What Yoga Poses are Unsafe During Pregnancy?


Yoga is one of the best practices if you are pregnant because it improves vitality, general health and wellbeing by providing you prepare physically for labor. Also, it helps you mentally by keeping you relaxed and calm. Although it is important doing yoga while you are pregnant, there are some yoga poses that you have to avoid for your safety. The priority should be the wellbeing of you and your baby. That’s why it may not be a good idea to challenge yourself and doing things that your body cannot cope with.



So, why you should avoid some yoga poses while you are pregnant? The first reason is that your body has some changes in this process and consequently is not the same as it used to. Because your body is altering, your exercise routine has to be changed too so that it can be adapted to your new body. That’s why, even if you do the same yoga poses that you were doing earlier, it may lead to a risk for you and your baby. At the same time, you may feel like discomfort and you may have some difficulties while doing that movement. 

There is another reason which is that it is good to not pushing yourself too hard. Because your body is working hard whilst you are pregnant, it may not be a good time to make things much harder. The main point of doing yoga in this phase is that you can increase your flexibility, reduce stress, and organize you breathe in and out. You have to listen to some signals from your body if you have fallen like you should stop or rest although it is recommended that you can do as much as possible.



The last main reason for not doing some yoga poses in your pregnancy is causing overstretching. This may result in some injuries which are an issue you have to be careful. There are some risky poses that you have to keep your balance stable, and your body changes may not let you stand in those positions. Consequently, you may fall and it is not good to have such situations when you are pregnant.

By considering all of the reasons, here in this article it will be discussed some yoga poses that you have to avoid whilst your pregnancy.  


Poses that you must avoid if you are pregnant

1- Belly Down Posture

If you are sure that you are pregnant, you have to be careful about when you are doing yoga movements that put out press to your belly area. Cobra or in other words locust phase are one of the movements that apply pressure on your belly. It’s not important that you are at the beginning of your pregnancy and your baby may be very small in that duration, you cannot risk anything by doing such poses.



As an alternative solution, you can try cow pose or sphinx pose instead of a locust pose. By the way, you can try that only for the first three months of your pregnancy, once you shift to the late phases, lying on your belly will not be an option even if you want to.

2- Lying on Your Back Posture

After the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy has completed, any pose that lasts more than 1.5 minutes has to be restricted. Because after that phase your baby and your uterus grow, and it results in putting an extra force to one of the main veins which are vena cava. It conveys blood from your lower body to your heart.

If you cannot stop that kind of exercises your blood pressure will be lowered and it will most probably result in giddiness. However, you can alter some poses like savasana by way of getting support from blocks or you can try to lie down your side.



3- Crunch Posture

Your belly area is the most important part because it is a home for your baby for the whole pregnancy duration. Some basic exercises such as savasana and crunches lead to squeezing stomach and you have to be avoided from that kind of movements in all the phases of your pregnancy. But it does not mean that you have to keep away from all the basic exercises. If you can create a strong main basis, you can be sure that it will protect you from the back pain and it will provide endurance for labor.

If you are wondering about these basic safe exercises; extended table and plank are two of them. But you should consult a doctor to check if you have some suspicions about diastasis recti. It separates the outmost layer of stomach muscles which can be seen in one of three pregnant women. According to the result, you can be sure about doing those core exercises.

4- Forward Posture

As time goes by and your belly starts to grow more and more, you may want to change some movements deep onward bows such as standing forward bend and seated forward bend so that you can prepare more room for your baby. By doing it, you will protect your lower back too. As opposed to posing by using your 2 feet unitedly, try to be in a wider position and take advantage of blocks under your hands so that you can avoid doing deep poses and tensing your lower back area.



5- Twisting Posture

They are nearly the same as crunches, twisting inwards put press to your belly and they must be deflected while you are pregnant. If you are wondering about these postures; twisting crescent, twisting chair, seated twists, revolved triangle, and revolved half-moon are some of the examples. However, it does not mean that all twists are bad for you. Open twists are good because they do not apply pressure to your abdomen, and it does not disturb your baby’s home.

6- Pretzel Posture

You maybe never heard pretzel poses before and you might try to solve what sort of yoga pose is this. Pretzel poses are some movements that you should do twist yourself into knots. Wrapping your leg around your head will not be a good idea to do while you are pregnant. It must certainly be one of the dangerous poses that you must keep away from.

Your body generates a relaxin hormone while you are pregnant. That hormone loosens up the ligaments in the pelvic girdle so that your body can organize some space for your baby to come out. Consequently, there is a high possibility of overstretching your ligaments in that poses and it may probably result in joint instability and some pain in your lower back area. That means you have to think again while you are doing not to over-tense in any movement in your exercise.



7- Deep Posture

Some backbends might be very curative if it is done gently; however, you must keep off deep ones such as the wheel or it is also called upward bow pose. If you are sure that you are doing that sort of exercises harmless and with comfy because they can cause diastasis recti which are mentioned above. 

8- Inversion Posture

You can assume that the general rule is starting a powerful inversion practice if you do not have any experience before you got pregnant. You may ask its risks which includes tumbling over. Although it is one of the most apparent risks, there are others such as pressing your abdomen, because you are taking more weight than you got used to.

9- Heating Breathing Posture

You have to avoid these techniques like skull thing breathe and breath retention pranayama in your pregnancy. Despite that, you can do other breath retentions such as belly breathing and ujjayi breathing. Because it can be said that they are calming or cooling techniques. And you can try them so that you can facilitate your labor.

10- Hot Yoga Posture

While you are pregnant your body flow increase and this will lead to rising your core temperature. If you exercise yoga in an extremely heated room you will take a risk you and your baby for unsafe lifts of core motherly temperature.



11- Overstretch Posture

In your pregnancy, your body creates a hormone called relaxin which is mentioned above. The purpose of this hormone is to soften up your unbending parts such as your bones. As a result, all of this process is to prepare you for the labor. That is why it will not be a surprise to overstretch and injure yourself. You have to keep away from doing some movements that you can not cope with an that pushes you so hard. Particularly, you have to be careful about your knees.


Poses that you can do if you are pregnant

1- Cat-Cow Posture

This kind of exercise is safe during your pregnancy whether you are at the starting or in the late phases. It provides you to power your deep muscles and because when you are doing this movement you are extending your backbone. You can try this movement so that you can help to elongate your belly area; however please do not forget that you have to breathe deeply while you are practicing it.

2- Warrior II Posture

You can do this pose in all the phases of your pregnancy. This pose helps you to boost your legs because you are extending your backbone and opening up your sides while doing it. Yet, if you have the feeling that you are pushing too much your pubic area or if you feel disturbance around your hips, you can try to reduce the scope of your gesture. It may be probably in your late phases during your pregnancy. However, if you feel still the same, stop doing this pose.



3- Bridge Posture

It is a very favorable exercise for many women because it enables you to strengthen your core and hamstrings while opening up your hips. You can try this pose in all your phases while you are pregnant; however, if you feel uncomfortable on your back you may want to decrease or stop. You can start with your side and after that, you can roll to your back. Then, you can move your body into this pose so that you can help to diminish the stress on the front part of your abs.

4- King Pigeon Posture

If you are looking for a great pose for opening up the front of your hips, king pigeon pose will be a wonderful option for you. While you are doing this pose, you should try to think about keeping a core connection and stretching throughout the top part of your head. In this way, you will have a deeper opening and you will provide more support to your deep core. Otherwise, it is just caving in it into a stretch. This one is safe for all your phases of your pregnancy, but in the late phases, you may want to alter this pose by way of leaning a pillow under your hips.

5- Tree Posture

The last pose may challenge you because you have to keep your balance stable while extending your core and legs. If you need a quick tip for this pose, you may want to turn on your glutes, arise tall, and do not forget to breathe deeply. Again, this movement is safe for your all phases while you are pregnant. However, you have to be careful, because, in the late phases of your pregnancy, your balance will shift. If that situation occurs, you may want to help from a wall by way of placing your one hand on it so that you can keep you steady.



Products on Amazon

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3-Prenatal Yoga DVD

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Related Questions

What exercises are unsafe during pregnancy? When you are pregnant, doing some exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga, low impact aerobics, and plates can be safe for you and for your baby. However, there might be some movements that you have to avoid. These ones include any movement that may result in fall, any sport that can harm your abdomen, some exercises that may lead you to hit water hardly, practicing any exercise at high elevations, and other activities that can increase your body temperature.  

Is heated yoga safe during pregnancy? There are many pregnant women who have some concerns about whether to do heated yoga or not during pregnancy. Hot environments are risks for pregnant women and even if you have some background and experience, you have to think twice while you are deciding for doing it for your safety and your baby’s. It has some other side effects such as dehydration and other biomechanical issues. That’s why you have to be careful and avoid such exercises when you are pregnant.

Does yoga help labor? If you are preparing for labor, it is not that easy. Yoga has some advantages for that issue. It can be said that yoga helps labor because firstly it strengthens the pushing muscles. Among the other advantages, there are stretching the perineum, encouraging the baby to get in the right position, relieving stress, enhancing body awareness, teaching you to move, teaching you to breathe, and stretching the hips. That’s why it can confidently be said that yoga helps labor.

Savaş Ateş

I like meditation and yoga. I read a lot of books about them. I applied them in my daily life. I want to write about my experiences.

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