Specific Yoga Practices and Mindful Eating Habits among New and Experience Yoga Practitioners
Current research suggests that yoga practitioners are more mindful eaters, consume more fruits and vegetables and gain less weight over time when compared to individuals who do not practice yoga. This study aimed to determine the relationship between mindful eating habits and yoga practice in terms of how they are related to dietary quality. To determine the relationship between these factors, a 51-item survey was developed and distributed to a yoga studio in Syracuse, New York. The survey asked for information on typical yoga practices, mindful eating habits and dietary habits using a brief food frequency questionnaire. The responses from 88 individuals were included in data analysis.
Individuals with 10 or more years of yoga practice exhibited more mindful eating habits than individuals with a less established practice suggesting that yoga is an effective method for improving mindful eating habits. Mindful eating and length of yoga practice both seemed to be associated with higher dietary quality and a healthier BMI. Higher mindful eating scores were associated with higher consumption of fruit and vegetables. Similarly, individuals with more yoga experience consumed a greater amount of whole grains, fruits and a wider variety of vegetables, while consumption of processed food was lower, indicating a higher quality diet. Results suggest that yoga practice may be useful in improving mindful eating habits and dietary quality.