8 yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy

There’s a huge difference between practicing yoga safely during pregnancy and pushing your limits too far.

This difference hinges on understanding.

Knowing which poses to avoid during pregnancy is critical to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both you and your baby.

Mastering yoga is all about listening to your body, especially when you’re expecting.

And I believe smart yogis know there are certain poses they should steer clear of during this special time.

In this article, I’m going to share with you eight yoga poses that you should avoid during pregnancy.

1) Backbends

Yoga is all about balance and harmony, but there are certain poses that can tip the scales in the wrong direction during pregnancy.

Experienced yogis know the intensity of backbends.

Conventionally, they’re great for strengthening the spine and opening up the chest.

However, when you’re expecting, these poses can put unnecessary pressure on your belly and lower back.

Not to mention, the risk of losing balance and falling backwards is a real concern.

With growing baby bumps, maintaining equilibrium becomes more challenging.

It’s always better to prioritize safety over flexibility during this time.

So, my advice?

Save those backbends for post-pregnancy.

Right now, there are safer ways to keep your spine strong and your heart open.

Remember, it’s not about limiting your practice, but adapting it for this beautiful phase of life.

Be smart about your yoga journey and make modifications as necessary.

And rest assured, those backbends will be waiting for you once your little one arrives.

2) Inversions

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had to make some adjustments to my yoga routine.

In particular, I realized the risks associated with inversions.

These are poses where your heart is higher than your head — think headstands and handstands.

Before pregnancy, I loved the rush of blood to the head and the sense of balance these poses gave me.

But during pregnancy, inversions can potentially cause dizziness and disrupt your equilibrium.

I remember one particular day when I was in my second trimester, I got a bit adventurous and decided to try a simple inversion.

The result?

A sudden wave of dizziness and an immediate vow to keep my feet on the ground until my baby was safely delivered.

The lesson here?

Listen to your body and respect its limits.

Pregnancy is not a time to push boundaries.

Instead, it’s a time to nourish and protect yourself and your baby.

Inversions can wait until after delivery.

Your safety and your baby’s well-being are what truly matter.

3) Hot Yoga

While it’s not exactly a pose, hot yoga is a form of practice that deserves a cautionary note when it comes to pregnancy.

Hot yoga typically involves a series of poses performed in a heated room, sometimes reaching temperatures of up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

This intense heat can help increase flexibility and detox the body through excessive sweating.

However, during pregnancy, your body already works hard to regulate your internal temperature for the safety of your baby.

Adding the external heat of a hot yoga class can potentially disrupt this delicate balance.

Overheating can lead to dehydration and even fainting, which are risks not worth taking when you’re expecting.

So while hot yoga might be an amazing practice for some, it’s advisable to stick with cooler temperatures during pregnancy.

4) Deep Twists

Twisting poses are a staple in many yoga practices.

They are known to aid digestion, detoxification, and even help reduce stress.

However, when you’re expecting, deep twists can become a bit tricky.

These poses involve twisting your torso and abdomen, which can squeeze and put undue pressure on your growing baby bump.

Instead of full twists, consider gentle rotations that keep the focus on your upper body without causing discomfort or strain to your belly.

It’s all about adapting your practice to fit the changes in your body.

5) Belly-down Poses

It might seem obvious, but poses that require you to lie on your stomach are a no-go during pregnancy.

Poses like Cobra, Bow, or Locust may be part of your regular practice, but once you’re expecting, it’s best to steer clear of these.

Belly-down poses can put unnecessary pressure on your growing baby bump and can be uncomfortable for you as well.

Instead, consider alternatives that offer similar benefits without compromising your comfort or safety.

For example, you can substitute Cobra pose with Upward Facing Dog or Sphinx pose.

6) Advanced Balancing Poses

There’s a certain beauty in watching seasoned yogis master advanced balancing poses.

But during pregnancy, these poses can become more challenging and risky.

With the joy of a growing baby bump comes a shift in your center of gravity.

Suddenly, poses that were once second nature might feel unsteady and daunting.

It’s not about losing your skills or stepping back.

Instead, it’s about embracing this new phase of life with grace and understanding.

Pregnancy is a time of change, growth, and anticipation.

It’s a journey like no other, and it requires adjustments in all areas of life.

So, let go of the advanced balancing poses for now.

There will be plenty of time to return to them after your little one arrives.

7) Deep Forward Bends

There was a time when I could fold myself into a deep forward bend with ease, touching my toes without a second thought.

But when I was pregnant, these poses became more of a challenge.

The growing baby bump made it difficult to bend forward without feeling like I was squishing my little one.

Plus, the risk of losing balance and falling forward was real.

I found out the hard way in my second trimester when I lost my footing and nearly took a tumble.

From that day on, I decided to modify my forward bends to accommodate my changing body.

Instead of reaching for my toes, I would bend at the hips, keeping my back straight and my baby bump free from pressure.

It’s important to remember that yoga is not about achieving the perfect pose, but about understanding and respecting your body’s limits.

8) Prone Savasana

Savasana, or corpse pose, is usually the final pose in a yoga session, allowing your body to absorb the benefits of your practice.

Traditionally, it’s done lying flat on your back.

However, lying flat on your back for extended periods of time during pregnancy can put pressure on a major blood vessel called the vena cava, reducing blood flow to your heart and potentially causing dizziness and shortness of breath.

Therefore, it’s recommended to modify Savasana during pregnancy.

You can lie on your left side or use props like bolsters or blankets to prop you up into a semi-reclined position.

Embrace the journey

The journey of pregnancy is a beautiful yet intricate dance between the body and soul.

It’s a time of growth, change, and adaptation that extends beyond the physical realm.

One such adaptation is in your yoga practice.

The poses you once performed with ease might need to be modified or even avoided during this special time.

But remember, yoga is not just about the poses.

It’s about the connection you foster with your body and your unborn child.

Every modification, every gentle twist, every skipped inversion is a testament to your love and care for your baby.

So, as you move through your yoga practice during pregnancy, remember to listen to your body.

Embrace the changes, respect your limits, and enjoy every moment of this extraordinary journey.

Bree Lennon

Bree Lennon

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