Though people become wise with age, a new study suggests that meditation and somatic (physical) practices such as classical ballet might lead to increased wisdom.
The University of Florida's Monika Ardelt said that "As far as I know this is the first study to be published that looks at the relationship between meditation or ballet and increased wisdom. 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. I'm not going to rush out and sign up for ballet, but I think this study will lead to more research on this question."
The researchers included ballet in the study, "not expecting to find that it was associated with wisdom, but rather for comparison purposes," said lead author Patrick B. Williams.
This includes ongoing studies with adult practitioners of ballet, as well as among novices training at Chicago's Joffrey Ballet.
Williams wants to track novices and seasoned practitioners of both meditation and ballet for months and years to see whether the association holds up over time.
The published research was groundbreaking because science has overlooked somatic practices as a possible path to wisdom, Williams said. The study is published in PLOS ONE.