Yoga unites one’s spirit, mind and body and pregnancy does not have to be an impediment if you practice yoga regularly. In fact, pregnancy can be a time when yoga poses can work wonders for you as well as your body.
When it comes to practicing yoga poses for pregnant women during the first trimester, some yoga teachers would say that it is fine while some others would be strongly against it. So what should one do? Ideally, one’s feeling about this should be somewhere in the middle – while it is not harmful to practice yoga during the first trimester but being cautious of the poses which can do more damage during pregnancy is equally imperative.
Modifying yoga poses for pregnant women during the first trimester may not seem to be a very important task for a lot of people because they hardly see any visible physical changes. But the truth is that during this time the body is undergoing tremendous internal modifications and hence it would be good if one helps the body by practicing the right yoga poses.
Some of the ‘dos’ for prenatal yoga poses are -
- Standing poses such as Utthita Parsvakonasana or Extended side angle pose, Uttihita Trikonasana or Extended triangle pose or even the Warrior I-III poses are recommended for pregnant women in their first trimester.
- They can also practice balance poses such as the Eagle pose (Garudasana) and the Tree Pose (Vrksasana).
- Hip opener poses such as Bound Angle Pose or Baddha Konasan and Upavistha Konasan or Wide-angle seated forward bend can be practiced but one must not go overboard with these poses.
‘Don’ts’ during this time are -
- Poses which require the belly down positions and supporting the weight aren’t recommended.
- As long as the person is distributing the weight of the body equally to the legs and the legs are used actively, it is fine.
Therefore Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose is fine but poses like Salambhasana or Locust pose and Danurasana or bow pose should be avoided at all costs because they put pressure directly on the uterus.
Yoga positions for pregnant women that induce twists, focus on the upper back and are above the bra strap line are fine but poses which induces deep belly twists are a strict no-no even though they may work wonders for non-pregnant women. This is because for pregnant women in their first trimester, it can cause serious damage to the uterus even though its size may not be that big.
Asanas which call for deep back bends are a no-no too because they can over-stretch one’s abdominal muscles and compress one’s uterus. The same goes for poses which have jerky movements or jumps as these have the potential of disturbing the implantation of the baby. Strengthening your abdomen area with the help of yoga poses is not something that you should try out during your first trimester or during the entire prenatal period.
The path towards motherhood requires a lot of patience and at times it may be best for you to stay away from certain yoga poses, therefore don’t push yourself too hard and stick to the guidelines.