Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…
Research is extremely important to support different approaches to health care. In the recent past, Yoga has been gaining lot of attention as Yoga Institutes, reseachers, scholars have started offering substantive clinical research evidence. In this issue, Indian Yoga Association brings to you the Research Papers published by our Member Institutes and other Institutes or individuals on the Effects of Yoga during Pregnancy.
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA)
Efficacy of Yoga on Pregnancy Outcome
Author: Shamanthakamani Narendran, Raghuram Nagarathna, Vivek Narendran, Sulochana Gunasheela, and Hongasandra Rama Rao Nagendra
Published in: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Vol. 11, Number 2
Published on: 2 May 2005
Objective: To study the efficacy of yoga on pregnancy outcomes. Design and setting: Three hundred thirty five (335) women attending the antenatal clinic at Gunasheela Surgical and Maternity Hospital in Bangalore, India, were enrolled between 18 and 20 weeks of pregnancy in a prospective, matched, observational study; 169 women in the yoga group and 166 women in the control group. Methods: Women were matched for age, parity, body weight, and Doppler velocimetry scores of umbilical and uterine arteries. Yoga practices, including physical postures, breathing, and meditation were practiced by the yoga group one hour daily, from the date of entry into the study until delivery. The control group walked 30 minutes twice a day (standard obstetric advice) during the study period. Compliance in both groups was ensured by frequent telephone calls and strict maintenance of an activity diary. Main outcomes: Birth weight and gestational age at delivery were primary outcomes. Results: The number of babies with birth weight =2500 grams was significantly higher (p < 0.01) in the yoga group. Preterm labor was significantly lower (p < 0.0006) in the yoga group. Complications such as isolated intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) (p < 0.003) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) with associated IUGR (p < 0.025) were also significantly lower in the yoga group. There were no significant adverse effects noted in the yoga group. Conclusions: An integrated approach to yoga during pregnancy is safe. It improves birth weight, decreases preterm labor, and decreases IUGR either in isolation or associated with PIH, with no increased complications.
Centre for Yoga Therapy Education and Research (CYTER)
Immediate effect of Sukha Pranayama: A slow and deep breathing technique on maternal and fetal cardiovascular parameters
Published In: Yoga Mimamsa 50(2):49-52
Published On: November 2018
Authors: Vasudevan Rajalakshmi Vasundhara, Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Meena Ramanathan, Seetesh Ghose, Ganesan Dayanidy
This pilot study was done to evaluate the immediate effect of Sukha Pranayama, a slow and deep breathing technique on maternal and fetal cardiovascular parameters. Single session pre-post comparison was done for 10 min of Sukha Pranayama in 12 pregnant women in their 3rd trimester. The study participants were guided to breathe in and out in a slow and regular manner for a count of 4 s each. Maternal cardiovascular parameters, namely mean heart rate (MHR), systolic pressure (SP), and diastolic pressure (DP), were measured before and after the session and rate-pressure product (RPP) derived with the formulae. Fetal heart rate (FHR) was derived from the nonstress test tracing. SP, MHR, FHR, and RPP reduced significantly after single session of Sukha Pranayama. The mothers reported that they felt more relaxed and also sensed active fetal movement while performing the pranayama. Reduction in maternal cardiovascular parameters may be attributed to reduced sympathetic activity coupled with enhanced vagal parasympathetic tone. Reduction in RPP signifies reduced myocardial oxygen consumption and load on the heart as evidenced by previous studies. These changes in cardiac autonomic status may enhance placental circulation, leading to healthier fetal development. The present study reiterates the importance of yoga for the psychosomatic health of maternal-fetal unit as an add-on relaxation technique. We plan to develop this pilot study into a full-fledged evaluation of maternal and fetal wellbeing through yoga.
Systematic Review of Yoga for Pregnant Women: Current Status and Future Directions
Author: Kathryn Curtis, Aliza Weinrib and Joel Katz
Published On: 14 Aug 2012
Published In: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Yoga is used for a variety of immunological, neuromuscular, psychological, and pain conditions. Recent studies indicate that it may be effective in improving pregnancy, labour, and birth outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the existing literature on yoga for pregnancy. Methods. Six databases were searched using the terms “yoga AND pregnancy” and “yoga AND [post-natal OR post-partum]”. Trials were considered if they were controlled and evaluated a yoga intervention. All studies were evaluated for methodological quality according to the Jadad scale and the Delphi List. Results. Six trials were identified: three were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and three were controlled trials (CTs). The methodological quality and reporting ranged from 0–5 on the Jadad scale and from 3–6 on the Delphi List. Findings from the RCT studies indicate that yoga may produce improvements in stress levels, quality of life, aspects of interpersonal relating, autonomic nervous system functioning, and labour parameters such as comfort, pain, and duration. Conclusions. The findings suggest that yoga is well indicated for pregnant women and leads to improvements on a variety of pregnancy, labour, and birth outcomes. However, RCTs are needed to provide more information regarding the utility of yoga interventions for pregnancy.
Yoga in Pregnancy
Author: Babbar, Shilpa, Shyken, Jaye
Published On: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 59, Number 3
Published In: September 2016, pp. 600-612(13)
Yoga is a mind-body practice that encompasses a system of postures (asana), deep breathing (pranayama), and meditation. Over 36 million Americans practice yoga of which the majority are reproductive-aged women. Literature to support this practice is limited, albeit on the rise. A prenatal yoga practice has been shown to benefit women who suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, low back pain, and sleep disturbances. A small number of studies have been performed in high-risk pregnancies that also demonstrate an improvement in outcomes. The safety of performing yoga for the first time in pregnancy and fetal tolerance has been demonstrated.
Disclaimer: The Research Papers have been selected by the Yogavani Content Team from a google search for ‘Yoga in Pregnancy’.