Kundalini Yoga Pregnancy Guidelines

Dearest Mothers-to-Be

Congratulations on your Pregnancy!  Everyday’s a new day during this magical time – so listen to your body! It’ll tell you what you can do safely.  You’ll develop intuition to know your child’s needs. And most important, have Fun!

Here are some tips on how to alter your Yoga during pregnancy. If your health care provider recommends a restriction, follow those guidelines.

The first 16 weeks of pregnancy, there’s no mandatory restrictions. However, if something doesn’t feel right, please modify the posture. If something feels like a strain rather than stretch, avoid it or do a little less. Let your body, feelings and intuition, be your guide.

After the 16th week of pregnancy, the basic rule is:  Avoid anything that puts strain on the abdominal area. If possible, let your instructor know that you are pregnant. 

Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts

  • No Breath of Fire. Breath of fire is a rapid breath from the belly, commonly taught in Kundalini Yoga.  No heavy canon fire breathing, or “O” mouth breathing.
    • Modification: Slow, deep breathing.
  • No inversions. Plough pose, headstand, or shoulder stand are examples.
    • Modification: If comfortable on your back, lift the knees to the ears and curl up in an egg shape on your back. If not comfortable on the back, lift into downward dog, which is not considered an inverted pose.
  • No double leg lifts on the back. 
    • Modification: Come onto all fours. Extend alternate legs behind you. Inhale as you extend the leg and exhale as you return the knee to the floor.
  • No pulling of the lower locks. Neck lock is fine. (ie, no mul bandh.)
    • Modification: Substitute a Kegel exercise for the other locks. 
  • No abdominal pumping. No stress on the abdominal muscles at all. If something strains your belly, avoid it! 
    • Modification: Substitute a Kegel exercise or squats. 
  • Back Bends:  As the belly gets bigger, take it slow and watch yourself. This applies to the inhale position of cat-cow and standing cat-cow.
  • Running or moving in and out of postures: You may wish to slow down the pace down a bit.
  • No “body drops”: No pushing the body and dropping to the floor. 
  • No stretch pose.  This should be avoided. 
    • Modification: Lift up into table pose and back down. 
  • No lying on the stomach, such as bow pose or cobra
    • Modification: Cat-cow or spinal flexes. 
  • Forward Stretches:  As the belly gets big, any stretching forward from a seated position is done with legs spread at least 2 feet wide (or more) in front of you.
  • Baby Pose:  On knees, head to floor, make sure to open the knees wide to allow the belly room so it’s not pressured.
  • No exercising to the point of total exhaustion.
  • No pressure applied to the navel or pelvic area (no pumping of the navel), no sit ups.
  • During Relaxation:  If you’re no longer comfortable on your back, relax on your side instead.

Much love to you, and may your pregnancy and birth contain much joy
and many blessings.
Sat Nam.