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Posting of the Month - Yoga in Pregnancy and Beyond

29 Apr 2023

Photo of Clare in a yoga pose with her baby



Just squeezing in to April, here is our Posting of the Month.

Clare tells us about the benefits of yoga in Pregnancy and during/after the Birth of your baby.


Benefits of Yoga in Pregnancy and Beyond

The monumental changes occurring in our bodies when we become pregnant demand that we are more in touch with and sensitive to our physical and psychological needs and the needs of our unborn child.

Yoga teaches us to be aware of the tensions and resistances we hold within our bodies that can contribute to physical and mental disharmony and disease. Never more so than in pregnancy and childbirth is it so important to allow the process of growth and change to unfold creatively.

Yoga is the perfect exercise for pregnant women, preparing the body and mind for giving birth and for the demands of motherhood. We make space in our bodies and in our lives to be more present, we learn to let go of tension and fear and to trust in our birth giving instincts.

The practice of gently stretching in the yoga poses improves posture by bringing the whole body into alignment, strengthening without tightening the muscles and protecting the joints whose ligaments are more vulnerable under the influence of the pregnancy hormones.

Flexibility and stability are increased and some of the minor ailments of pregnancy can be avoided, such as back ache and symphysis pubis pain. Internal pelvic diameters are maximized, thus encouraging the descent of the baby into the pelvis in the weeks leading up to the onset of labour.

Circulation too, is improved and tissues remain healthy. Pelvic floor muscles are toned, thus reducing the risk of trauma to the mothers perineum during giving birth.


We become aware of the intimate connection between our mind, body and breath and learn to use the breath as a powerful tool for deepening rest and relaxation and in labour, for managing the intensity of the contractions.

In the early weeks after the birth, yoga refreshes and energizes us, helping to combat chronic fatigue, giving us much needed “time out”, so that we can enjoy our baby all the more and reduce the risk of postnatal depression. We can maintain good posture when feeding and carrying our baby.

As a mother, former midwife and yoga teacher, I have been able to experience the benefits of yoga in relation to pregnancy, birth and  beyond from a personal and professional perspective.  

  • While pregnant I felt amazed at the changes occurring in my body, in awe of the life growing within my womb. Yoga gave me confidence in my body’s ability to birth my baby, helping me to face the challenge without fear.

  • As a midwife I never ceased to be fascinated by being with women in labour, observing how, given the right support and the right environment they will move and breathe in a very natural, instinctive way and go within themselves that is truly meditative in its expression.

  • As a yoga teacher I can see the immediate benefits just an hour of practice can bring to my class. They leave feeling more relaxed , embodied and in touch with how they feel, can leave behind tensions and anxieties and are thus refreshed.

Yoga is by no means a magic cure all, but is a way of working with ourselves in order to live skillfully and harmoniously, helping us to retain equanimity in the face of any circumstances.

I can think of no better way of preparing oneself for the journey into parenthood.



Clare Stephen
Iyengar Yoga Teacher

Photo of Teacher Clare Stephen