Eastern vs. Western Yoga Practices




Ramos, Jennifer

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The beginnings of yoga can be traced back over 5,000 years originating in ancient India. While we are slowly beginning to realize the connection of physical and mental wellness here in the western world, eastern countries have incorporated a daily practice of holistic health into their lives for centuries. The purpose of this study was to assess the difference in cultural mindset of health, wellness, fitness, and yoga of our western culture compared to a distant eastern tradition. A survey was given examining western customs, health, healing practices, medicinal practices, and cultural influence. 36 participants of all ages over 18 were given surveys. Distribution methods included passing surveys out to participants of ASU academic classes, group-exercise classes, faculty, and members of the community. The survey collected demographic data, knowledge of eastern and western cultures, general information about fitness, health, spirituality, and perceived knowledge of yoga practices. Having a better understanding of cultural differences will provide a solid foundation for future research contributing opportunities to explore alternative medicine, holistic healing and health sciences. In addition to providing this data, participants will also allocate information about programs they would like to see offered at their facility as well as why they do/do not currently participate in yoga programs. Further research examining cultural differences specific to medicinal practices, holistic sciences, and eastern cultures are warranted.