Article

Moving Beyond Health to Flourishing: The Effects of Yoga Teacher Training

Osher Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
The Scientific World Journal (Impact Factor: 1.73). 01/2010; 10:788-95. DOI: 10.1100/tsw.2010.87
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research in the medical and psychological fields has primarily followed a "disease-focused" approach to health. Although there is growing research on the components and outcomes of well-being, very few studies have focused on traditional practices that can be used as interventions to encourage human flourishing. The current study was developed to address this research gap. We suggest one effective method of increasing psychological well-being, the practice of yoga, an age-old practice that has been said to produce physical and psychological health. In this observational study, we examined associations with participation in a 4-week yoga teacher training resident program. Measurement instruments were chosen to capture changes in psychosocial health and human flourishing. Measurements were taken before the start of the program, immediately after the program, and 3 months postprogram. As expected, in this healthy population, the human flourishing scales showed more change than the psychosocial health scales. For example, in this healthy sample, there were no significant changes in perceived social support, quality of life, or self-efficacy from baseline to the 3-month follow-up. However, optimism, a positive psychology research measure, improved from baseline to follow-up. The mindfulness subscales of observation, awareness, and nonreactivity all improved following the training, suggesting that one benefit of yoga practice is a more refined ability to attend to one's inner experience. This study adds to the growing literature focusing on interventions that move beyond relieving pathology to those that produce optimal functioning and human thriving.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Lisa A Conboy, Apr 04, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
133 Views
  • Source
    • "Although the effects of yoga - based programs on mind - fulness ( Conboy et al . , 2010 ; Shelov et al . , 2009 ) , quality of life ( Thomley et al . , 2011 ) , and stress ( Ross & Thomas , 2010 ) have been reported previously , until now the potential mediating role of mindfulness and self - compassion on outcome has not been investigated ."
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 2012): Effects of a yoga-based intervention for young adults on quality of life and perceived stress: The potential mediating roles of mindfulness and self-compassion, The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice, 7:3, 165-175 This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
    The Journal of Positive Psychology 01/2013; 7(3):165-175. DOI:10.1080/17439760.2012.667144 · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: India and UK have had a long history together, since the times of the British Raj. Most of what Indian psychiatry is today, finds its roots in ancient Indian texts and medicine systems as much as it is influenced by the European system. Psychiatric research in India is growing. It is being influenced by research in the UK and Europe and is influencing them at the same time. In addition to the sharing of ideas and the know-how, there has also been a good amount of sharing of mental health professionals and research samples in the form of immigrants from India to the UK. The Indian mental health professionals based in UK have done a good amount of research with a focus on these Indian immigrants, giving an insight into cross-cultural aspects of some major psychiatric disorders. This article discusses the impact that research in these countries has had on each other and the contributions that have resulted from it.
    Indian Journal of Psychiatry 01/2010; 52(7):S56-S63. DOI:10.4103/0019-5545.69211
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in humans is a growing public health concern in the United States. Concomitants include poor health behaviors and reduced psychological well-being. Preliminary evidence suggests yoga and treatment paradigms incorporating mindfulness, self-compassion (SC), acceptance, non-dieting, and intuitive eating may improve these ancillary correlates, which may promote long-term weight loss. Methods: We explored the impact of a 5-day residential weight loss program, which was multifaceted and based on Kripalu yoga, on health behaviors, weight loss, and psychological well-being in overweight/obese individuals. Thirty-seven overweight/obese program participants (age 32-65, BMI<25) completed validated mind-fulness, SC, lifestyle behavior, and mood questionnaires at baseline, post-program, and 3-month follow-up and reported their weight 1 year after program completion. Results: Significant improvements in nutrition behaviors, SC, mindfulness, stress management, and spiritual growth were observed immediately post-program (n = 31, 84% retention), with medium to large effect sizes. At 3-month follow-up (n = 18, 49% retention), most changes persisted. Physical activity and mood disturbance had improved significantly post-program but failed to reach significance at 3-month follow-up. Self-report weight loss at 1 year (n = 19, 51% retention) was significant. Conclusion: These findings suggest a Kripalu yoga-based, residential weight loss program may foster psychological well-being, improved nutrition behaviors, and weight loss. Given the exploratory nature of this investigation, more rigorous work in this area is warranted.
    01/2012;
Show more