Yoga and positive body image: A test of the Embodiment Model

Leeann Mahlo, Marika Tiggemann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    The study aimed to test the Embodiment Model of Positive Body Image (Menzel & Levine, 2011) within the context of yoga. Participants were 193 yoga practitioners (124 Iyengar, 69 Bikram) and 127 university students (non-yoga participants) from Adelaide, South Australia. Participants completed questionnaire measures of positive body image, embodiment, self-objectification, and desire for thinness. Results showed yoga practitioners scored higher on positive body image and embodiment, and lower on self-objectification than non-yoga participants. In support of the embodiment model, the relationship between yoga participation and positive body image was serially mediated by embodiment and reduced self-objectification. Although Bikram practitioners endorsed appearance-related reasons for participating in yoga more than Iyengar practitioners, there were no significant differences between Iyengar and Bikram yoga practitioners on body image variables. It was concluded that yoga is an embodying activity that can provide women with the opportunity to cultivate a favourable relationship with their body.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-142
    Number of pages8
    JournalBody Image
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


    • Embodiment model
    • Embodying activity
    • Positive body image
    • Self-objectification
    • Yoga


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