Study: People’s Egos Get Bigger After Meditation And Yoga

Doing something good for your body might make you feel a little too good about yourself– a new study links partaking in meditation and yoga with having an inflated ego. University of Southampton researchers recruited 93 yoga students, and over a period of 15 weeks, regularly evaluated their sense of self-enhancement. This included having participants fill out a questionnaire meant to assess narcissistic tendencies and self-esteem. Researchers found when the students were evaluated in the hour after their yoga class, they showed significantly higher self-enhancement, compared to when they hadn’t done yoga in the previous 24 hours. A study of 162 people who practiced meditation revealed the same result. The scientists write, “Ego-quieting is a central element of yoga philosophy and Buddhism alike. That element, and its presumed implications, require serious rethinking. Moreover, ego-quieting is often called upon to explain mind-body practices’ well-being benefits. In contrast, we observed that mind-body practices boost self-enhancement and this boost—in turn—elevates well-being.” Another possible explanation for the findings: participants were doing yoga and meditation incorrectly.