Why You Should Skip Twist Poses While Pregnant
When you are pregnant, you can still practice yoga, with some modifications, in moderation, and by completely dropping some poses, like twist poses from your yoga practice.
Seated twist poses like the Sage’s Pose, the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, and even the gentle Bharadvaja’s Twist can cause injury to the sacroiliac joint, which is more prone to move during pregnancy.
Not all yoga instructors advise pregnant women to skipe seated twist poses in the early stages of pregnancy. While there is emphassis on not practicing “closed twists” which compess the belly druring the later trimesters (Yoga Journal), not much is said about twists during the early stages of pregnancy.
From my personal experience, I can state that what was once a simple and effrortless seated twist pose caused months of pain resulting in physical therapy, after I did a Sage’s Pose, a twist pose, while pregnant.
Because my sides, my lower back, and my obliques were flexible, twist poses were always very comfortable for me in my yogic practice.
At about two months, I performed the Sage’s Pose, twisting as far as I normally would, slowly, and with control. The twisting movement irritated my sacriolic joint.
The sacroiliac joint is one of those little known body parts that you don’t meet until it rebels and lets you know there is a problem. The sacriiolic joint is kind of like the appendix in it obscurity, except the appendix gets a lot more press.
The sacriiolic is where the sacrum (at the base of the spine) and the ilium (of the pelvis) meet. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacroiliac_joint)
The sacriolic joint can normally move around (www.kalindra.com/pregnancy.pdf), but it is more apt to move, and cause pain, during pregancy.
According to Spine Health, the sacriolic joint “forms the functional unit of the pelvis that allows normal alternating movement during walking. As the pregnancy advances, hormonal changes prepare the pelvis for delivery of the child by loosening the strong ligaments that control the function of these joints” (http://www.spine-health.com/topics/cd/pregnancy/causes/preg_c01.html).
It is normal for the sacriolic joint to become more unstable during pregancy, and this can cause pain on its own (Spine Health).
Add to that a spinal twist, and you could be in for a world of hurt, literally. Plus, you could have to endure two sessions of physical therapy a week while pregnant.
Because the sacriolic joint is already more pliable during pregnancy, you are better off skipping twist poses during yoga, as it could lead to real injury.