6 Yoga Poses for Muscle Cramps During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a magical time, but it comes with its complaints. As if nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, weight gain, sweats, and round ligament pain weren’t enough, we can add sudden, painful leg cramps to the list of common complaints in pregnancy.

The painful spasms usually occur in the second or third trimester, and they happen just as you are about to fall asleep at night after a hard day.

Maybe they are part of your training to prepare you for the unpredictable and constant needs of a new baby.

What causes muscle cramps during pregnancy?

According to What to Expect When Expecting, no one knows the exact cause of these cramps in pregnant women, but there are some theories.

Others say that it is due to muscle fatigue caused by carrying extra weight during pregnancy. Some say it’s due to fluid accumulation in stems. This could be due to compression of blood vessels or from your diet (too much phosphorous and too little magnesium).

It could be that your pregnancy hormones are responsible for many of the changes you’re experiencing (good or not).

Prenatal yoga poses to ease muscle cramps.

A few gentle yoga poses can help prevent cramps, as some research indicates that they are caused by muscle fatigue and fluid accumulation.

After you have spoken with your doctor about electrolyte balance/diet and received the go-ahead to exercise again, try the six poses below to relieve some tension.


Paschimottanasana is one of the four poses that are most important in yoga. It stretches your entire back and works the gastrocnemius muscles (or calf muscles).

Extend your legs in front of you. Instead of connecting your ankles, feet, and inner thighs, create space for your expanding stomach by spreading your legs to approximately hip width.

Prenatal students should lean forward with their sternum and keep a flat back. Do not round your spine or place the head below the heart. It is especially important to do this if you have low blood pressure.

To really target the calf muscle, flex the toes towards the knees and the face. Modify the pose as necessary with a strap or towel. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how comfortable you are.


Stretch the side of your leg, another area that is prone to cramps. This stretch can also be used to release tension from the hamstrings and calf muscles.

To modify for pregnancy, only extend your torso until it is parallel to the floor. Do not curl over and bring your forehead up to your knee.

A wall can be used as a support during pregnancy. Lean forward with your back flat and hips facing forward until your torso is at a right angle to the floor. To adjust the intensity, press your fingers up against the wall with your hands.

Ardha Hanumanasana

Ardha Hanumanasa, or Half Front Splits pose, is a beautiful pregnancy posture that strengthens the hamstrings and calves. It also stretches and stretches your hips.

It is also one of my favorite poses to relieve sciatica – a painful and debilitating condition that many pregnant women experience towards the end.

Rest your hands on the hips or blocks on either side of your extended leg. You can also ‘tent’ your hands around your front leg.

Place your leg slightly outwards, toward the edge of the mat, rather than pushing it into the middle. Adjust the mat according to the size and weight of the child.

Finally, lead with the sternum or breastbone. Switch sides after 30 seconds.

Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose releases tension from the iliotibial bands created by sitting, walking, running, and cycling. This also lengthens muscles in the glutes, hips, and legs.

Use a bolster or blanket to support the head while you are bent over. Also, place a block under the glutes of your bent leg.

Hold for as long as it feels good. Hold as long as it feels good.

Toe Squat

Many pregnant women experience cramps on their toes and feet. Toe Squats are a traditional Yin Yoga pose. They help stretch the toes and ball of the feet, prevent bunions, and activate the lower body meridians.

The weight of your baby can make the position uncomfortable. Roll a blanket under your knees or lean backward and take the weight in your hands. Hold the pose for one minute. Leaning forward, untucking the toes, and resting in Hero’s Pose, you can come out of this pose.

Legs up the Wall/Modified Viparita Karaani

Finally, use a modified Viparita Karani to drain any extra fluid from the legs that may be causing cramps.

Place a few blankets underneath your sacrum and extend your feet to the wall. Feel the blood drain out of your legs, which have been swollen and tired all day. The blood will then recirculate back into your lower spine, hips, and glutes.

It will give your legs much-needed rest after carrying all that extra weight around or from sitting at a desk all day.

Hold for a minute, then roll on your side to get a proper savasana.

So, while we might not be able to help with all of the aches and pains over these nine incredible months, we hope you can incorporate one or all of these beautiful yoga asanas into your wellness plan. Please keep us posted on how you go in the comments below; we’re keen to know!

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