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Yoga tips for the pregnancy

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Yoga tips for the first trimester

First, check with your provider to make sure it's okay for you to start or continue a yoga program. If you get the go-ahead, try to find an instructor trained in prenatal yoga. If that's not possible, make sure your instructor knows you're expecting, says Denise.

You probably won't have many restrictions this early in your pregnancy, but remember to follow rules of safe pregnancy exercise such as drinking lots of water before, during, and after exercising to stay hydrated.

Breathe deeply and regularly as you stretch. If you're already a pro at yoga, recognize and accept that your regular routine will require modifications as time goes on.

"Listen to your body and trust what it tells you," says Denise. If you're feeling pain or discomfort, make an adjustment or ask your instructor to recommend an alternative position.

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Yoga tips for the second trimester

Your joints are beginning to loosen up now, so sink into yoga positions slowly and carefully.

Hold poses only for as long as you're comfortable.

Use a wedge or pillows to raise your upper body when you're lying down.

Be aware that your slowly expanding girth will affect your sense of balance.

Take your time and don't push yourself to the point of pain or exhaustion.

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Yoga tips for the third trimester

You're probably feeling less graceful now that your belly is bigger, so keep these tips in mind as you continue your yoga practice:

Do all standing poses with your heel to the wall, or use a chair for support to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby.

Use props such as blocks and straps to help you move through different poses with greater stability.

Don't hold poses for a long time: It's important to keep moving because standing still for too long slows the rate of blood flow back to the heart in some pregnant women.

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