Should You Do Yoga While Pregnant?

Expectant mothers want to do anything and everything they can to ensure their child’s safety and health. That means they want to avoid anything that could potentially be harmful, and conversely, pursue anything that is proven beneficial. 

There’s been some buzz surrounding yoga during pregnancy. Some say it’s a must-do for all pregnant moms while others warn of potential risks. So, the question everyone wants to know the answer to: should you do yoga while pregnant?

In short, the answer is yes! But there are caveats. Yoga during pregnancy can be great for a pregnant mother’s mental and physical wellbeing. Still, because she is in a new physical state with potential complications, expectant moms should take precautions while trying out challenging yoga poses.

Keep reading for more information on recommended precautions and some modifications you can make to your yoga practice to make it safer for you and your baby.

Guidelines to follow for safe yoga practice during pregnancy

  1. Always tell your instructor you are pregnant before taking a yoga class. She or he will help you make modifications to ensure your safety.
  2. Avoid poses that stretch the abdominal muscles.
  3. Avoid balance poses that increase your risk of falling.
  4. Skip “hot yoga” (link to hot yoga blog), as overheating can endanger your baby.
  5. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too far.

Modifications to make yoga while pregnant safer and more comfortable

  1. Drink water throughout your practice. While this is typically a no-no in most yoga classes, you must stay hydrated and cool.
  2. Work on your breathing technique. This is excellent practice for labor!
  3. Use props like a yoga block (link to blog about yoga blocks) to assist you.
  4. Don’t lay on your belly. This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you might have forgotten how many yoga poses involve lying on your stomach.
  5. On that note… Avoiding twisting or stretching your abdominal muscles.
  6. Avoid lying on your back. This risks compressing the inferior vena cava, restricting blood flow to the heart. Your body will let you know when you should no longer be on your back, but it’s best to avoid it altogether, if possible.
  7. Limit intense inversions you may have practiced before pregnancy. Of course, it’s up to you to listen to your body and judge what you can and cannot do, but don’t be afraid to err on the side of caution.

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