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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine how alternative types of instruction provided during a 6-week balance exercise program affect mindfulness. A sample of 63 college students was recruited for the study. Group 1 (N = 33) received a 6-week balance exercise intervention instructed with an internal focus of attention (IFA). Group 2 (N = 30) received the same intervention, but exercises were instructed with an external focus of attention (EFA). Mindfulness was measured at baseline and at 6 weeks using the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI). Baseline FMI scores between groups were similar (Group 1: 41.6; Group 2: 41.3), however, the difference in gain scores at six weeks was statistically significantly different (Group 1: 17.5; Group 2: 1.7; z = - 4.74, p = .0000, r = .55). The results suggest that internally focused instruction was more effective at increasing mindfulness than externally focused instruction during a 6-week balance exercise program and might be an alternative to meditation as a means of improving mindfulness.

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