Why are certain Yoga poses contraindicated during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is an important time for a woman and her body goes through a number of changes. There are many conventional medicines, but yoga is an excellent alternative therapy to help the process along. Yoga is useful during three phases, the duration of the pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Yoga is an exercise of the body and mind that originated in India. This ancient discipline, which has been around for centuries is well-renowned for its healing abilities.
Yoga for pregnancy helps a woman cultivate the art of relaxation, which can help her against fatigue and irritability, the common side-effects of pregnancy. It also helps with any pain in different body parts. However, you should be careful which ‘asanas’ or postures and ‘pranayama’ or breathing techniques you follow. It is extremely important that you attend a yoga class or go to a reliable practitioner before you start practising yoga at home while you are pregnant. Make sure you perform the poses depending on which trimester you are in. You should only perform those poses that you are comfortable with and not unduly stress your body. As pregnancy is a delicate time, there are several poses that are contraindicated during pregnancy.
You should try to avoid certain balancing poses or poses that involve too much stretching. One such exercise is the locust pose or ‘Salabhasana’, where you need to lie on your stomach and arch your entire body backwards. Although this asana is extremely useful in strengthening your abdominal muscles, it will put a lot of pressure on your belly. Thus, this pose should be avoided after the first trimester as it will be harmful to the baby. It may be extremely strenuous, and this may cause an undue increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
Another pose that should be avoided during pregnancy is the triangle pose or ‘Trikonasana’, where you stretch your legs, touch one arm to the around and raise the other upwards such that you form a triangle with your body. Although this pose makes your back and leg muscles more flexible, after the third trimester, it is extremely difficult to bend so low. The weight of the belly will compress the chest and make it hard for you to breathe and thus it is unadvisable to perform this pose.
Certain breathing exercises like Ujjayi breathing should also be followed with caution when pregnant. This is because you need to fill your stomach, rib cage and lungs with air for this exercise. This would put too much stress on your breathing, and should therefore be avoided.