• Maternal stress and anxiety during pregnancy is associated with a host of negative consequences for the fetus and subsequent development
  • Pregnancy is a condition in which women undergo distinct physiological changes and stress and is accompanied by unique physical and psychological demands.
  • Yoga is used for a variety of immunological, neuromuscular, psychological, and pain conditions. Recent studies indicate that it may be effective in improving pregnancy, labor, and birth outcomes.


  • A number of pregnant women were randomized into yoga and control groups.
  • The yoga group (n=x) received standard care plus prescribed yoga sessions within a period of time
  • the control group (n=y) received standard care plus conventional antenatal exercises (walking) during the same period.
  • Four databases were searched using the terms “yoga and (pregnancy or pregnant or prenatal or postnatal or postpartum).” Databases were searched from January 2004 to February 2014

Fig 1. effects on Depression, anxiety and anger

FIG 2. Effects on Pain reduction


  • Fewer women in the yoga group developed pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), and preeclampsia (PE) than those in the control (walking) group.  Results show a significantly lower incidence of IUGR and GDM in the yoga group than the control (walking) group.; p<0.05

    -Women in the yoga intervention groups had significantly improved relationships (p 0.05) and quality of life (p < 0.05) compared with participants in the control groups.

     – Reduced anxiety (p < 0.001), depression (p < 0.05), and relieved stress (p < 0.05) as compared with the control group during pregnancy.

    -women in the yoga group demonstrated significantly shorter durations of labor (p < 0.05) during the active stages

    -significantly fewer SGA (p < 0.033) babies and more NGA babies (p < 0.01) are  born of women in the yoga group than in the control(walking) group.


  • In conclusion, the present paper suggests that a prenatal yoga program results in benefits during pregnancy as well as throughout labour and on birth outcomes.
  • It is therefore advisable for all pregnant women to engage in yoga exercise as it also helps in the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression.

APPENDIX I. Yoga Postures