The Role of Yoga and Meditation in Weight Satisfaction

In this recent study, researchers explored whether yoga or meditation use is associated with body (dis)satisfaction and weight control methods in Australian women.

Go to the profile of Heather Mason
Jan 14, 2017
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28063513

Weight and body satisfaction in women is sadly more of an uncommon than a common phenomenon. In a recent cross-cultural study, 91% of women stated that they hate their bodies. This is immeasurably sad.

In this recent study, researchers explored whether yoga or meditation use is associated with body (dis)satisfaction and weight control methods in Australian women. Women between the ages of 34 and 39 years from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health were surveyed regarding body satisfaction, weight control behaviours, and yoga and meditation practice.

This was a MASSIVE study! Of the 8009 women studied, at least one in four of them with normal BMI were dissatisfied with body weight and shape, as were more than two in three women classified as being overweight/obesity.

Yoga/meditation was practiced frequently by 688 women (8.6%) and occasionally by 1176 women (14.7%). Yoga/meditation users with normal BMI were less likely to be dissatisfied with body weight and shape. All yoga/meditation users were more likely to exercise and to follow a low glycemic diet or diet books.

Researchers concluded that yoga/meditation users with normal BMI appear to be more satisfied with their body weight and shape than non-yoga/meditation users. While women with normal BMI or overweight tend to rely on healthy weight control methods, women with obesity occasionally using yoga/meditation may be more likely to continue to use unhealthy weight control methods.

Go to the profile of Heather Mason

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS

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