A quantitative exploration of the relationships between regular yoga practice, microdosing psychedelics, wellbeing and personality variables

This exploratory cross-sectional survey study (n=339) investigated differences in mood and wellbeing between samples of people who either microdose, practice yoga, or engage in neither, in light of personality trait differences in openness, neuroticism, and absorption. Microdosing and yoga practices exhibited complementary effects, as participants who practiced both had the highest absorption score, exhibited higher levels of wellbeing, and had less depression and anxiety, compared to people who either practiced yoga or microdosing, and participants recruited as controls. However, participants were recruited from different population samples, which may bias self-report, and lead to significant differences in age, gender, employment, and education between the conditions.

Abstract

Objective: The current study aimed to explore whether the subjective effects of microdosing psychedelics are comparable to those of yoga in relation to psychological wellbeing, depression, anxiety and stress. It also explored the relationship between yoga, microdosing and personality.

Method: The sample comprised 339 participants, yoga (n = 131), microdose (n = 69), microdose and yoga (n = 54) and control (n = 85). All completed measures of personality (M5-50 and Tellegen Absorption Scale), mood (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21) and wellbeing (Ryff Scales of Psychological Wellbeing).

Results: The yoga and microdosing groups scored significantly higher on psychological wellbeing and absorption than the control. The microdosing and yoga group had lower depression scores than the microdose only group, and lower anxiety scores than the yoga only group. Furthermore, the microdosing and yoga group had the highest absorption score. Openness was significantly lower in the control group than in all other groups.

Conclusions: While we cannot infer that yoga and microdosing lead to increased wellbeing, openness and absorption, or to decreased depression and anxiety, the findings suggest that the subjective effects of microdosing psychedelics are comparable to those of yoga and that the combination of both might be beneficial.”

Authors: Stephen Bright, Emily Blatchford & Eyal Gringart

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