What Yoga Positions to Avoid When Pregnant: Getting the Benefits without Risks

What Yoga Positions to Avoid When Pregnant: Getting the Benefits without Risks

People do yoga for a lot of different reasons, but mainly for overall health and wellness. Even pregnant yoga practitioners want to know what yoga positions to avoid when pregnant, so they can continue gaining its benefits during the time they need them the most.

Yes, there are minor risks, but the benefits of doing yoga while pregnant definitely outweigh the risks involved.

As they say, being healthy does not simply mean not having any disease, but more of feeling happy, fulfilled, and being excited about life. Yoga helps people achieve this level of wellness. It makes the body and mind unified.

With that in regard, some of the specific benefits of doing yoga and the positions to avoid while pregnant are discussed below. There are also some recommendations listed on the things that should be done to ensure the safety of the pregnant Yoga Sadhaka (Yoga practitioner). 

Benefits of Yoga

There are several yoga benefits that are proven and backed by science. For one, doing yoga together with meditation decreases the production of cortisol, which causes stress and fatigue.

Even those who have been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder experienced decreased symptoms because of yoga.

Doing yoga also improves heart health. That is because yoga poses improve blood circulation, prompting the heart to pump more efficiently.

Practicing yoga also helps reduce any inflammation in the body that causes chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

It can also enhance strength, flexibility, and balance. There are specific yoga poses that help improve one’s strength and build muscles. Likewise, there are specific yoga poses that are meant to develop one’s flexibility and balance. Hence, breathing was also noticed to have improved. 

Pregnancy and Giving Birth

Pregnant women are said to be less healthy than women who are not pregnant. This is because they are sharing whatever nutrients and energy their body has with the baby inside their tummy. Also, the “preggy hormones” contribute significantly to their increased level of stress and anxiety.

They can also become irritable because of the physical changes that they are experiencing. To mention a few, they pee more often, their tummy grows heavier each day, and during the last trimester, they are not able to do a lot of things because of their belly getting in the way. They experience sleeplessness at night, unusual food cravings, and a lot of mood swings.

Another thing that makes a pregnant woman feel anxious is the thought of giving birth. Everybody knows how strenuous this is physically and emotionally. It is important that a pregnant woman keeps active to stay flexible and strong in preparation for the special day.

Yoga could definitely help during pregnancy up to giving birth. However, there are specific positions that must be avoided. 

What Yoga Positions to Avoid When Pregnant

As a rule of thumb, a pregnant yoga practitioner should ensure that there is space for the baby when doing specific poses. Here are the yoga positions that should be avoided by a pregnant Yoga Sadhaka. They are arranged from what to avoid during the early stages of pregnancy up to the time when the belly is ready to pop.

During the first trimester, fast flowing positions should be avoided.

Positions to be avoided include jumping from one place to another, and anything requiring her to change quickly from one pose to another.

Since the baby’s important organs, such as the heart and brain, are just starting to develop during this stage, the mommy should make sure to keep it slow. It is also important to avoid too much and strenuous movements because of the risk of miscarriage.

Positions that compress the belly

During the early stage of the pregnancy, the placenta starts to grow while the embryo attaches to the uterus. Some yoga positions, such as the boat pose, locust pose, and moon posture, should be avoided, as they put pressure on the abdomen. Doing those might restrict blood flow to the uterus; thus, hindering the baby’s development.

Twisting positions

All twisting positions, including plank cross and spinal twist, should be avoided while pregnant. Just like positions that put direct pressure on the abdomen, these positions put stress on the core of the yoga practitioner. Those tend to limit the space for the baby.

Positions that require folding over or major backbends

A good example of such positions is the plow pose. Getting in and out of a folding over position put too much stress and pressure on the belly. That is especially true when the tummy has already expanded since this position can overstretch or even tear the abdomen.

Full-inversion positions

Headstand and handstand, even some arm balancing positions, can confuse the baby, especially when it has turned upside-down and ready to come out. Doing these full-inversion positions might prompt the baby to go back to upright position. This will result in a more challenging delivery when the right time comes.

Positions that require the person to lie flat on the back

Most especially during the last trimester, a pregnant yoga practitioner should avoid lying down for long periods. Thus, the corpse posture and other similar poses are not recommended.

Doing them can put pressure on the vein that brings back deoxygenated blood from the lower back to the heart. This can cause heightened blood pressure and pain in the back. 

General Tips

Aside from avoiding the abovementioned positions when doing yoga while pregnant, it is also important that the following are done to ensure safe and healthy pregnancy:

Doctor’s approval must be secured first and foremost.

They know all about the condition of the baby and the mother, and the status of the pregnancy as months and weeks progress. They can clearly determine what would keep the pregnancy healthy or put it at risk.

The yogi should know when a Yoga Sadhaka is pregnant.

That way, they can teach her modified positions that will not put too much pressure on the abdomen, and just instruct her to do poses that will not put the pregnancy at risk.

The pregnant yoga practitioner needs to make sure that she keeps herself cool and hydrated during yoga sessions.

A yoga room can heat up fast, so it is essential that she drinks enough water to maintain normal body temperature. It is also suggested that she layers her clothing so that each garment can be removed as the room temperature and her body temperature increase.

Focus on yoga positions that would help during labor and delivery.

For instance, the goddess pose, and poses that open the hips, such as garland pose, lizard lunge, and pigeon.

Final Thoughts

A pregnant woman can do any kind of exercise. Nothing should be stopping her from keeping fit and healthy even with a baby in her tummy. If she really loves yoga and its benefits, she can keep on doing it.

Nevertheless, she needs to make sure that there’s enough room for the baby, there’s not too much pressure on her belly, and she knows exactly what yoga positions to avoid when pregnant.

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