Yoga during your pregnancy - the Asana to avoid in your practice.
By BodyLove Pilates expert - Erin McFarland
Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a beautiful and fulfilling way to strengthen, tone, and stretch your ever-changing body. Use your intuition while practicing - if it does not feel good, avoid the posture. If it feels amazing, it is probably beneficial. Still not sure? Follow these simple guidelines:
ASANAS - Prone Poses (lying on your belly)
- At some point early on this will be uncomfortable and eventually physically impossible due to pressure on the uterus and fetus.
- Practice the poses on your hands and knees (all fours) instead. For example, do cat/cow in place of cobra or upward facing dog.
ASANAS Supine Poses (lying on your back)
- When lying on your back the pregnant uterus puts pressure a major vein which slows the return of blood to the heart.
- This reduces the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the fetus.
- Occasional supine positions are safe as long as you are comfortable and do not hold the position for too long.
- You can also lie on your side instead.
- Diastasis recti is a separation of the abdominal wall at the Linea Alba, the tissue that connects the two halves of the rectus abdominis (your “6-pack” abs). The Linea Alba begins at the bottom of your sternum (breast bone) and ends at your pubic bone.
- Any action that further stretches this line should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Backbends put real strain on the Linea Alba and should therefore be avoided.
ASANAS Deep or Closed Twists
- During pregnancy we want to make space for the baby to grow, and to help Mom feel more comfortable.
- Twisting towards the leg in front of you while seated or in a lunge posture compresses the belly and will probably be uncomfortable.
- Instead, twist away from the leg to make more space.
- Balance can be tricky during pregnancy, when your center of gravity shifts far forward, therefor increasing the risk of falling out of an inversion.
- Experienced practitioners may feel completely safe and comfortable inverting, in which case the poses can be beneficial.
- However, even experienced practitioners may wish to avoid inversions at the end of the first trimester and beginning of the second (weeks 10-13) when the placenta is still attaching to the uterine wall.
- An experienced and trusted teacher or doula may encourage inversions as a means to turn a breech baby. Inversions can also help relieve pelvic floor pressure during pregnancy.
- Use caution and listen to your instincts.
Below are examples of poses and movement you should avoid.