Yoga: Research Supporting Prenatal Yoga

As I mentioned, I am now teaching Prenatal Yoga in New Haven (Sundays 10:30, The Fitness Haven).  I have personally found yoga beneficial during my pregnancies, as have many of my friends.  But I am interested in solid research that backs up what I have experienced first-hand.  Here’s what I have found so far:

Researchers at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand wanted to better understand the benefits of yoga for pregnant women. The study, published inComplementary Therapy Clinical Practice, showed that yoga practice during pregnancy can decrease certain discomforts of labor.  More here.

Another Indian study:

Another study published the Journal of the Indian Medical Association, examined the effect of yoga on the outcome of pregnancy complications. Researchers at the Gunasheela Surgical and Maternity Hospital (GSMH) in Bangalore, India,  administered either one hour of yoga daily (yoga group) or 30 minutes of walking twice daily (control group) to 121 pregnant women with abnormal ultrasound findings at 18 to 20 weeks gestation. The yoga practice included postures (asanas), breathing and meditation. Both groups participated in the exercise routines until time of birth.

The researchers found that the yoga group had babies with higher birth weights, compared to the control group. Findings also revealed that the yoga group had a reduced incidence of pregnancy complications including premature delivery, pregnancy induced-hypertension and intrauterine growth retardation.

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