PRENATAL AND POSTNATAL YOGA-precautions and safety measures

16 Dec

postnatal yoga

Some women come to yoga for the first time during pregnancy. Those who are new to yoga are advised to start gently, focusing on pranayama, meditation, relaxation and gentle stretching. Experienced yoginis can continue to practice many asanas, but are advised to modify and soften their practice as the body changes.

When working with pregnant women, encourage them  to:

  •  •Avoid forcing and straining
  • • Stay within their comfort zone
  • • Listen to and trust their bodies
  • • Avoid physical discomfort. If they are not sure, always be on the side of caution
  • • Modify poses as appropriate


No postures on the belly after the first trimester.

Lying on one’s back can place pressure on the inferior vena cava, restricting blood flow to the fetus and possibly causing dizziness or nausea. Some women will not feel comfortable lying on their backs from early pregnancy, while others don’t experience this until later in the pregnancy. Supine postures can be elevated using pillows or blankets to avoid pressure on the vena cava. Placing a blanket under the right side of the torso will also alleviate pressure. Women should be guided by their own comfort with respect to lying on their backs.

pre natal

It is normal to feel fatigue, especially in the first and third trimesters. Encourage women to rest when they feel like it and design practices which are nourishing and restorative. Create space for rest between postures. 

Hormonal  changes  during  pregnancy  (increased  estrogen,  progesterone  and  relaxin)  soften  and  increase  the elasticity of ligaments. Avoid over Gstretching joints and ligaments during pregnancy. 

Pelvic floor and abdominal musculature are under  significant  strain  during  pregnancy. Wide stance standing yoga positions should be held for shorter periods of time.

Some things to avoid:

  •  Never compress the abdomen or pelvis.
  • • Avoid bouncing and jarring
  • • Avoid backbends except for modified cobra
  • • Avoid deep unsupported squats in the third trimester
  • • Avoid inversions unless they are already a part of the woman’s regular practice.

 Squatting should be avoided if there is:

  •  incompetent cervix
  • • premature dilation of cervix
  • • preGterm labour
  • • separated symphysis pubis (pubic bone)
  • • knee problems
  • • Hemorrhoids
  • • Discomfort at any time, more likely towards the end of the 3rd trimester

Use the breath as a guide. Do not allow the breathing to become forced or strained.


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