You probably already know that staying active while pregnant can have all kinds of great benefits for you and your baby. Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, lots of exercises—from jogging to basic bodyweight strength moves can be perfectly healthy.
Yoga in particular can be awesome, because it’s a perfect combination of stretching and strengthening, says Bec Conant, prenatal yoga instructor at Om Births and birth doula in Boston. (Fun fact: Conant has had four women go into labor during a class.)
“Yoga does two things while you’re pregnant: It’s a physical form of exercise that’s also going to bring some mindfulness and awareness into how your body is changing on a daily level,” Conant says.
Another plus: breath control. “You don’t need Lamaze if you go to yoga,” says Heidi Kristoffer, yogi, founder of CrossFlowX, and new mom to adorable twins. “Yoga makes you more conscious of what’s happening with your body—you’re not just checking out of what your body is feeling.”
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 12 soothing poses to help relieve some of the most common pregnancy ailments—from tight hips to a sore lower back. Bonus: These “ahh”-inducing postures will also ease aches and pains even if you’re not pregnant.
Note: If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, check with your doctor first before starting any new workout routine.