woman doing cat cow during the third trimester of pregnancy

Third Trimester Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide

Did you know that yoga is one of the best exercises you can do during your third trimester of pregnancy? It’s true! Yoga can help improve your mental and physical health while preparing your body for labor and delivery. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss all the benefits of yoga during the third trimester, as well as how to make modifications to safely practice yoga throughout these remaining months of your pregnancy.

We will also provide tips and tools to make practicing yoga when you are this preggo easier, along with a list of seven poses that can help prepare you for labor and delivery. Finally, we will link to five 3rd trimester prenatal workout videos for those who want to get started right away! This guide has got it all so you can get 

**This post may contain affiliate links. Please read full disclosure here.**

3rd trimester of pregnancy yoga guide

Yoga in the 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

So, what are the benefits of yoga in the third trimester? For starters, practicing yoga can help improve your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. It can also help ease physical discomforts like back pain and nausea. Additionally, yoga can help increase your energy levels and improve your sleep quality. And last but not least, practicing yoga can help to prepare your body for labor and delivery.

If you want a really comprehensive understanding of the benefits of prenatal yoga (and some more great tips on how to practice it) be sure to check out the other 2 parts of this guide:

  1. Yoga in the First Trimester: Everything You Need to Know
  2. A Detailed Guide to Yoga in the Second Trimester

But THIS is where yoga really shines in your prenatal workout plan:

the third trimester!

Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to do in the third trimester. You are big, uncomfortable, possibly in pain, and preparing for the marathon of labor and delivery. There are so many reasons to practice yoga primarily in the third trimester of pregnancy! 

  • Yoga can help ease aches and pains.
  • Yoga can help you feel more calm and at ease.
  • Third trimester yoga can help your body prepare for labor and delivery, actually making it easier.
  • It’s pretty hard to do any type of vigorous exercise when you near the end of pregnancy but exercising during pregnancy is hugely beneficial for your growing baby. So a wise mom who is trying to stay active for her baby’s benefit, but having trouble doing so because well, you feel like a whale at that point, yoga is the perfect option!


The Best Prenatal Workout Plan

The Perfect Pregnancy Plan is the only 40 week workout plan designed with a growing mom-to-be’s needs in mind. Addressing all your possible pregnancy aches and pains before they become an issue.

And you bet that The Perfect Pregnancy Fitness Plan includes yoga during each trimester! 

Want a REALLY great set of asanas that are perfect for the third trimester of pregnancy? Try this prenatal yoga flow from the Perfect Pregnancy Plan!


How to Safely Practice Yoga During the Third Trimester

Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of yoga during pregnancy, let’s talk about how to make modifications to safely practice yoga throughout the third trimester. First off, any modifications that you needed to make in your second trimester prenatal yoga workouts still stands and all precautions that should be followed to safely workout in the third trimester should be adheared to as well.

First and foremost, always listen to your body and never push yourself beyond your limits. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! And always consult your trusted doctor or midwife before changing anything in your prenatal diet or exercise plan.

Second, be sure to modify any poses that put pressure on your belly or that are too challenging as your pregnancy progresses. For example, if Warrior II is starting to feel too tough, bring your feet closer together.

RELATED: How to Exercise Safely in the Third Trimester (Because it’s a Whole Different Ball Game!)


Types of Yoga Poses to Avoid in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

There are a multitude of poses that you will need to avoid in order to maintain a safe yoga practice throughout the third trimester of pregnancy. But once you understand which styles of poses to exclude, it’s pretty easy to determine what is safe and what isn’t.

Yoga poses to avoid in the third trimester include:

  1. Poses that require you to lie flat on your back for extended periods of time. This puts too much pressure on your vena cava and can cause dizziness and reduce blood flow to the baby. Basically, just avoid laying on your back as much as possible during this trimester. If you want to do a pose lying on your back, use a bolster.
  2. Any inversions, such as headstands, handstands, shoulder stands, and anything else that would put you upside down or on your head.
  3. Any other types of advanced balance poses, or really any balance poses. As soon as you start your pregnancy, your balance begins to decrease. The bigger you get, the more thrown off it is. It is very important to not incur injury during your third trimester so always use a wall, chair, or another stable device to do any balance poses in the third trimester, even tree pose.
  4. Poses that require you to jump or make sudden movements. These can be jarring and may cause injury. The third trimester is a great time to do yoga flows, where one move gently transitions to the next. Or even a time to just focus on one pose and then switch to another. Moving around gracefully isn’t something that really happens anymore when you have a nearly full-grown human inside you, and that’s ok!
  5. Hot yoga or Bikram yoga. The heat can be too much for you. This is something you want to avoid for all of pregnancy.

RELATED: The Best Yoga Poses to Prep for Labor and Delivery


Tools to Help Make Practicing Yoga Throughout the 3rd Trimester Easier

If you want to continue practicing yoga in your third trimester but are finding it more difficult, there are some tools that can help make things a little easier.

A bolster is a great way to prop yourself up and make any lying-down poses more comfortable.

A yoga strap can help you grab your feet in poses like forward folds when you can’t quite reach them.

A yoga block can help with any balance poses or modified versions of other poses. It can be really hard to reach what you could before when it feels like you have a bowling ball in your belly. I carry my babies high up into my ribs not far out and anything that involves leaning even the slightest bit forward becomes nearly impossible in that third trimester for me!


Seven Poses to Help Prepare the Body for Labor and Delivery Perfect for Third Trimester Yoga

The following seven yoga poses are great to do in the third trimester to help prepare your body for labor and delivery.

(Also all of these poses are safe to practice in the first trimester and second trimester of pregnancy as well.)

Low Lunge:

Great for stretching the hip flexors as well as the back and shoulders in your 3rd trimester while opening the hips. You can leave your knee on the floor for balance or stand on your toes for more of a challenge.

Warrior II:

This yoga pose strengthens the legs and butt and opens the hips. Better preparing you for labor and delivery. Remember, neither has to happen lying down (in fact it’s better not to, especially on your back) so poses like this are great preparation!

Cat/cow pose:

This is a great yoga pose to do in the third trimester of pregnancy to help relieve any back pain. Plus it can be a great pose to use during labor as well.

Garland Pose:

This is the best pose to prepare your pelvic floor and birth canal for labor and delivery. This is a highly effective pose for gently stretching out your lady bits area, better preparing it for the stretching to come. In fact, I recommend practicing this pose every day in your third trimester to help prevent perineal tears. (Among a couple of other highly effective ways to prevent tearing.)

Pigeon pose:

This pose is a great hip opener that can help to ease pain in the lower back and legs. There’s a good chance you will want to use your yoga block for this one, unless you have regularly been practicing yoga throughout your pregnancy.

Butterfly pose:

This yoga pose is such a common stretch, but it really is another great hip opener that can also help with lower back pain. The butterfly pose is great to practice in your third trimester.

Child’s pose:

This is a restorative pose that can help to relieve stress and tension. This pose helps elongate your pelvic floor muscles. It is a great choice to use during labor as well. During labor you can do child pose on the floor or leaning over an exercise ball. I used this throughout the peak of transition for my third pregnancy while rubbing a powerful crystal for labor and delivery and found it very helpful.


Third Trimester Yoga Workouts

  1. Prenatal Yoga Third Trimester
  2. Pregnancy Yoga Third Trimester
  3. Pregnancy Exercise Yoga Flow Third Trimester
  4. Relaxing Prenatal Yoga Third Trimester
  5. Pregnancy Yoga Third Trimester Engage Baby’s Head


Wrapping Up Third Trimester Yoga for Pregnancy

There you have it! A comprehensive guide to third trimester yoga. Remember to always listen to your body and modify as needed. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! Pregnancy is not the time to push your limits.

Yoga is a great way to stay in shape and relieve stress throughout your pregnancy. It’s important that you practice safe yoga poses during the third trimester of pregnancy, including modifications for some stretches or avoiding others.

However, there are also many benefits to practicing yoga such as helping prepare your body for labor and delivery by strengthening your muscles and relieving pain. If you want to continue practicing yoga in your third trimester, consider using props to make things easier.

The seven poses listed above are perfect for third trimester yoga and can help you prepare your body for labor and delivery.

I hope this guide was helpful in understanding how to safely practice yoga during the third trimester of pregnancy. Remember to listen to your body and always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Do you have any favorite third trimester yoga poses? Let me know in the comments below!


More Pregnancy Workout Resources You’ll Love

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *