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Snail pose and other inversions in pregnancy

 
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Roberta



Joined: 18 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:12 am    Post subject: Snail pose and other inversions in pregnancy Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone can help with this. I am 6 months pregnant and I am still doing a very varied yin yoga practice every day, helped by the fact that I only have a small bump and I am very flexible.

My favourite pose is snail. I get very tense between my shoulders (it's where I accumulate stress), so snail is a great way for me to stretch out all of that tension.

Before getting pregnant I used to spend 7-8 minutes in the pose, and my hyper flexibility allowed me to put my knees on the floor behind the head. It was heaven Very Happy .

Now I spend 4 minutes in snail, and obviously my bump gets in the way so I can't go as far as before, but it's still an enormously satisfying pose for me.

The question is, do you think it's harmful for baby to be put upside down and a bit compressed (although I am very careful not to compress to the point of uneasiness), for 4 minutes a day?

What alternative pose do I have to work on the same area (considering that I need a "hyper stretch" for it to really work due to my hyper flexibility?

And along the same lines, are inversions of this kind (snail, dangle etc), ok during pregnancy? Could they turn the baby breech if he is already head down?

Thank you!! Very Happy
Roberta XX
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1027
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject: Inversions while pregnant? Reply with quote

Hi Roberta

I look forward to hearing what other yoginis who have been where you are have to say about inversions during pregnancy, but I know that each student is different. I know one lady who continued to do 2nd Series Ashtanga right up to the day before she gave birth: she was doing full drop backs to Wheel, which was an amazing sight, with her 9 month belly fully bulging to the sky. But, she was very unique. Her baby is beautiful. Inversions were no problem - for her.

Generally, it is recommended not to invert during the first 3 months because this is the time of implantation and one doesn't want to increase the risk of the foetus not firmly rooting into the uterine walls. After that, go ahead - if everything else is okay: ie - don't invert if you have high blood pressure, an ear or eye infection, glucoma or diabetes (inversions could increase inter-ocular pressure too much and cause damage to the eyes), or if you have a bad neck, whiplash. By the third trimester, the baby is starting to get rather sizable and your belly may prevent you from doing several inversions, such as the Snail, as you described. Balance may be a challenge now, too, especially for inversions like Shoulderstand. Now is the time for some alternatives.

One alternative: legs up the wall. This is also a mild inversion but it provides most of the same benefits, and is much safer. However, you say that you love Snail because of the release in the upper back, and this won't happen with legs up the wall. Another option for you could be Anahattasana. You could try a version of this with your elbows resting on blocks, since you are quite flexible, or wrap your arms in Eagle Arms and rest on your elbows.

You could also try Hug-Asana while in Caterpillar: have your legs wide enough apart that your belly can settle down towards the floor, round your upper back as much as you can, and add the "hugh" - wrap your arms as tightly around yourself as you can. This will mimic the effects of Snail Pose.

Could inversions turn the baby upside down? Possibly. But, if the baby can be turned that easily, there are other yoga poses that can be used to turn baby back to normal (like doing Cat/Cow). Some yoga teachers say that if the baby is breech, then invert! An inversion may actually help the baby turn around the right way. Best bet - work with a trained prenatal yoga teacher and be wary of advice from men! Smile

Good luck,
Bernie
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Roberta



Joined: 18 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bernie,

Thank you so much for your lengthy reply, it really helps. I will definitely try Anahatasana with arms on blocks, and the "hugging" caterpillar.

Looking forward to hearing from women who have been through the same. Very Happy

Roberta X
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