This study examined the relationship between women's participation in different types of Yoga classes and different facets of body image. Ninety-two women at five different sites of Yoga instruction completed assessments of Yoga experience, internalization of Yoga principles, body satisfaction, body awareness, body consciousness, and eating attitudes. Yoga experience was coded according to months/years of practice, self-rated expertise, and how much the classes attended emphasized the "mind" aspects of Yoga (e.g., meditation, breathing, mindfulness, and chanting) as well as the "body" aspects (postures, fitness). Participants in Yoga classes that included more emphasis on the mind showed significantly greater levels of internalizing the teachings of Yoga, as well as greater body awareness and satisfaction. Greater experience with Yoga was associated with lower objectified body consciousness. Greater internalization of Yoga principles was associated with greater body satisfaction and sense of control of the body. Greater self-rated expertise in Yoga was associated with greater body awareness and fewer body shape concerns. None of the Yoga measures was significantly associated with the Eating Attitudes Test, which is designed to measure attitudes and behaviors associated with eating disorders. Although correlational, the results of this study suggest that further attention be paid to how the psychological benefits of Yoga differ across different types of Yoga classes. Future experimental research on the psychological benefits of Yoga should examine the importance of emphasizing a fully integrated mind-body practice rather than only the fitness aspects of Yoga.
Is Women's Participation in Different Types of Yoga Classes Associated with Different Levels of Body Awareness Satisfaction?
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Kelley Delaney, Kristine Anthis; Is Women's Participation in Different Types of Yoga Classes Associated with Different Levels of Body Awareness Satisfaction?. Int J Yoga Therap 1 November 2010; 20 (1): 62–71. doi: https://doi.org/10.17761/ijyt.20.1.t44l6656h22735g6
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