It’s not much of a stretch to connect yoga and mindfulness, but a new Brock University study aims to dive deeper into the exercise’s potential impact on health and well-being.
Brock researchers are seeking participants for the 10-week pilot study, which will look at how people’s relationships with yoga differ based on characteristics such as age, gender and weight. Participants must be 18 years or older and must not have done yoga regularly within the past 12 months.
Matthieu Dagenais (BSc ’16), PhD candidate in Applied Health Sciences and principal student investigator on the study, says it’s important participants represent diverse backgrounds, cultures, genders and ages.
“Most research examining the benefits of yoga on mental health and wellness has been done with young women in university,” he says. “It is important to understand these benefits in more diverse groups, including men and older individuals, so everyone can benefit from this knowledge.”
The information collected will help researchers evaluate the possibility of conducting a larger similar study in the future and may also help in the development of programs available through the Brock Functional Inclusive Training Centre (Bfit) for enhancing exercise, health and well-being.
Half of the pilot study’s participants will be randomly selected to participate in free one-hour, in-person yoga sessions once a week for 10 weeks at Bfit in the Walker Sports and Abilities Centre at Canada Games Park. The other half will act as a control group and be asked not to participate in any yoga for the duration of the study.
All participants will be asked to complete three online questionnaires: one at the beginning of the study, one at the five-week midway point and a final survey at the end. Each will take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete and will ask about demographic information, participants’ physical and psychological well-being, their physical activity and their perceptions of yoga.
At the end of the study, the control group will be invited to attend a free in-person yoga class at Bfit. All participants will receive a video recording of a yoga class, and three people will be randomly selected to win a gift basket that includes a yoga mat, strap and block, so they can continue to pursue yoga on their own.
Anyone interested in participating in the study is asked to email Dagenais at email@example.com for more information.
Dagenais is conducting the research under the supervision of Professor of Kinesiology Kimberley Gammage, who is also the Program Director for Brock’s Master of Professional Kinesiology program and Director of Bfit’s SeniorFit exercise program.