Awareness level among meditation practitioners
A study on Does type of mind-body practice matter?
Purpose :Yoga and meditation are mind-body therapies that are effective for managing pain and negative emotions. Body awareness is a key component Of these therapies and may be an important mechanism Of action. It is unknown whether differences exist between yoga and meditation practitioners in body awareness and pain and emotion regulation.
We explored these questions:do yoga and meditation practitioners differ in degree of body awareness and ability to regulate pain and negative affect? Is body awareness more strongly related to pain and emotional regulation outcomes among yoga or meditation practitioners?
Methods : We used a convenience sample Of yoga (Nz88) and meditation practitioners (NZ112) participating in a study to develop the Mufti-Dimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness Instrument (MAIA). We compared mean scores of yoga practitioners and meditators along eight dimensions of body awareness using theMAIA: Noticing, Distracting, Worrying, Attention Regulation, Emotional Awareness, Self-Regulation, Body Listening, and Trusting, and measures of pain and emotion regulation; Pain Catastrophizing Scale (3 subscales),Anxiety Sensitivity m Inventory (2 [[;;9] subscales), and Difficul-ties in Emotion Regulation Scale (6 subscales).
Yoga practitioners reported significantly higher levels Of Noticing, Emotional Awareness, Trust, and more Worrying. Yoga practitioners reported significantly higher levels Of Noticing, Emotional Awareness, Trust, and more Worrying. Groups did not differ in pain or emotion regulation. In each group, greater body awareness was significantly associated with less pain catastrophizing, less fear of symptoms associated with arousal, and less difficulty managing negative emotions. The pattern of correlations between MAIA subscales and pain and emotion regulation subscales did not differ substantially between meditation and yoga practitioners.
Conclusion : Although meditators reported lower levels Of specific aspects Of body awareness, body awareness cultivated in either meditation or yoga may improve pain management and emotion regulation.