Type of Work

Research Paper - Limited Access

Publication Date



This study dissects the influence of groups and individual settings amongst different places on people’s contemplative practices, mainly yoga and meditation. Through interviews, we found that these factors play a converging role. We propose 4 key patterns: 1. Practicing in a group has the benefit of community, motivation, and a spiritual energy from other practitioners; however, it can yield to undesired competition and social comparison. 2. The place of the yoga studio can influence people’s experience. People connected the place to who was there. 3. Practicing alone is less competitive and more focused on personal needs. However, the lack of structure can make people feel disorganized. 4. Places for individual practice were often specific, conditioned places filled with meaningful and sacred objects. To conclude, we address possible implications of our study and suggestions for future research.

Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Summer Research Fellowship

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Jaime Kucinskas