The Effect of Yoga Practice on Cervical Tactile Acuity and Body Awareness

Sarak Kucukosmanoglu H., COŞKUN G., Yosmaoglu H. B.

Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol.130, no.5, pp.2031-2046, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 130 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/00315125231187435
  • Journal Name: Perceptual and Motor Skills
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, AgeLine, CINAHL, Communication Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, MEDLINE, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo, SportDiscus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2031-2046
  • Keywords: Hatha yoga, tactile sensory, two point discrimination, Vinyasa yoga
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Body-mind-based holistic methods of relaxation and improved well-being, such as yoga and meditation, improve body awareness and have often been used to enhance quality of life and the ability to cope with pain. We aimed to compare tactile sensory acuity and body awareness in healthy sedentary individuals who practiced yoga regularly and in control participants who had not practiced yoga. Participants were 60 individuals, aged between 18 and 35 years who were divided into two groups according to whether they had previously practiced yoga. We used the two-point discrimination (TPD) test to determine participants’ tactile acuity, as measured with a digital calliper at the C7, C5, C3, C1 and T1 spinal segments and with the Body Awareness Questionnaire (BAQ). The TPD measurements of individuals who practiced yoga and meditation had a lower discriminatory threshold compared to those who had not practiced yoga (p <.001), and the self-reported BAQ score of yoga practitioners was higher than that of the controls (p <.001). We found a positive correlation between the length of the prior duration of yoga experience and self-reported body awareness (r =.567, p <.001). There was a significant negative correlation (r = −.379, p =.015) between the C5 segment and the TPD measurements, but not for the other cervical spinal segments (p >.05). There was a negative correlation between the length of prior yoga practice and the TPD measurements in all cervical segments (p <.001). The most negative correlation was found at the C7 segment (r = −.844, p <.001) and the least negative correlation was found at the C3 segment (r = −.669, p <.001). These data suggest that yoga and meditation practices may improve well-being and diminish pain by increasing body awareness and tactile sensory acuity in the cervical region.