BACKGROUND - Yoga is a behavioral practice that uses physical movement, breathing, and meditation to improve health and promote personal transformation. Ancient yoga philosophy proposed that an individual's confidence about yoga, a concept similar to self-efficacy, will affect the likelihood of improved health from yoga practice. The purpose of this study was to develop and examine the psychometric properties of a self-efficacy measure for yoga practice (the Yoga Self-Efficacy Scale; YSES).
METHODS - Yoga practitioners were recruited to evaluate the psychometric properties of YSES via a secure online survey. We collected data on additional measures to further examine construct validity. After two weeks, participants were invited to complete YSES items again to assess test-retest reliability.
RESULTS - A majority of participants (N = 309) were White (85%), female (82%), and yoga instructors (56%). The 12-item YSES is unidimensional with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.93. Test-retest reliability is r = 0.79 (n = 170). YSES scores are positively correlated with health competence, health-related quality of life, and years practicing yoga, supporting construct validity. Also, yoga teachers scored significantly higher on the YSES than non-teachers (p < 0.001). Non-significant relationships with education, income and sex supported discriminant validity. YSES maintained internal consistency and construct validity for all yoga styles surveyed.
CONCLUSION - YSES is a reliable and valid measure of self-efficacy for yoga practice that may provide insight into barriers to adopting and maintaining yoga as a health behavior.