Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chairperson

Thomas Treadwell Ed.D. T.E.P. C.G.P.

Committee Member

Michael Gawrysiak Ph.D.

Committee Member

V.Krishna Kumar, M.S., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sandra L. Kerr, Ph.D.


This study examines changes in self-compassion, self-criticism, mindfulness and depressed mood following a single yoga session. This study sets itself apart from already completed research by examining the effects of one single yoga session, as opposed to 4-, 6-, or up to 12 weeks of yoga intervention. Other research exists in this growing knowledge base, see Woodyard (2011) for a review, and the research has deemed positive results over time. This project was designed to determine if any change can be measured after just one yoga class, supporting the idea that yoga may be utilized as a singular or complementary supplement to mental health treatment.

Participants (n=151) in this study were randomly assigned to either the yoga (experimental) condition, or a control condition. Yoga participants were led through an all-levels Hatha style yoga class taught by a Registered Yoga Teacher. Measures were collected prior to and following condition participation and included the Mindfulness Awareness Attention Scale (MAAS), the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R), the Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form (SCS-SF), and the Profile of Mood States-Revised (POMS-R). A mixed between by within-subjects design using pre and post measures, examined differences between the yoga and a control group over time. Results indicate significant decreases in Total Mood Disturbance in the yoga group based on pre and post test measures, but failed to reveal and significant changes in self-criticism, self-compassion, or mindfulness. Implications for future study are considered and discussed.