All You Need To Know About Yoga During Pregnancy (Risks And Precautions)

May 23, 2019 6 min read

All You Need To Know About Yoga During Pregnancy (Risks And Precautions)

If you have never done yoga, then pregnancy is a good time to start. This Hindu tradition has come a long way and is considered one of the best ways to be healthier and improve several different bodily functions including mental health. Since pregnancy brings about actual physical changes to the brain, it is highly recommendable to adapt to yoga. Yoga calms down your muscles and makes blood flow better to help you during pregnancy.

In this write-up, we will talk about the things you must know when you practice yoga during pregnancy. Follow the guidelines to bring about a healthier pregnancy.

So let’s begin without further ado!


Risks of Yoga during Pregnancy

Yoga might be one of the healthiest practices during pregnancy. However, do not forget that pregnancy is a flimsy time for your body and every movement that you make will make a difference to your fetus. It is important to keep in mind the risks that yoga might bring to you. The following are few that you might want to keep in mind depending on your situation.

1. Too many folds

Many of the yoga postures include bending to the front at a very rigid level. While these may be safe in the first trimester, as time goes by, they may become highly dangerous for your baby. In fact for some women, it may not be safe to do them in the first trimester too.

Try doing easier postures or open your legs wide apart to make room for your growing belly during pregnancy.

too many folds

2. Inversions

Inversions are also a very common practice during yoga. No matter how good you are at it, during pregnancy it falls under high risk especially in the first trimester. During an inversion, your body is bound to work against the gravity and natural blood flow. This may cause blood rush to your head and a tight pressure to your organs. Your fetus might even move around in angles that it should not. Inversions of all sorts are not at all suitable.

While some women think that since they have a good practice, they can do it without falling, but they should not as the body might not be able to take it.


3. Twists

Twists are another form of the riskiest forms of exercises during your pregnancy. While twists may be beneficial for the normal human being, it may cause several risks during pregnancy time. Your uterus is going through major changes to ensure that your body is ready for your baby. Hence, it is not fair that you close space to it with several twists and turns.

Open twists are still low risk where you twist your shoulders and upper body only. However, cramping up your abdomen may cause serious risk to your baby which is just a cell at this point.


4. Heating exercises

Some yoga postures are especially to ensure that your body temperature rises. These practices are great for people that live in cold areas or they remain too cool for their body to functions. Pregnancy raises body temperatures by a couple of degrees which means that you need to work on staying cool. So any posture that might overheat your body may be very risky.

Additionally, if you are doing yoga in a hot or warm environment or warm clothes, your body may be under a lot of pressure to cool down. Hence, the point of relaxation is lost and your body works excessively to cool down which is highly risky.

Heating exercises

5. Belly balances

One of the most common yoga practices includes postures with belly balances. If for some reason you are allowed to carry them on during the first trimester, then you need to forget them in the second. While your second trimester may be the easiest, your belly is slightly starting to grow. Balancing on it may cause strain to your uterus and allows several different risks and factors.

Belly balances

6. Lying on your back

While lying on your back is suited in the first and second trimester, by the time you reach your third trimester it is considered highly dangerous. So any posture that involves lying on your back should be avoided.

Lying on your back

7. Balancing postures

By the third trimester, you have gained a significant amount of mass in your body. Your belly is growing to the point that you might feel that it will explode. In this time, it is important to not balance on one foot or any other points. Balancing causes even the best of yogis to topple off during pregnancy so if you are a newbie, then avoid it or you might fall and harm yourself and your fetus.  

Balancing postures

Precautions of Yoga during Pregnancy

While there are many different risks involved, and you might be a little scared reading what is above, there are a couple of precautions that you should take. These precautions will help you make your yoga experience much safer and efficient for you.

1. Reach your limit

A common misconception about exercises and yoga, in general, is that it is best done when gone over limits. The truth is that your body needs to reach its limit and not go beyond. The similar case is with yoga during pregnancy. No matter if you are doing the simplest posture like standing straight. If you get tired, fatigued, or you start feeling dizzy or nauseous then take a step back.

Redefine your limits and stick to those where you feel the most comfortable and safe. Keep in your mind that it is all about relaxation.

Reach your limit

2. Chill out

Literally, chill out! One of the most important precautions that you need to take is to use yoga as a means of cooling down. Ensure that your clothes are breathable and if you want roomy as well. Make sure that you are in a temperature controlled environment. The reason is that your body is already gaining heat with the baby. You need to make sure that it remains on normal body temperatures. Yoga will help you but only if done in a controlled environment and outfit.

Chill out

3. Breathe

One of the most common malpractices during yoga is that people forget to breathe. While the wrong breathing system might cause dangers to a regular human, it may be worst for a pregnant lady. Ensure that you are taking the perfect breath at every posture. Try taking help from a professional if you are a novice to help in ensuring that you are breathing right.

Practicing breathing techniques is also a great way to ensure that during labor you know how to breathe so that you can have a safe and healthy delivery.


4. Open up

Any position that you do during yoga will affect your body at a drastic level. One very important precaution that you need to take is to try yoga postures that open up and your body and relax your muscles. This precaution is especially for the last trimester where your body is preparing for labor. Practice postures that help you open up so that your contractions are also more relaxed than they generally are for non-yoga mothers.

Open up

5. Avoid vigorous yoga

Needless to say that anything that tires and fatigues you is out of the picture. Even though it might be deemed safe in the earlier months, it is still precautionary to leave them behind. Avoid aerobics yoga and other forms of hefty yoga in all months entirely. Keep in mind that your heart rate is already going to be pretty high and you do not need to make it higher.

Avoid vigorous yoga

6. Right time

Your yoga timing should directly depend on when you are eating food. Ideally, the best time to practice yoga is the first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This time also helps in stretching away bed fatigue and giving a fresh start to the day. However, if that is not a good time for you, then ensure that your food intake is at least 2 hours before you sit for yoga.

The reason is that digestion is an important process and it takes up to 2 hours to digest your food just from your stomach which takes up a lot of energy.

Right time


Overall, yoga is the best way to ensure a healthy and somewhat of an easy pregnancy. Pregnancy is about major hormones and changes. This makes a woman’s body prone to stress and anxiety at a level that is almost unmanageable. Yoga postures help drastically with different bodily functions. Yoga helps to reduce fatigue symptoms like pain in the lower back, headaches, nausea, and stress, all these are lowered immensely with yoga.

However, just like everything in the universe, yoga has its limitations as well. Ensure that you get help from a professional and consult your obstetrician-gynecologist of better knowledge of where you stand when you are pregnant. Most of all, do not forget to enjoy your pregnancy!

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