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Does Yoga Increase Sustainability?

Enhanced Sensory Awareness and Environmental Behavior in South Florida

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
Authors:
Meagan L. Weisner Florida Atlantic University USA Boca Raton, FL

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Mary M. Cameron Florida Atlantic University USA Boca Raton, FL

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Abstract

This study aims to increase understanding of whether spiritual dimensions of nature experiences are connected to sustainability by examining the relationship between yoga, sensory awareness, and pro-environmental behavior among comparative groups of yoga and non-yoga practitioners in South Florida. According to affective and perceptual theories of human environmental care, the heightened perception of and attention to one’s natural environment through enhanced sensory awareness that yoga practitioners describe experiencing should engender a closer inclination to nature and its protection, as measured by pro-environmental acts. South Florida yoga practitioners describe increased sensory awareness after yoga, yet they practiced common natural resources protective actions like recycling and reducing fossil fuel use no more frequently than their non-yoga counterparts. Practitioners’ other yoga-based and meditation-enhanced spiritual experiences like non-evaluation and non-attachment to physical and mental phenomena, as well as yoga’s inward self-focus on the physical body, may divert aspirants from proactive environmental behavior.

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