Although yoga is a great form of exercise for pregnancy, there are a few precautions you must remember. The first thing to remember is that above all else, if anything hurts — stop. This is a basic rule of exercise during pregnancy. You may tend to forget about yoga as a form of exercise, but these basics still hold true.
Pregnancy is an acceptable time to start yoga, even if you have never done it before. Some instructors advise that you wait until you are in the second trimester to begin yoga if you have never done it before. However, in absence of any medical indications not to exercise, yoga is perfectly acceptable in the first trimester. Always let your instructor know you are expecting.
Remember that your body is full of hormones, including relaxin. This will cause you to be more susceptible to injury, including overstretching. Listen to your body. It will provide you with signals that you are going too far. Use towels and bands to help you reach your feet in certain poses.
When bending, remember to bend at the back, not at your hips. This will be more comfortable on your body. Keeping your upper back as straight as possible will also help decrease discomfort and breathing difficulties. In a seated position, use the towel around your feet to help remain upright.
Remember to give your baby room as you are doing poses. If you need to modify a pose to fit your expanding abdomen, simply try spreading your legs a bit wider, although you do need to focus on balance as well.
Many poses in yoga will require balance. This is something you don't have a lot of while pregnant. Try to do these poses near the wall or a chair to help you maintain your balance, particularly after the fourth month. If this is not possible, skip these poses and save them for postpartum use.
Poses that require you to lie on your back or stomach should be avoided after about four months of pregnancy. If you find they are uncomfortable sooner, discontinue them at that point. Don't wait until a certain arbitrary time. Always use good judgment while doing any form of exercise. Remember, listen to your body.