Yoga for mothers-to-be

What could be better during such an important phase of life than a sense of wellbeing and looking forward to the birth with a feeling of inner serenity? Yoga is the ideal prenatal preparation for body and soul.


Yoga relieves the symptoms associated with pregnancy, the body stays supple and fit. Special relaxation and breathing exercises help prevent early tiring and maintain emotional balance. The gentle stretching during the exercises ease the birth process, and we can actually shorten the delivery itself. The yoga teacher Beatrix Görög from Aargau shows Jeannette Eggenschwiler, weather presenter with the Swiss private broadcaster “TeleZüri”, which yoga exercises she can do to help her relax and prepare for the birth of her second child.

Crocodile - Relaxes lower back and shoulders

Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor. Breath in deeply. Breath out, lower your legs sideways to the floor on the left, turn your head to the right. Breath in – bring your legs back up to the middle. Breath out, lower your legs sideways to the floor on the right, turn your head to the left. Breathing and movement flow as one. Breath deeply and slowly. Repeat four more times. Then change sides: breath in deeply, breath out, lower your legs to the left, turn your head to the right and maintain this position for a while.

Yoga for mothers-to-be - Crocodile


Prevention of intervertebral disc herniation, the intervertebral discs remain moist , tension in the shoulder and neck muscles is relieved. The low back muscles relax.



Vishnu Pose - Eases the birth

Yoga for mothers-to-be - Vishnu Pose

Lie on your side with your lower hand supporting your neck. Support yourself on the ground with your upper hand at chest height. Breath in deeply and lift your upper leg. Maintain this position and breath in from your pelvis up to your head, then breath out from your head down to your pelvis. Focus on breathing deeply.


The pelvis is gently stretched to give your baby more room and ease the birth. You strengthen the muscles of your hips and down the sides of your legs. The deep regular breathing calms and relaxes your mind.

The cat - Promotes the circulation


Yoga for mothers-to-be - The cat

Start in the four point kneeling pose. Gently swing your bottom from side to side a few times from your pelvis, then centre yourself. Breath in, lift one leg and maintain this position. Try to concentrate on your kidneys. Breath out, return to the starting position. Breath in, lift the other leg and again concentrate on your kidneys.


This pose strengthens your back muscles, promotes spinal mobility, stimulates the kidneys and ensures better circulation to help you detoxify your body. The pose loosens up the lower back and strengthens your legs.

The hero - Lends strength and stamina

Yoga for mothers-to-be - The hero

Take a large step forwards and breath in at the same time, breath out, bend your front knee, breath in, lift your arms parallel to the floor and pull your arms apart with all your strength. Breath again normally. Breath in, bring your flexed leg back. Breath out, lower your arms. Now repeat the whole cycle with your other leg.


You strengthen the muscles of your legs, back and arms. At the same time you stabilise your body from the inside out and supply it with new energy. After this pose you feel strong and resilient.

Squat/Malasana - Prevents the need for an episiotomy

Stand with your feet as wide apart as your hips, turn your feet outwards. Breath in deeply. As your breath out lower yourself into a squat. Press your knees apart with your elbows. Keep your heels on the floor and your back straight. Breath regularly and lightly in this pose.


Yoga for mothers-to-be - Squat/Malasana


This pose keeps your hip joints and pelvis supple. At the same time it relaxes the pelvic floor and promotes the circulation to the pelvic cavity. Since it also stretches your perineal tissues evenly you can avoid an episiotomy. At the end of the pregnancy the squat will help your baby push its head to the edge of your pelvis.



The leaf - Helps find inner serenity

Start by sitting on your heels, spread your knees wide apart to give your tummy plenty of room. Now imagine that your pelvis is anchored to the floor. Rest your fists on the floor in front of you. Breath in deeply and lower your upper body towards the ground until your forehead is resting on your fists. Relax your back, starting at your bottom, all the way up your spine to your neck and take your mind off the world around you.


Yoga for mothers-to-be - The leaf

In this pose you can effectively relieve your spine and relax your back muscles. The muscles down your back are gently stretched. This position helps you find inner serenity. Taking your mind off the world around you calms your nervous system.

Prasarita Padottanasana - Relieves back and spine

Stand with your feet as wide apart as possible and your back straight. Breath in deeply, place your hands on your bottom. As you breath out, tilt your pelvis forwards at the hips and support yourself with your hands on the floor. Breath regularly and deeply.


Yoga for mothers-to-be - Prasarita Padottanasana

This relieves your back enormously, your spine no longer has to carry the whole weight of your baby. At the same time, the muscles of your legs and pelvis are strengthened, stretched and relaxed.





You should relax for about 15 minutes after the exercises. Lie on your back or, if you find that uncomfortable, on your side, bend your upper leg (perhaps with a pillow under your knee) and your upper arm hanging freely behind your back. Now focus on your breathing. Every time you breath out your muscles become more relaxed, every time you breath out let your body go more and more. Every time you breath out you feel your body growing heavier. Next time you breath out let the floor take the weight of your whole body. Can you feel how the floor is supporting you? Now just enjoy this feeling!










Text: Beatrix Görög
Photos: Gerry Ebner
For "Gesundheit Sprechstunde", March 2006


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