The Yoga Boom in Western Society: Practitioners’ Spiritual vs. Physical Intentions and Their Impact on Psychological Wellbeing

Article


Ivtzan, Itai and Jegatheeswaran, Sivaja 2015. The Yoga Boom in Western Society: Practitioners’ Spiritual vs. Physical Intentions and Their Impact on Psychological Wellbeing. Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy. 05 (03).
AuthorsIvtzan, Itai and Jegatheeswaran, Sivaja
Abstract

Whilst some scholars endorse the idea that yoga in the Western world is predominantly a postural practice, others
argue that this Western manifestation, like the historically Indian tradition of yoga, could cultivate transcendental
states of spirituality. This study’s methodology compared practitioners’ spiritual and physical intentions and their
transformation over time. Furthermore, it was predicted that practitioners’ psychological wellbeing (satisfaction with
life and meaning in life) would vary as a function of their intention type. 235 yoga practitioners in the UK responded
to measurements of their intentions and wellbeing. The results indicated that practitioners had greater initial and
continued physical intentions than spiritual intentions. However, spiritual intentions become more salient over time,
suggesting that Western yoga can cultivate spirituality. Results also showed that practitioners with spiritual intentions
reported significantly higher psychological wellbeing. This has important implications for future conceptualizations
of the practice, suggesting that Western societies should place a greater emphasis on the Indian-rooted spiritual
aspect of yoga.

JournalJournal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
Journal citation05 (03)
ISSN21577595
Year2015
PublisherOMICS International
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2157-7595.1000204
Publication dates
Print13 Aug 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Oct 2015
Accepted07 Aug 2015
Copyright information© 2015 Ivtzan I, et al.
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