Yoga, Mindfulness and Interpersonal Relationships

Lauren Evron, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

Previous studies have found that the practice of yoga is related to physical and mental health benefits in the yoga practitioner. Research has not yet studied how yoga practice may influence the practitioners’ interpersonal relationships after the change in mental and health benefits occurs within the self. This study examined how the practice of yoga is positively related to relationship satisfaction and relationship commitment through the mediating variables of stress, mindfulness, authentic self (cognitive variables) and authenticity in relationships (behavioral variable). Two hundred participants were surveyed and one hundred and twenty-two of the participants had never practiced yoga, while seventy-six participants indicated that they had practiced yoga. The goal of this study was to see if those who practiced yoga before had higher levels of relationship satisfaction and relationship commitment then those who had not practiced yoga. Results indicated that yoga was positively related to relationship satisfaction, p=.000, but yoga was not significantly related to relationship commitment. An unexpected finding of the study was that the practice of yoga in real life was significantly related to the meditating variables of stress, p = .000, mindfulness p = .089, and authentic self p=.001, rather than attending yoga class itself. Going to yoga class was significantly related to the practice of yoga in real life, p=.000. So, yoga in real life was used as the independent variable instead of attending yoga class. These results indicate that the practice of yoga in real life, leads the individual to become less stressed, more mindful, and more in-tune with their authentic self, and these changes in the individual were all significantly related to relationship satisfaction but not relationship commitment. The behavioral variable of authenticity in relationships mediated the relationship between yoga in real life and relationship commitment and satisfaction p=.000, but it was negatively related to relationship commitment and satisfaction. These findings suggest that being authentic in your relationship is negatively related to the individuals satisfaction and commitment levels, partners satisfaction and commitment levels were not examined in this study, and it may provide a clearer reasoning for this result. This study suggests that going to yoga class leads the practitioner to practice yoga in real life, and the practice of yoga in real life leads to relationship satisfaction through stress reduction and an increase in mindfulness and knowing ones authentic self.

Subject Area

Communication

Recommended Citation

Lauren Evron, "Yoga, Mindfulness and Interpersonal Relationships" (2019). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI13813256.
https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI13813256

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