Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Does Ashtanga Vinyasa Cause Miscarriage?
Let's just open with the fact that Pattabhi Jois suggests pregnant women not practice for the first three months of pregnancy.

Is there a correlation between an ashtanga vinyasa practice and miscarriage?

Purported statistics, of which I will track down sources later, report a frequency as high as one in four in the general population.

How do those statistics transfer to the yoga asana practice? Can we draw a correlation between the rate of miscarriages by women who practice similarly physically demanding activities, say, ballet, gymnastics, dance?

Anecdotal evidence, on my end at least, is thin --- the vast majority of women I know who have miscarried --- a number that grew quite large last year --- were, to put it politely, rather sedentary, and practiced no yoga at all. I have also known several women with third-series practices who have several children. Anecdotal evidence in this case is absolutely worthless.

What does any of this mean to you, a woman with a vigorous daily asana practice who is considering pregnancy? What certitude or assurances or peace of mind can any such statistics provide? I wish I could end this with more than a question.