Can I Practice Bikram Yoga When I am Pregnant?

Unless you are in a ‘high risk pregnancy’ category then YES, indeed you can practice Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga (modified Bikram) when you are pregnant.

It was developed with maternal health and fetus wellbeing at its core.  Rajashree’s is also designed so that it can be practiced at home without heat (you can order dvd online) and even if you have never practiced Yoga before it can be taken up after the 1st trimester.


HOWEVER, we only permit pregnant women to practice with us in their very special time who have had a regular Bikram practice with us already for at least 1 (one) year.  Pregnant Yogi should please ensure your Doctor knows what you do for your wellbeing and physical maintenance and provide us with a formal doctor’s permission for attending Prenatal Yoga in the Bikram environment.

Pregnancy is not really the time to commence new challenging exercise regimes. For women who have not practiced Bikram before I would encourage them to attend pre/postnatal Yoga classes that focus only on pregnant students. Women with a regular Bikram practice and minimal pregnancy risk are welcome into the normal public class and will start adding in the modifications and substitutes immediately at YM.


If you are an experienced Bikram Yogi already practicing with us (minimum 1 year) then you absolutely can practice through the first trimester but this is a very personal choice as every body is different and every pregnancy is different.  We recommend you follow your instinct and/or take doctor’s advice if you unsure.  We cannot help you make that decision.


Not all of the asanas in the Bikram series are suitable to practice as the pregnancy progresses (as with any Yoga) and therefore as time passes some are omitted in their entirety, some modified and others will have substitutes.  The prescription for Yoga can vary depending on the unique pregnancy and Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga allows for the physiological changes that occur such as aortal compression, laxity of joints & ligaments, abdominal compression, exaggerated lumbar lordosis, changes in energy levels.  From the moment you know you are pregnant (and having provided us with your doctor’s permission) you will start introducing the Rajashree method to your practice.

We have comprehensive guidelines for existing practitioners who become pregnant and I like to spend time going through these with the pregnant Yogi to help them understand their practice is approached differently when one is practicing for two ! 🙂 

If you have any concerns with temperature you are welcome to bring a thermometer to class or go run cold water on your wrists at any time.  We choose a cooler part of the room for our pregnant practitioners.  I would encourage the pregnant lady to practice relaxation and awareness of breathing more. Please do ask me to see the comprehensive guidelines but in a nutshell here are some quick tips for a Bikram Yogi’s pregnancy Yoga as baby grows:

  • Practice in the cooler part of the room (I do have a Pregnant Yogi spot :))
  • No postures that cause compression on diaphragm and heart
  • No pushing hips forward of knees in backbends
  • In backbends stretch upward and back with the upper spine (more chest opening)
  • On exiting backbends bend knees to relieve back pressure
  • Separate feet in standing poses
  • Keep knees open in forwards bends
  • No head to knees poses (x3) (modifications will be provided)
  • No cobra, locust, full locust or bow (substitutes will be provided)
  • Stay away from your ‘edge’ in postures
  • Rest on left side in between postures rather than on back

Om Om Om Belly out 😉