Yoga Poses Pregnant Women Should Avoid
Plus, which to do instead. By Beth Donnelly Cabán
Photo: Joshua Sitron
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Bridge or Wheel Pose
A backbend seems like just what a pregnant woman needs—what with the heaviness of her breasts rounding her upper back, the limited space for breathing as the uterus grows up toward the diaphragm and all that weight on her pelvic floor. But a backbend can put significant strain on the midline of her abdominal muscles. (The midline of the abdomen is made up of collagen fibers that are under the influence of hormones during pregnancy; even the pigmentation of this line changes during pregnancy as the tissues soften and expand.)
Modification: From table-top position on your hands and knees, round your back like a Halloween cat as you exhale; then, extend your spine, looking forward as you inhale. Allow your abdominal muscles to support your baby belly, rather than letting it hang down toward the floor.