Table 1: Controlled studies of yoga for pregnancy.

First author, yearStudy designParticipants (pregnant women)Experimental interventionControl interventionOutcome measuresMain results

Rakhshani, 2010 [31]Prospective, two-armed RCT18th–20th week of gestation, 20–35 yrs of age, PG or MG with at least one living child ( , )Integrated yoga, 20th–36th week of gestation. First month of yoga was done with instructor, following months done at home (1 hour, 3 times a week). Refresher classes were provided at each antenatal visit.Standard antenatal exercises, 20th–36th week gestation, same format as the yoga intervention.WHOQOL-100, FIRO-BSignificant improvements in the yoga condition for physical, psychological, environmental, and social domains of the WHOQOL-100 and on expressed inclusion and wanted control of the FIRO-B when compared to the control group.

Satyapriya, 2009 [32]Prospective, two-armed RCT18th–20th week of gestation, 20–35 years of age, PG or MG with at least one living child ( , )Integrated yoga and yogic relaxation, 20th–36th week of gestation (until delivery). First month of yoga was done with instructor (2 hours, 3 times a week), following months done at home with cassette (1 hour, 3 times a week). Refresher classes were provided 1 time a month until week 28 and 2 times a month until week 36.Standard prenatal exercises, 20th–36th week gestation, same format as the yoga intervention.PSS, HRVThe yoga group’s stress scores decreased, while the control group’s stress scores increased. Improved autonomic response in both yoga and control group.

Chuntharapat, 2008 [33]RCT26th–28th weeks of gestation, ≥18 years of age, PG ( )6 × 1 hour yoga classes on weeks 26th–28th, 30th, 32nd, 34th, 36th, and 37th week of gestation as well as 1 hour practice at home, at least 3 times a week after the first class for 10–12 weeks.Routine nursing care, including casual conversations for 20–30 min, during hospital visits.STAI pretrial, VASTC, MCQ, VAPS, PBOS, Apgar scores, length of labor, birth augmentation, use of pethidineExperimental group demonstrated significantly higher levels of comfort, lower levels of self-reported, and experimenter observed pain throughout labour and shorter duration of labour than the control group.

Sun, 2010 [28]Nonrandomized controlled trial26th–28th weeks of gestation, ≥18 years, PG ( , )Initial yoga class was taught by investigator, followed by home practice video of 30 min, 3 times a week for 12–14 weeks.Standard hospital care.DoPQ, CBSEIDecreased pregnancy discomfort and increased childbirth self-efficacy in the yoga group when compared to standard care.

Narendran, 2005 [30]Prospective, matched, and observational study18th–20th weeks of gestation, 18–35 years of age, PG or MG ( )Yoga practice 1 hour daily until delivery, taught in the first week and refresher classes every 3-4 weeks.Walking 30 min, twice daily from enrollment until delivery.Birth weight, gestational age at delivery, PIH, IUGR, PIH with IUGR, duration of labor, mode of delivery, preterm delivery, IUD.The number of infants weighing ≥2500 g was greater in the yoga group. The yoga intervention group presented with lower duration of labor and lower incidence of IUGR and PIH with IUGR than the control group.

Narendran, 2005 [29]Prospective, matched, and observational study18th–20th weeks of gestation, 18–35 years of age, PG or MG, women who had abnormal Doppler readings of umbilical and uterine arteries ( )Yoga practice 1 hour daily until delivery, taught in the first week and reviewed every 3-4 weeks with instructor.Walking 30 min, twice daily from enrollment until delivery.Birth weight, gestational age at delivery, PIH, IUGR, PIH with IUGR, duration of labor, mode of delivery, preterm delivery, IUD.Greater number of infants weighing ≥2500 g was higher in the yoga group.

WG: weeks of gestation, PG: primigravida, MG: multigravida, WHOQOL-100: World Health Organization Quality of Life Inventory-100, FIRO-B: fundamental interpersonal relationships orientation-B, PSS: perceived stress scale, HRV: heart rate variability, STAI: state-trait anxiety inventory, VASTC: visual analogue scale of total comfort, MCQ: maternal comfort questionnaire, VAPS: visual analogue pain scale, PBOS: pain behavioural observation scale, DoPQ: discomforts of childbirth questionnaire, CBSEI: childbirth self-efficacy inventory, PIH: pregnancy-induced hypertension, IUGR: intrauterine growth retardation, IUD: intrauterine death.