The Africa Yoga Project and Wellbeing: A Concept Map of Students' Perceptions
MetadataShow full item record
Concept mapping methodology was used to explore the perceived impact of practicing yoga with the Africa Yoga Project (AYP) – an organization created to increase health and well-being by providing community based yoga classes throughout Kenya. AYP’s mission is discussed in terms of how it fits with theoretical models of well-being. Anecdotal evidence and initial qualitative research suggested the AYP meaningfully impacted adult students. This study constituted a more in-depth investigation of students' experiences. Of the hundreds of AYP's adult students, 56 and 82 students participated in Phases I and II, respectively. Phase I brainstorming resulted in 94 student-generated statements about their perceived change. Phase II participants sorted and rated statements in terms of importance. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis of sort data was utilized to map and group statements into clusters. Based on statistical and interpretive criteria, a 5-cluster solution with the following concepts was identified as the best model of students' change: Personal Growth; Interpersonal Effectiveness (lowest importance); Physical and Social Benefits; Emotional Resiliency; and Improved Self-Concept (highest importance). Overall, students reported positive perceptions of the AYP. Additional research is needed to quantify students' change, and to compare the AYP outcomes to those of other programs aimed at poverty related stress reduction and increased well-being.