Pregnancy is crucial phase in every woman’s life. During this period your body will experience many changes, and it is essential that you take proper care of yourself to ensure your good health and that of your unborn child. Yoga can really help to prepare your body for the rigors of pregnancy and can go a long way in strengthening your muscles and relieving a lot of the pain that is caused due to the increased weight that your spine has to bear.
Twisting poses such as the Marichyasana (Sage’s Pose), Ardha Matsyendra Asana (Half Spinal Twist Pose), and the Bharadvajasana (Seated Twist Pose) should be avoided, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. This is because it can lead to irritation or injury of the sacroiliac joint. Twists can also compress the internal organs, including the uterus.
Heated yoga classes, such as in Bikram Yoga, raise the body’s core temperature. These should be avoided during the entire duration of pregnancy. Instead opt for a gentler form of Yoga that is not as strenuous and does not require raising your body’s core temperature by artificial means.
Performing Yoga poses that involve inversions during pregnancy is still a controversial topic with many arguments for either side of the story. Personally I feel that inversions should be avoided, because they invert the uterus and put unnatural pressure on the fetus. In any case, if you want to continue performing inversions, do not continue beyond the second trimester. It is also a good idea to perform inversions while taking support of a wall. This added support will help your body to safely bear the additional weight that it is carrying and will also prevent you from falling.
The best way to take full advantage of the benefits that yoga provides during your pregnancy is to join a pre-natal yoga class. These are specialized classes that are specifically designed for pregnant women. They include Yoga poses that are considered to be safe and beneficial for pregnant women. These classes will let your perform your Yoga poses with suitable modifications to suit your condition.
If you do not have access to a pre-natal Yoga class, you should try to seek the guidance of a qualified Yoga instructor. He or she will be able to guide you in a step-by-step manner through the Yoga exercises that you should perform during this crucial phase of your life.