13 Yoga Poses To Avoid During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, prenatal yoga is a great way to stay in shape. Doing pregnancy exercises make you become more flexible, and feel more relaxed. But, there are certain contraindicated yoga postures, which women should avoid during pregnancy. Below are some of the yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy.

Yoga Poses To Avoid During Pregnancy

1.Avoid Over Stretching


Throughout your pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called relaxin, which not only makes room for the baby and prepares for birth, but also is intended to soften your inflexible parts, such as the ligaments and bones.

During pregnancy, over-stretching can cause this softening of the ligaments can make them vulnerable. Avoid going further into poses than you are accustomed, because when you experience a pulled ligament, it may take a long time to heal. Take extra care of your knees, especially.

2.Plank Cross (Twist Variations)


Generally, there are many variations of the twist- some in this plank-type position, some seated, in which your body twists through your torso and close in on your belly. You may be doing these twists prior to becoming pregnant, and few women may be able to continue them throughout the first trimester. But beyond the first trimester, it is advisable to avoid them, as they can put too much stress on your belly.

Deep twists from the belly, such as ardha matsyendrasana, can cause compression of the internal organs, including the uterus. It is advisable, instead, to do twists more gently from the shoulders, or take an open twist. An open twist lets twisting away from your forward leg so that your belly has a lot of space, instead of getting compressed. Skip full wheel, plow, boat, and cobra yoga poses.



One of the yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy, are the jumps. They pose a slight risk of dislodging the fertilized egg from the uterus. Hence, should be avoided in early pregnancy. The jumping, yoga exercises, only puts unnecessary stress on your joints.

There are many poses to enjoy, while pregnant, such as hip-openers, like pigeons, warrior II, and triangle, will open your hips, prepare you for birth and increase flexibility. Positions like cat-cow, helps you move the baby into optimal position.

Also Read - Top 8 Workouts for Pregnant Women

4.Avoid Shavasana


Shavasana is just lying directly on your back. This yoga asana can put pressure on the baby’s blood supply. The increased weight of your uterus interferes with the blood flow and nutrients to your developing baby. It can also increase lower back pain, blood pressure and also heart burn. During shavasana, it is recommended to curl up on your left side or sit in a cross-legged position, for pregnant women.

Use bolsters to prop your torso up instead of lying flat. Find ways to stretch the same muscles while you are standing, sitting on your knees and hands, or when lying on your side., whenever possible. Do not over stretch.

5. Fast Breathing


Any pranayama that requires you to hold your breath compromises the baby’s oxygen supply. Rapid inhales and exhales, such as kapalabhati, should be avoided. Instead, start to practice deep inhalations through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

6. Inversions


Doing inversions, lets you turn yourself upside down. You can avoid doing this, just to avoid falling, and if you are not super comfortable with inversions, this is not the time to work on them.

7. Avoid Locust Pose (Salabhasana)


This pose and any other related poses, such as cobra, that have you lying on your belly put a lot of pressure on your belly and need to be avoided throughout your entire pregnancy.



During pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid deep back bends, like full wheel pose and even forward bends. Folding forward can compress nerves and blood vessels, that connect to your uterus.

Instead, keep the flow, by separating your legs like in a Wide-Legged Forward Bend position, to make space at the top of the thighs. Over stretching in this area could also put you at risk for diastasis. Instead, stick to easier back bends such as the variation of Camel that you can even do with one arm lifted.

9.Abdominal work


Yoga postures that are abdominal strengtheners, such as boat pose, low boat pose and other crunch-type poses should be avoided. This could increase the severity of diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation). As your belly expands, it is difficult to support the weight with your abdominal muscles. Do not worry about getting your ABS back in shape.

Also Read - 5 Best Yoga Asanas For Weight Loss

10. Plow Pose


Plow pose and other related exercises that, have you folding over, can put too much stress on your core.

11.Hot Yoga


Heated yoga, like Bikram, is best to avoid during pregnancy. You do not want to raise your core temperature above a safe level. Also watch out for your hydration levels. Remember, yoga is about being flexible in the mind as well as the body,

12. Vinyasa Yoga


Be flexible and willing to adapt your pace as necessary, if you practice a very vigorous form of vinyasa yoga, like Ashtanga or Power Yoga, or try gentler styles as your pregnancy progresses.

13.Doing Too Much


Pregnancy is not the time to do what you were capable of before getting pregnant, or push yourself to new yoga heights. During pregnancy, the goal of doing yoga, is to maintain flexibility, and reduce anxiety and stress. It also gives you bonding time with your baby.

Growing a baby is a hard work, so take it easy and listen to your body – if it does not feel right, do not do it!

Do not hesitate to take breaks during a prenatal yoga class to rest in a Wide Child's Pose, or to take a nap, by even skipping the class altogether. Make sure to let the  instructor know you are pregnant, and would like her to offer you modified moves, if you are attending a non-prenatal yoga class.

By Supraja

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