Comparing Mindfulness-Based Intervention Strategies: Differential Effects of Sitting Meditation, Body Scan, and Mindful Yoga

Abstract

We investigated whether three different meditation practices that are commonly used in mindfulness-based interventions lead to differential changes in psychological health outcomes when presented separately. Participants included 141 undergraduates assigned to a sitting meditation, body scan, or mindful yoga condition. Participants in all conditions attended three weekly 1-h sessions (105 min of guided meditation and 75 min of discussion) in addition to pre- and post-intervention questionnaires collected in separate sessions. Participants reported significant improvements in the tendency to describe one’s experience, rumination, self-compassion, and psychological well-being regardless of condition. The following between-group differences in change over time emerged: (1) mindful yoga was associated with greater increases in psychological well-being than the other two practices, (2) sitting meditation and mindful yoga were both associated with greater decreases in difficulties with emotion regulation than the body scan, and (3) sitting meditation was associated with greater increases in the tendency to take a nonevaluative stance toward observed stimuli than the body scan.

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Correspondence to Shannon E. Sauer-Zavala.

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Sauer-Zavala, S.E., Walsh, E.C., Eisenlohr-Moul, T.A. et al. Comparing Mindfulness-Based Intervention Strategies: Differential Effects of Sitting Meditation, Body Scan, and Mindful Yoga. Mindfulness 4, 383–388 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-012-0139-9

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Mindfulness-based interventions
  • Well-being
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Body scan