Yoga can be unsafe during pregnancy

Yoga is a collection of hundreds and thousands of asanas. Each asana has a unique purpose and has maximum effect on a specific body part. Not all asana are same and neither do they work in similar manner. During pregnancy the main concern is the abdomen and the fetus in the womb. Thus the Yoga is performed keeping this in mind.

Identifying unsafe postures during pregnancy

As a general rule, care should be taken to avoid any postures during pregnancy that does the following to you-

  1. Presses the abdomen, like paschimattanasanaNo-paschimottanasana
  2. Twists the abdomen, like most of the twisting postures,ardha-matsyendra-asana
  3. Stretches the abdominal muscle thus applying pressure on the uterus, like ustrasana or chakrasanano-ustrasana during pregnancy
  4. Any posture that makes you anxious, or nervous like shirshasanano-arm-balances
  5. Makes you sweat or increases your heartbeat like doing suryanamaskarSivananda-Style-Surya-Namaskara

Being cautious during pregnancy

Extra care should be taken by women who have specific medical condition like:

  1. Women who’ve had a history of abortions
  2. If your cervix is dilated then you should avoid stretching your pelvic.

Ladies who have never exercised before and have lot of stiffness in the body, should go slow and make sure to be easy on themselves. If you have chosen to practice yoga for a healthy pregnancy, then seek advice from your doctor and practice yoga under the guidance of experienced yoga teacher.

A pregnant woman is the best judge of her own condition. In case there is even an iota of doubt of practicing a particular posture, then avoid it completely.

Prenatal Yoga

I’m a trained yoga instructor and a regular yoga practitioner and when I found myself pregnant I referred to BKS Iyengar’s book for motherhood. It is the source of right information needed at the right time. I practiced yoga based upon the information given in this book through out my pregnancy and the results were amazing. My labor lasted unbelievably for only 2 and half hours while I saw others suffering for 12 to 24 hours. The credit goes entirely to my yoga practice. I self practiced yoga because I am a trained yoga instructor, but otherwise it is not advisable for anyone to embark onto self practice without any expert guidance.

Pregnancy is a blissful phase in a women’s life. A phase when more than her own self a woman is more concerned about the health and safety of her unborn child. It is generally considered that Yoga during pregnancy is risky and unsafe but that is just a myth. In fact Yoga done under the proper guidance of a trained teacher during pregnancy can tone and prepare the woman’s body for a trouble free pregnancy and an easy and normal delivery.

Prenatal care and Yoga

Prenatal care is not just about physical health of a pregnant woman, but mental well-being is equally important for the good health of the mother and her unborn child. Healthy body and healthy mind of a pregnant woman combine to prepare a fertile environment for the baby in her womb.

Yoga Postures

  • These work on the physical body thus making it more strong and supple.
  • Asanas even help in removing fatigue, pain and aches from the body of a pregnant woman.
  • Back pain is a common complain of any pregnant woman but regular practice of yoga during pregnancy makes the back much stronger thus enabling it to take the weight of the growing fetus without any discomfort.


Pranayama and certain specific breathing styles can take care of your mental being leading to a balanced and relaxed mind. Pregnancy is an exhaustive process and can even lead to mood swings, anger and anxiousness. Thus pranayama can be a miracle cure for mental fatigue.

What does Yoga do in pregnancy

From the conception to delivery the fetus (the unborn baby in the womb) grows from a single cell to a full fledged baby. Throughout this phase fetus keeps moving in the uterus and all that is needed is a healthy environment and enough space in the uterus for the fetus to move around.

This growing weight of the baby is to be borne by the pregnant woman and she needs a strong back to keep the pain at bay. Yoga does exactly this by-

    1. Strengthening the back muscles.
    2. Promoting proper blood circulation to the uterus.
    3. Maintaining toned and strong uterus to keep the fetus safe.
    4. Creating adequate room within the uterus for the movement of the baby within.
    5. Expanding the cavity of the pelvic region.
    6. Uterus functions more efficiently so that the delivery can be normal.

When to start Yoga during Pregnancy

Before Conceiving: Sooner the better. Good foundation lays the base for a strong structure. You should start practicing Yoga long before you have conceived, or when you are planning to conceive. For that matter it is always advisable to practice yoga regularly, which will help you in conceiving and even carrying your term.

Early Pregnancy: In case you have already conceived and have not started your practice yet then, starting as early as possible is a good idea. Starting in the first trimester goes a long way, provided you are guided by an experienced teacher. If you have never practiced yoga before and you are starting now then extra care is suggested and proper medical advice should be taken before you start your practice.

Late Pregnancy: In case you have never practiced any Yoga before and you are already into your late pregnancy, then starting now would not be a good idea, until and unless you have an approval from your doctor and supervision of an experienced teacher.