It’s important to be familiar with the do’s and don’ts for prenatal yoga. As with any yoga practice, there are contraindications and modification to practice safely for injuries, conditions, ailments and body structure.
Take it slow and remember to breathe
Keep your feet at least hip width, if not wider apart in standing poses and when seated with legs extended
Use props to help support you
Sit on a folded blanket or cushion for seated pose
Use blocks to support your knees in butterfly
Use bolsters for support in final relaxation – under the backs of the knees, in-between your legs, etc
Be gentle and listen to your body
If yoga is new for you, focus on breathing exercises and more restorative poses in your first trimester. It’s best to avoid starting new exercises during this time as your baby is in the implementation stage at is at greatest risk for miscarriage in the first trimester. Also, with the side effects you may be feeling, it’s best to wait until the second trimester to being any new forms of exercise.
No yoga poses that compress the abdomen (no prone poses- lying on front body)
No practicing kapalbhati and eliminate breath retention (holding the breath) when practicing alternative nostril
No leg raises or any abdominal core exercise such as crunches, yogic bicycle, etc
Avoid having the knees together or crossing the knees
Avoid excessive strain and jerk or sudden movements
If you have regularly practiced of yoga prior to pregnancy, you may practice headstand and shoulder-stand up until your fifth month, however, if you did not have a prior practice of these poses, avoid both these poses. Legs up the wall can be practiced and is wonderful at helping relieve swollen ankles and varicose veins.
Listen to your body. Each practice will feel different. If you are attending prenatal yoga classes, let your teacher know of any changes. They are there to help you relax, surrender and connect with your baby.