Dangerious Yoga Poses to avoid during Pregnancy
Many women today want to continue their yoga practice during their pregnancy. And with good reason. Prenatal yoga helps women before and after they give birth, as well as during the birthing process. The breathing and body awareness developed through yoga helps women stay connected to their changing bodies. The gentle stretches and postures help relieve back pain common during pregnancy, and help develop the strength and stamina necessary for giving birth.
Yoga helps develop an overall healthier body, which then makes it easier to bounce back after birth. However, there often are not specific prenatal yoga classes available to women. Often pregnant women will show up in your regular yoga classes, so it is important that you know how to provide them with a fulfilling and safe yoga class, and one that doesn’t take anything away from your other students. In this training, you will learn which postures are safe for pregnant students and how to modify typical yoga postures to make them safe.
Prenatal yoga is all about creating space for the baby. When you revolve your chair or revolve your triangle, you instead minimize space for the baby. It can also affect blood circulation to the baby so make sure to only do open twists.
Prone or Belly Down Postures
After the first trimester it just isn’t comfortable to lie flat on your tummy, nor is it particularly good for the baby. So avoid postures like Cobra, Locust, or Bow Pose.
Playing with major backbends like Wheel after the first trimester runs the risk of over-stretching (or worse, tearing!) the abdominals. They’re already getting a damn good stretch out thanks to bubs, so stick to milder backbends.
Depending on your flexibility and your body, Camel can be a lovely alternative if Full Wheel is something you’re craving.
Once your baby is in position (head down), refrain from going upside down in poses like headstand, handstand, and even some arm balances. Bubs might get confused and change position!
Heated yoga, like Bikram, is best to avoid as you don’t want to raise your core temperature above a safe level. You also want to watch your hydration levels, and we all know how sweaty a heated class can get! So keep your H20 up and hit the heated studio after delivery.
Other unsuitable yoga practices during pregnancy include:
- Full back bends (too much lumbar spine pressure)
- Breath holding
- Child’s Pose with legs together (use modified Child’s pose with legs apart)
- Double leg lifts (too much pressure on lumbar spine)
- Forward folds with head down (Use props or place hands on knees to keep from folding completely down).
- Front lying postures (cobra, locust, pigeon)
- Jumps (too jarring on the placenta)
- Overstretching (could lead to instability of hips, ankles, knees)
- Inversions (placenta at top of uterus could dislodge, umbilical cord can twist)
- Full body twists (too much pressure on the placenta)
- Low spinal twists (too much pressure on the placenta)
- Supine postures – lying flat on back.
Recommended Yoga Poses
While caution is definitely important, let’s remove some of the anxiety and pressure that sometimes comes with these rules/ guidelines. Remember, you know what is best for you and your baby.
So as you explore your yoga practice, tune into your innate instincts, connect with your baby, and listen to your body. With modifications as your belly grows and throws off your center of gravity/ balance, there are lots of poses to play with during your nine month gestation.
So here’s what you can do:
Lots of Standing Postures
For example, but not limited to: Warriors I, II, and III (next to a wall for balance), Extended Side Angle, Chair Pose, High and Low Lunge, Lizard Lunge, Half Splits, and lots more!
Try some grounding postures like Bound Angle, Child’s Pose, Tadasana, Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana), Head
to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana), Wide Leg Forward Fold, and Down Dog. The important thing to remember is your body is producing a clever hormone called relaxin.
This is fantastic prep for labor, however, it does mean you run the risk of over-stretching your muscles. So you have to be very careful and tune into your inner radio frequency. Listen to your body and don’t push your limits; you can do that when bubs comes into the outside world and Daddy gives you a well deserved break.