A new study from the Journal of Holistic Nursing suggests getting your yoga on could actually make you a nicer person.
The study was conducted by Alyson Ross, Margaret Bevans, Erika Friedmann, Laurie Williams, and Sue Thomas with the purpose “to develop a better understanding of how yoga practice affects one’s interpersonal relationships.”
The researchers surveyed more than 1,000 yogis from studios across the country and the results were fascinating.
“Practitioners believed that their interpersonal relationships improved because their attitude and perspective had changed, making them more patient, kind, mindful, and self-aware.”
- 87%: yoga boosts their happiness
- 67%: a positive impact on personal relationships.
The positive impact on personal relationships is something we can all admire. Quotes from the participants include:
“Yoga helps me accept people the way they are most of the time.”
“Because of yoga I am less judgmental and don’t expect myself and others to be perfect.”
“Yoga makes me less cranky.”
“I am more self-aware.”
“I am more present with others.”
Participants also said yoga increases the quality and frequency of their social interactions:
“I love my yoga community. We are a social network of caring friends.”
“I am having some very specific problems with isolation right now, but yoga helps.”
It was also learned that “Subjects who practiced yoga more frequently exhibited more favorable levels of mindfulness, happiness, body mass index, fruit and vegetable consumption, vegetarian status, fatigue, and sleep than those who practiced less often.”
Yogis across this whole study credited their regular practice with being peaceful, insightful, and self-aware.
The study suggests yoga can bring out your good qualities, and downplay your bad qualities. While that might sound like a vain and shallow reason to do yoga, we are only human, and we all strive to be just a little bit better tomorrow than we are today.
So what do you think? Does yoga make you a nicer person? Does yoga make you more mindful? Let me know in the comments.