As both an ex University of Manchester student and yoga enthusiast, I was really interested to read about some research published this month. It confirmed what many people take as a given- that yoga can benefit expectant mothers by reducing their stress levels. Since stress during pregnancy has been linked to premature births, low birth weight and other problems in children, as well as mental health issues in mothers, this research is really good news. It showed that just one yoga session reduced self-reported anxiety by one third and stress hormone levels by 14%. The researchers go as far as suggesting that yoga should be available on the NHS. Professor John Aplin argued that “it would be relatively cheap to implement, could help mothers and their children be healthier, as well as reducing the costs of longer term health care.” We wouldn’t argue with that!
You can read the University of Manchester news story here. The paper entitled: “Effects of Antenatal Yoga on Maternal Anxiety and Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial” was published in the Journal of Depression and Anxiety on 1 May 2014.