Undesirable pregnancy symptoms, such as fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and frequent urination, will make it difficult for you to keep up with a regular exercise routine. And, when you are pregnant, taking up or continuing your yoga classes is great as, aside from alleviating some of these discomforts, it will also make your body flexible and strong. While this complete workout for the body and mind can work wonders for your health during pregnancy, you might to make some changes in your yoga sequences to ensure your safety and of your baby. This means that you should avoid some poses during your practice, especially the following:
During the start your second trimester, you should avoid lying on your back for long periods of time, which is why you should avoid this pose. As you can see, this pose increases weight of your uterus that can interfere with the blood and nutrient flow needed for your baby’s development. Aside from this, it can aggravate heartburn, lower back pain and blood pressure. So, instead of lying flat, you can use bolsters and blocks to prop up your torso, and if possible, try to find a way to stretch the same target muscles while sitting, standing, on your hands and knees or lying on your side. You can sit in a cross-legged position or curl up on your left side during savasana.
2. Locust Pose
This pose and other related yoga sequences that require you to lie on your belly will put a lot of pressure on your stomach, which means that they should be avoided during pregnancy.
3. Plank Cross and Its Variations
Aside from the Plank Cross Pose, there are many other variations of the twist, including seated ones. For the Plank Cross, you will twist through your torso and then close in on your belly. Now, if you have been doing twists before you got pregnant, it might be fine to continue it through your first trimester, but do it only if it feels good for your body. However, beyond this stage, you should avoid it as it can put too much stress on your belly.
4. Boat Pose and Other Similar Crunching Poses
It is recommended to avoid any exercises that will put additional stress on your belly, like the Boat Pose, its low variation and other “crunch-type” sequences. As you can see, this will increase the severity of abdominal muscle separation. Instead, go for other poses that are more effective and much safer in strengthening your core when you are pregnant.
5. Plow Pose
This pose and other related sequences that require you to fold over and put too much stress on your core to get into and out of the positions. The increased weight of the uterus would cause an imbalance that can cause serious injuries to you and your baby. Moreover, the danger of the baby changing position inside your uterus at inappropriate times is always there when are performing this exercise.
6. Closed Twists
Basically, yoga during pregnancy is all about creating space for the fetus, so when you are revolving your triangle and chair, you are rather minimizing such a space. It will also affect the blood circulation to your baby, so make sure you will only perform open twists.
7. Deep Forward Bends
These poses will require you to fold forward that will compress nerves and blood vessels connecting to your uterus. Nevertheless, you can keep things flowing by separating your legs to make space at the top of your thighs.
8. Prone or Belly Down Postures
After your first trimester, lying flat on your tummy is really uncomfortable for you, not to mention that it is particularly bad for your baby. So, you should avoid postures, such as the Cobra or the Bow Pose.
9. Major Backbends
Performing major backbends—Shalabhasan, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasan, Matsyasan and Naukasan—after your first trimester will put you at risk of over-stretching or even tearing your abdominal muscles. Your belly is already getting a good stretch due to your pregnancy, so it is best to just go for milder backbends. Depending on your body and its flexibility, you can perform alternatives, such as the Camel Pose.
10. Full Inversions
It is best to avoid yoga poses that involve hand or head stands as they will require a great deal of strength for performance. After all, inversion exercises are very dangerous for pregnant women, as they can deprive the baby of oxygen and can cause complications. This is even important to keep in mind especially when the baby is already in position, which is head down, as he/she might get confused and would change position. Nevertheless, you can perform the Adho Mukho Savasana for a short period only if you have been practicing yoga prior to your pregnancy and if it is approved by your doctor.
Aside from avoiding those poses mentioned above, you should also avoid hot yoga, as you would be already sweaty when you are pregnant, which can be uncomfortable, all the more when you will be doing yoga in a heated room. Also, one issue that comes with this is hydration, which can affect your pregnancy. You should avoid doing too much, as pregnancy is not the best time to push yourself to new exercise heights. Remember that the objective of doing yoga during pregnancy is to reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate aches and maintain flexibility, so just go for poses that can help you achieve these goals. While you might see that there is a lot of yoga moves to avoid, there are also other poses for you to enjoy, such as hip-openers like the Triangle, Warrior III and Pigeon, which will increase your flexibility, open your hips and prepare yourself for birth.
If you have been attending non-prenatal yoga classes, make sure you let your instructors know that you are expecting, so they can recommend some modified sequences. And of course, make sure to discuss exercise regimen with your doctor to get approval for continuing such.
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