5 postpartum yoga poses to avoid for recovery

After giving birth to a baby, your body takes time to recover. So, make sure you are avoiding these 6 postpartum yoga poses if you are practising yoga.

During pregnancy, the focus often revolves around childbirth and the baby, which is crucial. However, it’s equally vital to carefully plan for the period after the baby is born. A restful and supported postpartum recovery is crucial for a new mom, promoting bonding with the baby and contributing to her overall health and happiness after birth. If you’re incorporating yoga into your recovery, be mindful to avoid these specific postpartum yoga poses.

Engaging in yoga poses during your postpartum phase can aid both your physical and mental recovery. However, it’s crucial to steer clear of specific poses to prevent potential injuries and ensure a smooth recovery process. Yoga and Spiritual Leader, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar also says that it’s crucial to approach yoga with caution and prioritise poses that support your recovery.

6 postpartum yoga poses you should avoid

Here are 6 yoga poses that women should avoid after giving birth:

1. Deep backbends

“Deep backbends like wheel pose or camel pose may strain the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, which are still recovering after childbirth,” explains Akshar. These poses can put excessive pressure on the pelvic floor and lower back, potentially exacerbating any issues related to childbirth. Instead, practise gentle seated twists that focus on the upper body.

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Avoid performing intense yoga poses! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Intense core work

While core strength is important, vigorous core exercises like boat pose or intense abdominal crunches should be avoided during the postpartum period. The abdominal muscles need time to heal, and these exercises can potentially hinder the recovery process. You may choose mild core yoga poses such as the happy baby pose, the cat and cow pose, or the bridge pose that focuses on engagement without strain.

3. Strong twist

Twisting poses, such as a revolved triangle or twisted chair pose, can place strain on the abdominal region and may be uncomfortable for women who have recently given birth. These poses might interfere with the healing of the abdominal muscles and should be approached with caution. Akshar suggests sticking to gentle backbends and heart-opening poses to promote flexibility without strain.

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Also read: 11 postpartum yoga poses to strengthen your body after delivery

4. Deep forward bends

Yoga poses, like seated forward, bend, or Uttanasana, can put pressure on the abdomen and may not be comfortable for women who have recently given birth. These poses can strain the healing abdominal muscles and are best avoided until the body is ready and recovered.

seated bend forward
A seated forward bend is effective but can hamper your postpartum recovery. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Inversions

Inversions like headstands or handstands can be challenging for the pelvic floor muscles, which undergo significant stress during childbirth. These poses may not be ideal for postpartum women, as they could exacerbate pelvic floor issues. Instead, consider gentle inversions, such as legs up the wall, to stretch your muscles and speed recovery.

6. High-lunge variations

While lunges can be beneficial for leg strength, high-lunge variations with deep backbends may strain the lower back and pelvis. Postpartum women should be cautious with these poses, especially if they experience discomfort. “Instead, choose low-impact options that focus on stability and gradual movement, allowing your body to recover at its own pace,” says Akshar.

7 postpartum recovery tips

  • Adequate rest is essential to recover quickly. Aim for short, frequent naps to combat sleep deprivation.
  • Keep yourself hydrated to promote healing. Apart from water, you can also consume coconut water, herbal teas, and fruit and vegetable juices to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Gentle exercises, like pelvic floor exercises and walks, can be performed to regain strength and improve mood.
  • Postpartum depression is common. So, keep a check on your emotional and mental health and practise yoga and meditation to keep the risk at bay.
  • Consume balanced and nutrient-rich meals packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals to support recovery.
  • Open communication about your feelings is crucial to combat mental health issues. You may seek emotional support from friends, family, or support groups to overcome this problem.
  • Only after you get approval from your doctor, you may get back to your sex life. So, avoid having sex during your recovery period.

Always listen to your body and consult with your healthcare provider before resuming your postpartum exercise routine, including yoga!


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