Date of Award

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (MPRTM)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Norman, William C.

Committee Member

Harrill , Rich H.

Abstract

ABSTRACT
Yoga, literally translated means yoke or connection and is a process by which relationships, respect and transformation can occur. It is believed that mindfulness is a result of the practice of yoga and can be easily understood in its opposite of mindlessness. When change takes place within self, or one's own body and mind, both positive transformation towards more conscious action and mindfulness is hypothesized to be transferred to one's community. Community is self-defining in that it is based on a sense of shared purpose and common goals. Yogis, those who practice yoga, could be responsible for a positive shift towards sustainable communities or transformative environments, through increased mindfulness, self-actualization, and social capital demonstrated by enhanced trust, engagement, and acceptance. This study examined transformative qualities of yoga on self and the potential for those transformative qualities to be passed to one's surroundings or community. This exploratory study used a quantitative approach to compare beginner yoga students and advanced yoga practitioners. Three scales, mindfulness, self-actualization, and social capital, were administered to participants to examine if there was a relationship between amount of yoga practice and propensity for change in all three areas. Results indicated there was a connection between time practiced and enhanced levels of mindfulness, self-actualization, and social capital. These results suggested yoga had the potential to create more conscious, open minded individuals who contribute to overall community health via increased social capital.

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