your weight to the right hand. 

Extend the left pam toward the ceiling and gaze toward your hand.

Switch sides and repeat.

Pregnancy Yoga Poses for Relieving Belly Weight

7. Wide-Knee Child’s Pose

In Sanskrit, it is called Balasana.

Daily yoga practitioners know the restorative power of this pose. When you go from the second trimester to the third trimester, your belly gets heavy and poses that take the pressure off feeling amazing. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Kneel down on the ground with your buttocks on your heels. All the toes and the tops of your feet should be against the floor and the big toes should be touching each other. 

Keep your knees wider than your hips.

Bring your chest down gently to the mat. Bring your body between the knees. 

Outstretch your arms in front of you. Touch your forehead to the mat.

It alleviates pain in the lower back as well.

8. Cat-Cow Pose

In Sanskrit, it is called Marjaryasana-Bitilasana. 

This is one of the yoga poses for pregnancy that relieves the pressure from the belly, but doesn’t push it too far. Move easily and focus on your breath. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Get down on your hands and knees.

Inhale and try to look at the ceiling. Bend your back as naturally as you can.

Exhale and round your spine and curl inward. Try to look at your navel.

Hold both poses for a few seconds. 

Repeat it a few times.

9. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

In Sanskrit, it is called Upavistha Konasana. 

This pose relieves tension from your lower back and gives you a break from the belly weight.

The Right Way to Do it:

Sit down on your yoga mat with your legs straight in front of you. 

Stretch your feet out wide in a straddle position. Make it as comfortable as possible and don’t push too far. 

Keep your back straight and lean forward toward the mat.

Put your arms in front of you and fold your palms in a prayer position

Stay there for a few seconds

In this asana, you will feel a stretch in your hips and lower back. 

Pregnancy Yoga Pose for Tight Shoulders

10. Dolphin Pose

In Sanskrit, it is called Ardha Pincha Mayurasana.

If you are used to the downward-facing dog, you know that this pose will open up your shoulders and upper back even more. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Get down on your hands and knees.

Tuck your toes and lift your hips up. 

Straighten your legs and come into a downward-facing dog pose. At this point, your arms and legs are going to be straight. 

Lower your forearms slowly and adjust your stance. Keep your neck neutral and hips up

If you don’t feel comfortable doing this pose, do it against a wall. Place your forearms against a wall and walk backward until you can drop your head. 

Pregnancy Yoga poses for All-over Relief

11. Supported Fish Pose

In Sanskrit, it is called Salamba Matsyasana.

Supported small backbends during pregnancy are fine, but you shouldn’t do major backbends. This pose also opens up the hips because you have to keep your legs bent. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Get two yoga blocks

Sit comfortably on your yoga mat. Place one yoga block behind you at its lowest height so that it can support your middle back. 

Place another block even further away from the first block so that it can support your upper neck and head. 

Put your legs in a butterfly position. Make sure your knees are falling out to the sides comfortably. 

Lower yourself back gently and allow your middle back, upper neck, and head to rest on the blocks. 

Adjust the block height as per your comfort level. Once you are comfortable, rest your arms naturally at your sides. 

12. Legs-up-the-Wall Pose

In Sanskrit, it is called Viparita Karani.

There comes a time during your pregnancy when lying down on your back is uncomfortable. At that point, use your pillows in such a way that you are on an angle rather than being straight back. Even if you are not a yoga practitioner, keep your feet elevated. 

The Right Way to Do it:

Sit comfortably near a wall.

Lie down with your face up and legs raised. 

Move forward gently until your heels and calves are touching the wall. 

Place both hands on your belly or one over your belly and one on your heart. 

Final Thoughts 

Yoga is a great way to relieve tension from your lower back, hips, upper back, mid-back, shoulders, knees, and more. Especially for pregnant women, it can work wonders in alleviating some of the stress and tension of a heavy belly. However, all yoga poses must be performed with caution or after consulting your physician. 

Pregnancy Yoga Poses FAQs

1) What yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy?

  • Intense twists, backbends, and forward bends
  • Poses that force you to contract or engage your core
  • Poses that put immense pressure on your belly
  • Inversions
  • 2) Which yoga poses are safe during pregnancy?

    Here are some of the poses that are safe during pregnancy:
  • Supported Fish Pose
  • Legs-up-the-Wall Pose
  • Ankle-to-Knee Pose
  • Dolphin Pose
  • Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
  • Cat-Cow Pose
  • Wide-Knee Child’s Pose
  • Low Lunge Twist Pose
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Yoga Squat Variation with a Block
  • Standing Forward Bend
  • Seated Side Bend
  • 3)Which month is best for yoga during pregnancy?

    If you’ve never done yoga before, the best time for it is the second trimester. You should not do them during the first trimester if you are not used to them. Also, learn about yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy.

    4) Is Downward Dog ok when pregnant?

    Yes, a downward dog is ok when you are pregnant. It reduces stress, pain, and even anxiety. It can open up your shoulders, which is where we usually carry tension.