7 Yoga Poses to Avoid When Pregnant and Why

A pregnant woman doing yoga

The importance of exercising cannot be undermined during pregnancy and yoga is one of the safest ways of staying physically and mentally fit during your pregnancy. Yoga not only helps you prepare physically for the upcoming labour and birth but it also helps in keeping you calm and relaxed throughout your pregnancy. However, you cannot do all yoga poses when you are pregnant. Here in the following article, we shall discuss various yoga poses that you should avoid during your pregnancy.

Why should you avoid some Yoga Poses during Pregnancy?

 A pregnant woman holding her belly while sitting

Your body is not the same during pregnancy because it is undergoing a lot of physical changes. If your body is changing then the exercising needs to change too, in order to be in sync with your changing body. Therefore, whatever yoga poses you were doing prior to getting pregnant can not only cause a threat to you and your baby, but you may also feel great discomfort and difficulty in doing these yoga poses. And it may cause some complications in different phases of pregnancy. For instance, in the first trimester, you should avoid deep abdominal twisting poses as it may adversely affect the implantation process. Hence, it is important to list down all the yoga poses to not do while pregnant.

Types of Yoga Poses that must be Avoided during Pregnancy

Your body is working hard during pregnancy and thus it is not the time when you should push yourself too hard. The aim of yoga during pregnancy is to increase flexibility, relieve stress and work on your breathing. It is advised that you should do as much as you can and if you feel like stopping or resting in between, do that and listen to the signals of your body. It is strictly recommended that you should consult your doctor before practising any kind of yoga poses during pregnancy. However, following are some of the prenatal yoga poses to avoid or the poses which are a complete no-no during pregnancy:

1. Jumping or Fast Flowing Poses

Jumping pose

Jumping and fast flowing poses can put your body under loads of stress during pregnancy.

Why to Avoid

At the onset of your pregnancy journey there’s a lot going inside your body. It begins with conception when the implantation process begins and then the development process of the embryo. In your early pregnancy, too much jumping and fast poses may make you more nauseous. Therefore, it is best to avoid yoga poses that involve intense jumping and moving sequences. Restorative and grounding poses are beneficial during this time as it would not only help in the foetal development but also keep various complications arising during this time at bay.

Poses to Avoid

Avoid all yoga poses, which involves fast movements and jumping.

2. Compressing or Twisting Poses

Twisting pose

Twisting, twirling or compressing poses can put undue stress on your abdominal region during pregnancy.

Why to Avoid

You will have to monitor your abdominal movements and refrain from doing any strenuous abdominal yoga poses. As the embryo attaches itself to the uterine wall, the formation of placenta begins and thus you will have to monitor your tummy movements. Any twisting movements can decrease the flow of blood to your abdominal region by compressing the nerves.

Poses to Avoid

Moon Pose, Boat Pose, Spinal Twist towards the Knees.

3. Vigorous Stretching Poses

 Stretching pose

It is important to pay heed to severe stretching poses as it may cause harm to your joints and ligaments.

Why to Avoid

As you move forward in your pregnancy, your body starts preparing for the labour and childbirth. This leads to your muscles and ligaments becoming more flexible than before. When you do any kind of extreme stretching yoga poses during your second or third trimester, you may end up hurting your ligaments or pelvic joints.

Poses to Avoid

Camel Pose, Fish Posture, Wheel Posture.

4. Lying Back Poses

Lying back pose

Though these poses may appear less complicated any yoga pose that involves lying on the back may put pressure on the inferior vena cava.

Why to Avoid

Lying on your back in pregnancy may trigger the feeling of nausea, cause lower back pain, increase the blood pressure and also cause heartburns. Apart from this, the nerve in the back called vena cava performs vital functions during pregnancy, which is transferring deoxygenated blood from the lower part of the body back to the heart. Lying for longer durations on your back may harm this nerve and cause various complications.

Poses to Avoid

Corpse Pose.

5. Inversion Poses

Inversion pose

Inversion poses can make you extremely nauseous and giddy during pregnancy.

Why to Avoid

Pregnancy makes you gain a substantial amount of weight to nurture your pregnancy needs and also of your unborn child. As your tummy grows, it will become difficult for you to maintain your centre of gravity and thus your body’s balance. Doing inversion poses in the second or third trimester of your pregnancy may cause extreme dizziness and you may even lose your balance. Both these situations can prove to be fatal for you and your unborn child.

Poses to Avoid

Shoulder or Headstand, Downward Facing Dog Pose.

6. Heated Yoga Poses

Heated Pose

Heated yoga poses can cause an increase in the body heat and thus cause harm to your unborn baby.

Why to Avoid

There are some yoga poses, which are said to increase body heat. Such yoga poses should be completely avoided in all the trimesters of pregnancy. These poses not only elevate the body heat but such poses may also cause dehydration during pregnancy.

Poses to Avoid

Bikram pose.

7. Prone or Belly Down Poses

Belly down pose

As you move ahead in your pregnancy journey, you will find it difficult to lie on your tummy and thus any yoga poses involving lying or bending down from the tummy may be harmful.

Why to Avoid

As your baby grows inside your tummy, it tends to squeeze your internal organs and any kind of extra stress by bending down from the tummy or lying on your tummy may put extra pressure on your abdominal region. This may neither be good for you or for the baby growing inside you.

Poses to Avoid

Swan Pose, Cobra Pose, Bow Pose, Locust Pose.

Exercising is important during pregnancy but more than that it is you and your baby’s well-being that holds priority. Therefore, do not challenge yourself and do things that your body cannot cope up with and a strenuous yoga workout is one of them. It is important that you consult your healthcare practitioner before following any exercise regime and also know about various yoga moves to avoid during pregnancy. For the best interest of your baby, it is advisable that you take help from an expert in doing various yoga poses during pregnancy. Apart from this, it is important that you drink enough water to keep yourself well hydrated. Get cues from your body and if anything makes you feel uncomfortable, do not push yourself to do it.

Also Read:

Exercises to Avoid in Pregnancy
Abdominal Exercises in Pregnancy