Embrace Motherhood: Yoga Poses to Avoid During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is the most beautiful journey a woman can embark on, and you don’t have to give up your favorite yoga practice for it. However, there are yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy, or might need some modification altogether. 

The best thing to do is to consult your yoga instructor on what’s best.

Note that if you just started doing yoga and became pregnant, it’s best to go to prenatal yoga classes just to be safe. Such classes have very gentle routines and are perfect for the changing body of a mommy-to-be.

Down below, we have some tips for each trimester when it comes to yoga and some yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy.

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Yoga Poses to Avoid During Pregnancy

When you start your pregnancy, there are many things to avoid, minimize and change in your lifestyle. If you are a yoga fan, the number one question comes to mind: is yoga safe in early pregnancy? It’s safe if done correctly and with the proper techniques.

You should consult your doctor beforehand, but just for information, we created a small list of yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy.

Postures with lying down on your back or belly down

First things first, you should avoid any postures like the locust pose and cobra since they place pressure on your belly.

You can change the cobra pose to the sphinx or the cow pose for the first semester only. Then, avoid lying on the belly when you enter the second and third trimesters.

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Other yoga poses to avoid in the first trimester include lying on your back since they can cause dizziness and low blood pressure.

Anything that is around 90 seconds and includes lying on your back is dangerous for your baby’s health.

yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy
Not all yoga poses are suitable for pregnant women.

Breath Retention, Deep Backbends, and Hot Yoga

Yoga exercises to avoid during pregnancy are hot yoga since it might put you at risk of a high maternal temperature.

Breath retention, or the breath of fire, is also good to avoid, but you can do ujjayi and belly breathing since they can cool and relax the body.

Also, avoid deep backbends like the upward bow pose since they can cause abdominal separation. You can still do gentle backbends.

Twisting Postures, Crunches, and Pretzel Pose

Last but not least, avoid poses such as the pretzel pose and poses with twists since they can compress the baby’s environment. The twisting moon, chair, seating twists, and revolved triangles are twisting poses.

Don’t Miss to Read: Expecting and Stretching: Can I Do Hatha Yoga During Pregnancy?

The boat position and crunches must be avoided at all costs during pregnancy. Still, you can ask for core exercises since they are suitable for lower back pain and improving your stamina for delivery.

Trimester Yoga Tips

Now that we covered most of the yoga poses to avoid when pregnant, let’s talk about some yoga tips for each trimester.

Talking about the first trimester, we highly recommend, when doing yoga in the studio, to stand near a door in case of morning sickness and need to leave immediately. 

It’s good to bring a portable fan near your mat to keep cool without overheating and ensure you get yourself to a nice seating position or child’s pose when you need it. This is not the time to push yourself to become the best yogi in the world. 

Yoga poses to avoid in first trimester are such with handstands and headstands, so you don’t risk falling. If you have experience doing them, having someone near you or a wall for support is good.

Don’t Miss to Read: Embarking on a Journey: When to Start Yoga During Pregnancy?

Just as importantly, avoid overstretching or overextending your joints, as the hormone relaxin is produced during this time, causing your muscles, connective tissues, and joints to become loose. Even though this extra stretch can be helpful, don’t overdo it. 

Always have a go-to pose, such as a goddess, downward-facing dog, or puppy dog, for transiting in and out to feel your muscles better.

yoga during pregnancy
Proceed with caution when doing yoga pregnant.

Next up, in the second trimester, you can apply all of the first-trimester tips without a doubt. 

A good tip when doing poses that include the torso coming closer to the thighs, like the child’s pose or chair pose, you can open your legs wider to make room for the belly.

Face-down or prone positions can be really uncomfortable, so you can substitute them for the locust or cobra pose by being in a tabletop position and taking rounds of cow and cat or arm and leg extensions.

Instead of doing strength drills or supine poses that include lying on your back, you can do active standing poses like the garland pose, which can strengthen the pelvic and hip muscles. You can also try restorative side-lying poses using a block between your thighs to support the hips and back.

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Last but not least, you should do the final relaxation and add as many props as you want for more comfort.

When discussing the final third trimester, you should follow all of the tips above and the yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy, including inversions, since they can change the baby’s position and cause heartburn.

At this stage, you should avoid fast-paced classes since the baby is much bigger. Instead, slow down the pace and focus on breath work and prenatal postures in preparation for delivery.

Use all types of bolsters and blocks alongside slow and deep pranayama practices that can cool down the nervous system.

Don’t Miss to Read: Knowing the Right Time: When to Stop Yoga During Pregnancy?

The best advice is to focus on pelvic floor practices since this group of muscles is vital for delivery and enjoy this magical chapter before your new life begins. These are some of the best yoga poses for 3rd semester. 

Okay, girls – we hope we were helpful with our tips about these particular yoga poses to be avoided during pregnancy. Have fun with your practice while carrying a precious new life in yourself, but also be responsible – don’t forget the baby’s health is the most important thing!


What is prenatal yoga?

Prenatal yoga is a type of yoga where specific breathwork and positions are used for the body and mind. It’s designed only for the pregnant woman’s body.

Can prenatal yoga be the first time I ever do yoga?

You can do prenatal yoga as a first-timer since it’s gentle and it will ease you into the world of yoga like nothing else.

What are signs I should stop?

Signs to stop doing yoga are fluid leaking from your vagina, calf swelling and pain, and shortness of breath or dizziness.

What can I expect to do in a prenatal yoga class?

You should expect to do breathing techniques, gentle yoga poses, stretching of different body areas, and cooling down at the end of the class.

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Nelly Gutsalska

Hi! My name's Nelly. I've been writing my entire life and you can catch me writing about lifestyle alongside writing user guides for software products. I am a huge yoga fan and coincidentally a copywriter, so I decided to combine my love for both of them right here.
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