The current study compared a single yoga group exercise class and a resistance group exercise class for their effects on state body satisfaction and social physique anxiety in women.
A pretest-posttest design was used. Participants (N = 46) completed both a resistance exercise class and yoga class in a counterbalanced order. Measures of body satisfaction and social physique anxiety were completed immediately before and after each class.
A 2 (time) × 2 (class type) repeatedmeasures multiple analysis of variance showed a significant overall Time × Class Type interaction (F2,44 = 5.69, P < .01, η p2 = .21). There was a significant increase in body satisfaction after the yoga class. After both classes, there was a significant decrease in social physique anxiety, but the magnitude of the change was larger after the yoga class than after the resistance class.
Both types of exercise class were associated with improvements in body image, but there were greater improvements after the yoga class. This study provided evidence of the positive effects of yoga for reducing state social physique anxiety and increasing state body satisfaction, adding to correlational evidence suggesting that yoga is particularly beneficial for improving body image-related outcomes in women.
The authors are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.