The general rule of thumb when pregnant is not to twist or backbend too deeply. It’s not recommended to over stretch your abdomen since you’ve got a little bean in there. Now that being said, I’ve known quite a few yoginis who did full wheel throughout their pregnancy. So, what I always recommend around that is really listen to your own body. What can happen, especially those of us who have been practicing a long time, our ego can step in and say “we can do this!”.
Questions a few older yogini moms have posed to me are:
“Is it worth it?”
“To what end?”
Ask yourself, why am I doing this pose?
Does this pose serve the two of us?
I’ve been airing on the side of caution in my own practice and really taking my time. I haven’t been doing deep backbends, instead focusing opening my chest and getting my back body strong to prepare for the weight I’ll be carrying in the front body as my baby gets bigger.
My mantra has been “This pregnant body is temporary and I have my whole life to do all the things.” Why not chill a bit?
With twists, just do open twists so there’s space for your babe. Be mindful of where you feel the stretch. If you feel a “tug” deep in your belly, maybe take it down a notch.
Shiva recommended to take out inversions in the first trimester, again because it’s a precarious time. If you have an inversion practice, you can bring it back in in your second trimester. It’s recommended to do them against the wall so there’s no fear to flip over into full wheel. I’ve known some women who love inversions during pregnancy and others who did not. Feel it out for yourself.
Great rule of thumb: When you’re about to do a big movement, engage your pelvic floor and TA (transverse abdominals) first to stabilize your pelvis.
I’ve never heard anything about pregnancy being a contraindication of forward folds. The only thing I would say is about that is make space between your legs for your belly as you fold.
There are quite a few schools of thought that believe you should not twist, invert, do core work or backbend throughout your whole pregnancy. They are airing on the side of caution which I recommend to women who come to yoga for the first time when pregnant. Again, rule of thumb, pregnancy is NOT a time to introduce new intense forms of movement.