Race & Yoga

The Race and Yoga Research Working Group examines the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, able-bodiedness, and age in yoga. In addition to viewing yoga through the lens of intersectionality and Women of Color / Third World Feminisms, this group focuses on somatic theories to explore the praxis of yoga programs. Race and Yoga explores programs offered in yoga studios and other non-traditional settings, such as prisons. Although statics on annual income, educational level, and the ratio of female to male yoga practitioners in the United States are readily available, there is a dearth of information on racial demographics and how race influences interpersonal dynamics within these spaces.

This group also investigates how mainstream publications depict yoga practitioners and teachers and how these representations influence perceptions of yoga and race in the cultural imaginary.  The primary purpose of this working group is to bring an intersectional analysis to the forefront of discourses surrounding yoga in the U.S. The broader implications this conversation is to critique activist work that does not account for the specificities of lived experiences and to develop strategies that foster useful methods of community intervention.