Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis

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Beth Berila, Melanie Klein, Chelsea Jackson Roberts
Lexington Books, Sep 9, 2016 - Social Science - 356 pages
Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change is the first collection to gather together prominent scholars on yoga and the body. Using an intersectional lens, the essays examine yoga in the United States as a complex cultural phenomenon that reveals racial, economic, gendered, and sexual politics of the body. From discussions of the stereotypical yoga body to analyses of pivotal court cases, Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change examines the sociopolitical tensions of contemporary yoga.

Because so many yogic spaces reflect the oppressive nature of many other public spheres, the essays in this collection also examine what needs to change in order for yoga to truly live up to its liberatory potential, from the blogosphere around Black women’s health to the creation of queer and trans yoga classes to the healing potential of yoga for people living with chronic illness or trauma.

While many of these conversations are emerging in the broader public sphere, few have made their way into academic scholarship. This book changes all that. The essays in this anthology interrogate yoga as it is portrayed in the media, yoga spaces, and yoga as it is integrated in education, the law, and concepts of health to examine who is included and who is excluded from yoga in the West. The result is a thoughtful analysis of the possibilities and the limitations of yoga for feminist social transformation.

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About the Contributors

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About the author (2016)

Beth Berila is professor of ethnic and women’s studies at St. Cloud State University.

Melanie Klein is an associate professor of sociology and women’s studies at Santa Monica College.

Chelsea Jackson Roberts is founder and director of yoga, literature, and art at Spelman College.

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