Meditation and ballet dancing may increase wisdom

New York, March 10 (IANS) Meditation and continuous practice of ballet dancing is likely to improve wisdom, according to research.

Meditation and somatic practices such as classical ballet might lead to increased wisdom.

The results of the study revealed that those who practiced meditation, vipassana (29 percent), mindfulness (23 percent), had more wisdom than those who did not.

Also, meditation can act as a stress-buster or pain-reliever as well as help in reducing anxiety.

“The link between ballet and wisdom is mysterious to us and something that we’re already investigating further,” said lead author Patrick B. Williams, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago in US.

Participants who practiced ballet had the lowest levels of wisdom. Nevertheless, the more they practiced ballet, the higher they scored on measures of psychological traits that are associated with wisdom, the researcher explained in the study published in PLOS ONE.

“That meditation is associated with wisdom is good to confirm, but the finding that the practice of ballet is associated with increased wisdom is fascinating,” noted Monika Ardelt, a leading wisdom researcher who was not involved in the project.

The researchers administered a self-reported survey to 298 participants using Survey Monkey, a popular Internet based tool that is increasingly being used to conduct scientific surveys and studies.

The survey asked about the experience (both in number of years and hours of practice) of teachers and students of meditation, the Alexander Technique (a method for improving posture, balance, coordination, and movement), the Feldenkrais Method (a form of somatic education that seeks to improve movement and physical function, reduce pain, and increase self-awareness), and classical ballet.

It also included psychological questionnaires that asked about characteristics thought to be components of wisdom, such as empathy and anxiety.

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