A new study published by the University of California at Berkeley shows that women who practice yoga have better body images and less disordered eating patterns than women who take part in traditional aerobic exercises. Study participants filled out surveys about the type of exercise they performed, how often, and their feelings about their bodies.
This particular study didn’t put women into different exercise groups, so researchers can’t be sure whether women who already felt good about their bodies tended to steer towards yoga, or if the yoga itself helped improve body image. However, yoga, a mind-body exercise, allows practitioners to tune into their bodies, emphasizing their strengths and abilities, not their size or appearance.
This focused practice is also a great stress-reliever. Yoga could help many individuals (not exclusively women) focus on the positives of their bodies, thus improving how you feel about your body, while helping improve flexibility, strength, and mental focus in the process.