Pregnant Yoga StudentYoga Postures to Avoid During Pregnancy by Sue Fuller

Yoga when practiced mindfully can enrich your pregnancy.  Make sure that you listen to your body. Here are a few postures and techniques to avoid during pregnancy. 

If you feel pain or discomfort stop performing the posture or technique immediately and relax.  There is no point in pushing yourself, if it is painful or uncomfortable don’t do it.  You must listen to your body and ignore your ego. 

Your body will change - this is a good thing, the baby needs to grow and your body needs to prepare for labour and feeding a new born baby so a little extra body weight is required – enjoy it!  When practicing yoga picture your abdomen as being larger than it actually is, so that you never restrict your growing tunny.

Here are a few yoga postures that should be avoided.

Listen to your body as you might find other yoga postures during your pregnancy uncomfortable too.

Avoid all deep spinal twists.

Avoid all breath retentions or cleansing breaths.

Do not exercise whilst lying on your back after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Do not squash or restrict the abdomen.

Do not overstretch as joints and ligaments soften in preparation for labour.

Avoid deep squats as this applies a lot of pressure to the cervix during pregnancy.  A wide legged plie is a good alternative.

Avoid all inversions

Do not exercise whilst lying on your tummy.

Avoid all back bending postures.

Do not perform any kriyas (yoga cleansing activities).

Most importantly listen to your body and have fun because there are heaps of yoga postures that are suitable.

A few variations of yoga postures to try: -

When performing seated forward bends make sure that you soften your knees (to protect the lower back)and widen your legs (to create space for your abdomen).

When performing balancing postures face a wall and lightly rest your finger tips on it to help you maintain your balance, your centre of gravity will change as your body changes shape.

When on all fours keep your spine parallel to the floor and look through your legs rounding the back up a little, do not allow the lower back to slump towards the ground.

Never commence any new physical activities during your pregnancy without consulting with your doctor or midwife first. 

Remember if a posture or technique feels uncomfortable don’t do it.

Being pregnant is an amazing, wonderful, life changing journey.  The experience is different for everyone, during this time it is important that time is taken to enhance your pregnancy.

Prenatal Relaxations Audio Yoga ClassSue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher with a range of over 40 audio yoga classes, including a selection of pre and post natal Yoga classes.  All yoga classes are available on CD or as a MP3 download from  or from   Classes are easy-to-follow and suitable for all levels of yoga experience.

Sue is also the author of The British School of Yoga Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teachers Course, The resident yoga expert for Natural Health Magazine UK and a mother of two.