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Upside-Down Mama

Examining the strength of your pre-pregnancy practice can help determine whether you should do inversions when you're expecting.

By YJ Staff

Berkeley, California-based prenatal yoga instructor Barbara Papini says that when it comes to yoga and pregnancy, it's best not to take up anything unfamiliar. This nine months is not the time to experiment with challenging poses, especially inversions. However, for women who already have a steady, strong practice that includes them, inversions can be continued with some modifications.

For comfort and safety's sake, Papini recommends that pregnant women who wish to invert always practice near a wall and use props such as a blanket or chair for extra support. Listen to the body and stop whenever any strain or discomfort is felt. If possible, seek the advice of a prenatal yoga teacher for more personal recommendations.

It's probably wise, Papini adds, to discontinue inversions in any case around the seventh month, just to be safe. The prenatal months are a time to do a little bit less, and to focus on yoga for the baby. Many poses can help prepare women for childbirth, including Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) and Upavistha Konasana (Open Angle Pose), which help open the pelvis. During this special time in life, it is best to err on the side of caution and save the challenging poses for later.

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