Picture Guide: Modifying for Pregnancy During Yoga at Home

There are many online options for yoga during quarantine, but not all are prenatal-friendly. Unless you are very comfortable self-modifying, I would highly recommend finding a prenatal or prenatal-friendly class. However, if that isn't possible and you feel safe doing so, here are so go-to swaps for typical postures that should be avoided during pregnancy.

Scenario: Class starts or ends on the back.

Why avoid? The weight of placenta and baby can compress the vena cava and hinder blood flow.

Option 1: Create a ramp using blankets, pillows, blocks, etc. Option 2: Lay on the side. Option to use a blanket under head or between legs (knees to ankles) to support hips

Scenario: Supine twist Why avoid? Compression to belly

Option 1: Skip altogether. Stay on side or rest in supported supine butterfly

Option 2: Walk feet as wide as the mat, then a step forward. Keep feet wide and gentle windshield wiper side to side, twisting from hip area vs across abdomen.

Scenario: Cobra, sphynx, or other belly-down pose Why avoid? Compression to belly

Option1: Take cat-cow flow. Bend elbows softly if cat stretch is too much on front body. Option 2: Use support under hips and below belly (rolled blanket to height needed) so belly is not pressed into the ground as you enter sphynx, using forearms for support. Keep feet pressed into the earth to support back.

Scenario: Low or high lunge with hands on floor/blocks framing foot Why avoid? Not enough space/compression to belly.

Option: Use blocks or hands on floor inside of foot to leave room for belly

Scenario: Twisting in lunges (high or low) Why avoid? Compression across belly

Options 1: Open twist AWAY from bent leg. Twisting should be in the bra strap area up. Option 2: Keep one hand on belly and open arm to the side of the bent leg. Option 3: Skip and ground at center, placing hands on heart/belly.

Scenario: Vinyasa Option 1: Cat/cow flow Option 2: Puppy pose, downdog (feet at least hips distance apart), wide childs pose

Scenario: Feet together poses (mountain, chair) Why avoid? Not enough room, not adequately stable

Option: Widen stance to at least hips distance apart to leave room for belly

Scenario: Side angle pose (ok to do, but can feel constricting toward end of pregnancy)

Option: Place hand to thigh instead of forearm to thigh.

Be safe, be well and relax. You deserve it, Mama!

Questions? Ask!

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