Effects of long-term Ashtanga yoga practice on psychological well-being

Ben Morris, James Jackson, Anthony Roberts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Abstract

    Purpose
    In recent years, Yoga practice has seen a rapid rise in popularity with many positive consequences, both physical and mental attributed to its practice. Ashtanga Yoga has been less well
    researched in this area and is the specific focus on this work. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible positive impact of long-term Ashtanga Yoga on psychological well-being.

    Design/methodology/approach
    In total, 213 long-term Ashtanga Yoga practitioners were asked to complete the positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment (PERMA) 23 scale (Butler and Kern, 2016) which measures psychological well-being. The values given by these individuals were then compared against a larger sample of 31,966 representative of the general population.

    Findings
    Scores were then compared with a PERMA data set representative of the general population (see Butler and Kern, 2016), primarily using a test of difference to compare samples. Secondly, the
    causal relationship between time spent in practice upon well-being scores.

    Research limitations/implications
    Findings indicated that those individuals engaged in long-term
    Ashtanga Yoga practice significantly outperformed the control group on all dimensions of psychological
    well-being.

    Practical implications
    This work has demonstrated specific benefits to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga on psychological well-being. Yoga is a form of exercise that is now widely available across the globe, and
    as such, represents an accessible form of physical practice, which has important psychological benefits.

    Originality/value
    To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first work investigating differences in psychological well-being profiles using PERMA, as a function of Yoga practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMental Health and Social Inclusion
    Early online date11 Jun 2023
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2023

    Keywords

    • Well-being
    • Health
    • PERMA
    • Ashtanga Yoga

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