Hatha Yoga, Meditation, and Focus Groups Decrease Body Shame, Surveillance, and Increase· Body and Self-Esteem in College Women
Franks, Jaime N.
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Body consciousness is associated with low body and self-esteem, increased body shame, and surveillance. Research confirms that yoga, meditation, and focus groups increase body and self-esteem, and body satisfaction. This proposed 6-month study, including 125 college age women of varying ethnic backgrounds, compares the effects of one of these activities versus the combination of all three on body shame, surveillance, and body and self-esteem. Using a random number generator, participants were separated into 5 equal sized groups, a combination group (Hatha yoga, meditation, and a focus group), a Hatha yoga group, a meditation group, a focus group, and a control group. All participants completed the Objectified Body Consciousness scale, the Body Esteem Scale, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale in a pretest-posttest format. The combination group was predicted to produce a more significant increase in body and self-esteem and decrease in self-surveillance and body shame than the Hatha yoga group, the meditation group, the focus group, or the control group. This study affirmed the positive effects of yoga as indicated by other studies (e.g., Bergen & Owen, 1992; Netz & Lidor, 2003), such as mood elevation, stress reduction, improved well-being and body and self-esteem. The study also replicated research that demonstrated decreased levels of stress in individuals who practiced mindfulness meditation. Results also indicated, as predicted, that participants in the combination group experienced a significantly larger increase in body and self-esteem and decrease in surveillance and body shame than any other group. These findings suggest the efficacy of combining these three activities as a method for decreasing body shame and surveillance and increasing body and self-esteem.