Positions To Avoid While Pregnant (9+ Poses Should Be Avoided)

by | Jan 24, 2022

positions to avoid while pregnant
In general, yoga relieves alleviate anxiety, lowers back pain, muscle tension, reduces stress, improves sleep, and strengthens and tones the body in preparation for the physical and emotional challenge of giving birth, so it is an excellent practice for pregnant moms. There are some positions to avoid while pregnant that’s why every pose is not safe for expectant moms. Unfortunately, the plethora of trainers isn’t adequately trained to know which poses to avoid or modify.

Beginning days, I had no idea how to safely work with pregnant women and would silently pray no pregnant moms would walk through the door, and I accepted that when I first started teaching. Heavenly for me, many women with beautiful baby bumps found their way into my classes and forced me to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to work or deal with women through all three trimesters of pregnancy.

I’m more in touch with my body and my yoga practice than ever before because I’m currently six months pregnant myself. My body is feeling stronger and healthier than ever but also while I’ve had to adapt, modify and avoid certain positions. So yoga on my beautiful mamas!

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Is It Safe to Practice Yoga While Pregnant?

You don’t have to give it up entirely once you get pregnant if you already have an established yoga practice. While others may need to be modified or omitted there are many poses that will be safe to continue. To let your instructor know that you are pregnant is a good idea.

As a rule, it is probably not a good idea to start any new type of exercise while pregnant. If you have minimal experience with yoga, or never practiced yoga before, sticking to prenatal yoga classes is your best bet. These routines are specifically gentle and designed for expectant mothers.

9+ Positions To Avoid While Pregnant

Follow these instructions on which position you should avoid or be really careful doing while pregnant to help keep you and your baby safe on your mat:


Well, it’s best you should avoid any positions while pregnant that involve lying or placing pressure directly on your belly (such as prone position) like cobra or locust position (salabhasana), once pregnancy has been confirmed. We don’t want to place unnecessary compression on your baby, even though your little one might only be the size of a lentil. Instead, swap sphinx pose (first trimester only) or cobra pose for cow pose. Lying on your belly won’t even be an option, if you once move into your second and third trimester.


Positions on your back lasting for more than 90 seconds should be limited, once you reach 20 weeks of pregnancy. Extra pressure is placed on your vena cava, the main vein that carries blood from your lower body back to your heart, as your baby and uterus grow in the second and third trimesters. While exercising, this can lead to dizziness and lowered blood pressure. By propping your back up on bolsters supported by blocks, modify postures like corpse position (savasana) or by lying on your side instead.

Related: Boppy Side Sleeper Pregnancy Pillow


For the next nine months, your belly is your baby’s home and your job is to protect that beautiful house. Core exercises should be avoided during all three trimesters like crunches and boat position (navasana) compress the abdomen. Creating a strong and stable core can help you prevent lower-back pain during pregnancy and build stamina for labor and delivery, however, you don’t have to shy away from all core exercises.

Generally speaking, include safe core exercises, extended table, plank (no dumping into the lower back, with proper form), forearm plank, and side forearm plank. However, you do have some talk with your doctor if you have or suspect you have diastasis recti, which is a separation of the outermost layer of abdominal muscles that affects about 1/3 of pregnant women. Which core exercises you are able to safely perform, it is determined.


Your belly grows as your pregnancy progresses, to make more space for your baby and protect your lower back you’ll want to modify deep forward folds like standing forward bend (uttanasana) and seated forward bend (paschimottanasana). Rather than practicing with your feet together, use blocks under your palms during standing forward bends to avoid going too deep, take a wider stance, and straining your lower back.


Twisting is really a bad posture during pregnancy, It should be avoided and similar to crunches, “closed” twists (twisting inward) compress the abdomen. Instances like twisting postures to avoid include twisting chair, twisting crescent, revolved triangle, revolved half moon, and seated twists. However, Open twists are totally fine because they don’t compress your baby’s warm and cozy home.


You can probably figure out which kind of positions I’m referring to, you know, those crazy, twist-yourself-into-knots poses? While you won’t find “pretzel pose” in any of the ancient yogic texts. I would certainly avoid them during pregnancy and I try my best to avoid those altogether (because who really wants to wrap their legs around their head?).

Relaxin called a hormone relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis to help create space for your baby to pass through, during pregnancy, our body produces that hormone. As a result, It can lead to SI joint instability and lower-back pain with the increased risk of overstretching your ligaments in certain positions. During your practice Be careful not to over-stretch in any given position.


During pregnancy, while gentle backbends can be very therapeutic, you should try to avoid these positions while pregnant deep backbends like upward bow position (also famous as “wheel” or urdhva dhanurasana) unless you have been comfortably and safely practicing them pre-pregnancy. Also, they can put you at higher risk for diastasis recti (abdominal separation).


At six months pregnant I’m admittedly an inversion junkie, I’m still practicing inversions safely and regularly including handstands and forearm balances. However, if you didn’t have a strong inversion practice before you got pregnant, now is not the time to start, this is the general rule of thumb. The most certain risk includes toppling over, but also there are other risks available including compressing your cervical spine (the tiny vertebrae in your neck) in positions like a headstand more weight than your body is used to as you are carrying now.


Heating breathwork techniques should be avoided like “breath of fire” (or kapalabhati). Breath retention practices should also be avoided during pregnancy like kumbhaka pranayama. However, breathing practices are highly recommended like diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing) and ujayii breathing. These types of breathing techniques for calming and cooling are great to carry with you into labor and delivery.

Well, I just finished a hypnobirthing course where they encouraged expectant mothers to “breathe the baby down” rather than forcefully pushing but of course through the birth canal, which studies have shown can lead to less vaginal tearing.


During pregnancy, your core temperature can also rise, as blood flow increases. Practicing yoga should be avoided in a heated room with extreme temperatures so as not to put yourself and your baby at risk for dangerous elevations of core maternal temperature.

Related: Sex during pregnancy: 11 Reasons why you should make love everyday

The Bottom Line

Well, as you might be ready to jump into your yoga practice, if you are expecting, it’s important to take any necessary precautions. Some moves are safe enough to continue during pregnancy If you’ve been practicing yoga beforehand.

If you are a beginner to yoga, put your yoga classes on hold until after you’ve given birth and it’s best to err on the side of caution.

As usual, it’s always best to reach out to your doctor for their input, if you’re wondering about which positions you can or cannot perform while pregnant.

Question about positions to avoid while pregnant we hope this article has given you an indebt answer, so go ahead have a smooth delivery and enjoy the transition your body is going through.