Relationship of Yoga Experience to Body Satisfaction and Eating Attitudes
Lawlor, Carrie Jayne
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Yoga, a mind-body exercise, may improve body dissatisfaction and decrease eating disorder symptoms among females by addressing four theories of antecedents to body dissatisfaction: internalization of the thinness ideal, social comparison theory, self-ideal discrepancy theory, and objectification theory. This study used a cross sectional survey to investigate whether there is a relationship between yoga experience among women and levels of antecedents to body dissatisfaction, body dissatisfaction and eating disorders symptoms. The results indicate that frequency of yoga practice is associated with a lower tendency to self-objectify. The data also indicate that a greater magnitude of lifetime practice of yoga is associated with body satisfaction. The data suggest that there may be a marginal relationship between a greater magnitude of lifetime yoga practice and actual-ideal discrepancies. These findings support the notion that historical yoga experience and shorter term intensity of yoga practice may be related to how women view their bodies.