Meditation Or Breathing-Focused Yoga Practice – What’s Better?

The goal of the study was to compare two types of yoga practice. The study looked at the psychological effects. The two types were meditation-focused yoga and breathing-focused yoga. The participants were undergraduate students.

The meditation-focused yoga involved meditation techniques. The breathing-focused yoga involved breathing exercises. The study compared the psychological effects of the two yoga types. It examined how they affected the undergraduate student participants.

The present study aimed to compare the psychological effects of meditation- and breathing-focused yoga practice in undergraduate students.

Effects of Yoga Practice Types



Bar Graph Summary

The bar graph offers a clear visual representation of the effects of two types of yoga practices on three variables: Work Intention, Mindfulness, and Perceived Stress.

  1. Work Intention:
    • Participants practicing breathing-focused yoga reported a higher Work Intention compared to those practicing meditation-focused yoga.
  2. Mindfulness:
    • Similarly, participants in the breathing-focused yoga group exhibited higher levels of Mindfulness compared to those in the meditation-focused yoga group.
  3. Perceived Stress:
    • Contrasting the other two variables, Perceived Stress was marginally lower for the breathing-focused yoga group compared to the meditation-focused group, albeit the difference isn’t as pronounced.

In conclusion, the results suggest that yoga practice emphasizing breathing may offer superior benefits in terms of fostering greater work intention and mindfulness and might also assist in reducing perceived stress compared to meditation-focused practice.

Correlation Heatmap

Correlation Heatmap Summary

Upon visual inspection of the correlation heatmap for the data related to Meditation-Focused Yoga and Breathing-Focused Yoga, several relationships emerge:

  1. Yoga Styles and Work Intention:
    • There’s a strong positive correlation between the Breathing-Focused Yoga and Work Intention, suggesting that participants who practiced this style of yoga tended to report higher work intentions.
    • On the other hand, Meditation-Focused Yoga has a moderate correlation with work intention.
  2. Yoga Styles and Mindfulness:
    • Breathing-Focused Yoga shows a strong positive correlation with Mindfulness. This implies that individuals who engaged in breathing-focused practices generally reported greater mindfulness levels.
    • The Meditation-Focused Yoga also exhibits a positive correlation with mindfulness, but it’s slightly weaker than the breathing-focused counterpart.
  3. Yoga Styles and Perceived Stress:
    • Interestingly, Breathing-Focused Yoga has a negative correlation with Perceived Stress, indicating that higher engagement in this yoga type is associated with lower stress levels.
    • Conversely, Meditation-Focused Yoga doesn’t show a significant correlation with perceived stress, suggesting that this practice’s effect on stress might be more variable or less consistent among participants.

In conclusion, while both types of yoga practices offer potential benefits, the breathing-focused approach appears particularly beneficial for improving work intention and mindfulness and reducing perceived stress among participants. However, it’s crucial to approach these findings cautiously, remembering that correlation doesn’t equate to causation. Other unmeasured factors might influence these observed relationships.

Pairwise Comparison


Pairwise Comparisons Summary

Upon close examination of scatter plots that juxtapose the two yoga styles—Meditation-Focused Yoga and Breathing-Focused Yoga—against the variables Work Intention, Mindfulness, and Perceived Stress, the following observations can be made:

  1. Work Intention Across Yoga Styles:
    • Participants practicing Breathing-Focused Yoga seem to cluster in the higher regions of the Work Intention axis. This indicates a potential boost in work intention from this practice.
    • On the other hand, points related to Meditation-Focused Yoga are more dispersed, implying varied outcomes for different individuals.
  2. Mindfulness Across Yoga Styles:
    • Scatter plots reveal a dense clustering of points in the upper-mid regions for those practicing Breathing-Focused Yoga, suggesting a favorable increase in mindfulness for these participants.
    • For Meditation-Focused Yoga, the points are somewhat evenly spread, with a slight concentration towards the higher end, hinting at positive but varied outcomes regarding mindfulness.
  3. Perceived Stress Across Yoga Styles:
    • Participants of Breathing-Focused Yoga predominantly fall in the lower regions of the Perceived Stress axis, indicating reduced stress levels post-intervention.
    • In contrast, Meditation-Focused Yoga participants show a broader distribution. This suggests that while some might benefit immensely concerning stress reduction, others might not experience significant changes.

From the pairwise comparisons, Breathing-Focused Yoga stands out as potentially more effective across the board, particularly in boosting work intention and mindfulness and reducing perceived stress. However, it’s also evident that individual responses to Meditation-Focused Yoga can vary widely. While many benefit in terms of mindfulness, its effect on work intention and stress seems less consistent among participants.


A 12-week yoga intervention was conducted. The participants were undergraduate students. They were enrolled in four yoga classes. The classes were held at USTB ,Beijing, China.

The four classes were randomly assigned. Two classes did meditation-focused yoga. Two classes did breathing-focused yoga.

A total of 86 students participated. They completed surveys before and after the 12-week intervention. The surveys measured work intention, mindfulness, and perceived stress.

Statistical analyses were conducted. A repeated-measures MANCOVA was done first. Then univariate analyses were performed.

Effects on work intention, mindfulness, and stress

This examined differences between the two yoga groups. It looked at differences in work intention, mindfulness, and stress. The analyses compared the groups over the semester. Age and gender were controlled for.

A 12-weeks yoga intervention was conducted among a group of undergraduate students enrolled in four yoga classes at an academically prestigious university in Beijing, China.

Four classes were randomized to meditation-focused yoga or breathing-focused yoga. A total of 86 participants finished surveys before and after the 12-weeks intervention, measuring work intention, mindfulness, and perceived stress.

The repeated-measure multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) followed by univariate analyses were conducted to examine the differences in work intention, mindfulness, and stress between the two yoga intervention groups over the semester, after controlling for age and gender.


Breathing-focused yoga was better. It was better for undergrads than meditation yoga.

Breathing yoga helped them keep energy. It helped them stay focused at work. It helped them keep awareness and it helped reduce their stress.

Meditation yoga did not do these things as well.

Yoga practice with a focus on breathing is more effective than that with a focus on meditation for undergraduates to retain energy for work, keep attention and awareness, and reduce stress.

Data Source:

Breath Or Meditation Yoga / Canva
Breath Or Meditation Yoga