Yoga Improves Body Image Better Than Resistance Exercises

Yoga has been demonstrated to increase ones sense of well-being and body image. How well does yoga do compared to resistance training? A new study attempts to answer that question by comparing the effects of a single yoga group exercise class to a resistance group exercise class on body satisfaction and social physique anxiety in a group of women.

Mat over weights

A pre-test post-test design was used. Forty six participants completed both a resistance and yoga group exercise class, in a counter-balanced order. Measures of body satisfaction and social physique anxiety were completed immediately before and after each class.

The results of a multiple analysis of variance showed  that there was a significant increase in body satisfaction following the yoga class. Following both classes, there was a significant decrease in social physique anxiety but the magnitude of the changes was larger following the yoga class than the resistance class.

The study concludes that although both types of exercise class were associated with improvements in body image, with greater improvements following the yoga class. This study provided evidence of the positive effects of yoga for reducing social physique anxiety and increasing body satisfaction. This may suggest that yoga is particularly beneficial in improving body image in women.

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