International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48-54
Does yoga shape body, mind and spiritual health and happiness: Differences between yoga practitioners and college students


1 Department of Sociology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, 23529 VA, USA
2 Department of Economics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, 23529 VA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Elizabeth Monk-Turner
Department of Sociology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, 23529 VA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.72630

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Background/Aims: To assess the body, mind and spirit differences between yoga students compared with college students. Materials and Methods: Mind, body and spirit survey instruments administered to the two groups. Results: Five indicators to measure mental wellness were significantly different between yoga practitioners and college students. On three of these five measures, college students reported more mental wellness than yoga practitioners - in other words, the relationship was the inverse of what was expected. College students reported maintaining stability in their life more often than yoga practitioners as well as more often experiencing satisfying interpersonal relationships. College students were also more likely than yoga practitioners to report being tolerant of others, whether or not they approved of their behavior or beliefs. Yoga practitioners were more likely than college students to report having strong morals and healthy values as well as the ability to express their feelings and consider the feelings of others. We found differences between yoga practitioners and college students on more than half of our spirit items (five of nine). Yoga practitioners were more likely than college students to report expressing their spirituality appropriately and in healthy ways, recognizing the positive contribution faith could make to the quality of life (significant at the 0.07 level), routinely undertaking new experiences to enhance spiritual health and having a positive outlook on life. Further, we found support for the proposition that yoga practitioners were more likely to report experiencing happiness within. Conclusions: Significant differences between yoga and college students were found on the body, mind and spirit measurement instrument. Further work needs to address the complexities of these relationships.


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