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Int J Yoga. 2020 Jan-Apr;13(1):73-75. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_87_18.

Effect of 90-Min Bikram Yoga on Basic Psychological Needs Among Practitioners in the Southwestern United States.

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Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.



In our modern society, physical activity is a lifestyle choice. Bikram Yoga is a low impact; moderate exercise and the understanding of motivation and adherence to the practice is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of 90 min Bikram Yoga practice on basic psychological needs of competence (the sense of skill mastery), autonomy (volitionally performing a task), and relatedness (a connection with others) as postulated in self-determination theory for motivation.


The sample included Bikram Yoga practitioners in the Southwestern United States (n = 126) averaged between the age group of 35 and 64, predominately female, and highly educated. Responses to the Psychological Need Satisfaction in Exercise Scale were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance.


Results showed a statistically significant effect of frequency of Yoga attendance on the satisfaction of basic psychological needs (i.e., competence, autonomy, and relatedness); (P = 0.025); specifically, Yoga practitioners who attended four or more classes per week had higher satisfaction levels of Basic Psychological Need for competence (P = 0.013) and relatedness (P = 0.034). A statistically significant effect of the level of experience on the satisfaction of basic psychological needs (i.e., competence, autonomy, and relatedness) (P = 0.014) found in experienced Bikram Yoga practitioners, specifically for competence (P = 0.013) and relatedness (P = 0.023) compared to novice counterparts.


The study provides some evidence of an individual's motivation for a 90 min Bikram Yoga practice and possible adherence. Future investigation of Bikram Yoga practice adopting self-determination theory appears worthwhile.


Basic psychological needs; Bikram Yoga; motivation; self-determination theory

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