Yoga: mindful physical activity to enhance college students’ well-being

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lisa Marie Almedina-McQuade (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Diane Gill

Abstract: College students report poor physical and mental wellbeing. Mindful physical activity has shown promising results as adjunctive and alternative methods for contending with such issues. Students (n= 7) registered in a semester long yoga class designed to promote mindfulness and well-being completed pre and post surveys of perceived mood (POMS-SF), quality of life (QoL), stress (PSS) and mindfulness (FFMQ and SMS-PA). “Check-in” reports on state mindfulness, mood, quality of life and perceived stress were done weekly. Open-ended questions regarding most and least beneficial aspects of the weekly yoga sessions were part of these “check-ins.” Paired t-tests revealed significant improvements in QoL on the spiritual, emotional, cognitive, physical, and integrated subscales. The POMS-SF vigor score improved, as did the FFMQ subscale non-reactivity, feeling less reactive to emotions and difficult situations. Although not significant, positive trends on the FMMQ suggested students felt better able to observe and describe their surroundings, emotions, and thoughts, and improved their non-judgmental self-reflection. No change in “acting with awareness” was uncovered, indicating students’ ability to maintain focus stayed consistent. State mindfulness for PA showed no significant changes. Moderate stress levels as reported by PSS, stayed consistent over the intervention as well. Nine distinct themes regarding the benefits of the weekly sessions were revealed: methods/content, stretch/strength, stress release, breathing, self-awareness, self-care, being present/mindful, safety/alignment and peer interaction. Findings, although limited by small sample size, suggest participating in a yoga course may encourage mindfulness, improve mood and perceived quality of life, and may buffer stress during challenging times.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Mindfulness, Mood, Quality of Life, Yoga
College students $x Mental health
Yoga $x Psychological aspects
Mindfulness (Psychology)
Quality of life

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