Is Yoga Safe when Pregnant?
Practicing yoga during pregnancy is one of the many things many women strive for. Some enroll in prenatal yoga classes that teach poses that can be adapted during this period, while others choose to practice yoga at home.
Yoga helps with flexibility as well as strengthening the muscles, pelvic floor and deep core; all of which are needed for supporting the additional weight and growing baby during pregnancy.
If you are an expectant mom, here are some poses to practice and some ideas of what you should avoid. Always consult your prenatal health care provider prior to any exercise regime, particularly if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
Best Yoga Poses for Pregnant Women
Remember, as your pregnancy progresses, you may want to make modifications as required.
This is the ideal yoga pose for opening up the hips. For better results, keep a light core connection and lengthen all the way to the top of your head for a deeper hip opening, instead of sinking into the stretch. Although this pose is fairly safe to practice in all the trimesters of your pregnancy, it needs modification as the belly grows. You may want to place a block or bolster underneath your hip.
Cat cow is a safe exercise during your entire pregnancy. It strengthens the deep core muscles, and lengthens your spine. It also is great for opening up the shoulders and hips and tapping in to the pelvic floor muscles.
Safe throughout your pregnancy, warrior II strengthens your hips, core, buttocks and legs. However, in the third and final trimester, you may want to decrease your range of motion as it may feel uncomfortable in the pubic area. If the discomfort persists, avoid the pose at that point.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Before you start your yoga sessions, be sure you have consulted your doctor and that they have approved your exercise.
Don’t overstretch. What most women don’t know is that pregnancy brings a surge and confusion in the hormonal balance. One such hormone is relaxin. Pregnant women produce a lot of relaxin which helps relax ligaments for the easy passage of the baby through the pelvis. Be careful to listen to your breath and body and don’t go too deep in to a pose or stretch.
If you are an avid yoga enthusiast, you may tend to bypass your instructor’s input. However, it’s always a good idea to make it known to them that you are expectant to see whether they can make certain modifications for you.
Yoga sessions can heat up real quick. To be on the safe side, wear layers that you can progressively shed off as your body heats up.
Always stay hydrated by carrying a bottle of water during your practices. Hydration isn ot only useful for your body; it also helps avert preterm labor.
Always avoid yoga poses that require rapid breathing. Practice deep inhalations and exhalations throughout the practice which will also help during the birthing process.
Although upside-down inversions may not pose inherent risks to your unborn baby, it poses the risk of falling. If you haven’t practiced inversions, it is not a good idea to do them. If you are a more experienced yogi, utilize the walls to support
yourself. Back bending during pregnancy should be a no-go zone.
Poses such as cobra are safe during the very early stages of pregnancy. But as time progresses, all prone exercises where you lie on your belly should be discontinued.
Last but certainly not least, avoid extreme twisting poses. In general twisting across the midline is contraindicated. If any pose doesn’t feel comfortable, stop immediately. You are your own best guide.
Are you a pregnant mum who actively practices yoga? What poses do you practice? Are the above suggestions helpful? Share your stories, thoughts, and questions below.
Dan Chabert — Dan is an entrepreneur from Copenhagen, Denmark. He owns Runnerclick.com, Nicershoes.com, Thatsweetgift.com and Jewelry Jealousy. He also loves to join marathons. When he is not preparing for a race, he travels to see the sites of the world together with his wife.