Unsafe Yoga Poses During First Trimester

By Patricia | April 17, 2009
Pregnancy Yoga: Do’s and Don’ts

Yoga is beneficial during pregnancy because it helps to achieve a good balance of body and mind during this period of great change. With its breathing techniques it helps the body to relax, take in more oxygen and flush out toxins. The deep breathing techniques also prove helpful during labor. Yoga's stretching poses help to tone up the body, and strengthen the muscles of the body, including the pelvis and spine, which in turn encourages easy delivery. Yoga improve circulation and balance, and since the movements are slow and gentle, there is no additional stress or impact on the joints.

But while prenatal yoga is very beneficial for building up strength and flexibility, there are a few do's and don'ts. There are certain yoga poses which are better avoided as they may cause physical stress or difficulty.

  • It is best to avoid all inversion poses, such as Headstands or Upward Bow. Also avoid all Hand stands and Shoulder stands. Do not do the Camel Pose, Cobra Pose or the Downward Dog Pose. Do not do any of the Balancing Poses on one leg. During pregnancy the body's balance is altered, and such poses increase the risk factor of falling and causing injury to oneself and baby.
  • Also avoid any deep twist poses. Of course, as it is, these will become physically impossible because of their very nature. Some practitioners also advise against many of the exercises, which are performed while lying on the back.
  • The exercises which can be done are all or any of the standing poses. The forward bending asanas (poses) too are advisable in the first trimester, but remember to do all poses slowly and accompanied by deep breathing methods.
  • Bound Angle Pose (Baddha konasana) and Open Angle (upavista konasana) are especially beneficial as they make the pelvic muscles and the muscles of the lower back strong and supple. This helps in reducing labor pains
  • The poses which are safe during pregnancy are the Cat-Cow Pose, the Seated Forward Bend, the Side-angle Pose, the Standing Forward Bend and the Triangle Pose.
  • The Cobra pose is best avoided, but some practitioners recommend it during the first trimester.

It is essential that you listen to your body. Stop any exercise if you feel any discomfort or pain, during any of the poses. Take medical advice if there is any bleeding. Also keep a check on your blood pressure, because certain yoga poses are contra-indicatory for such conditions. Consult a yoga instructor who specializes in yoga for pregnant women.

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