Date of Award

12-14-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Kathryn McClymond

Second Advisor

Ashli Owen-Smith

Third Advisor

Molly Bassett

Fourth Advisor

Johnathan Herman

Abstract

At the height of its popularity in our society, the teaching of modern transnational postural yoga is entering a new space. A team of researchers and yoga teachers have developed a therapeutic, trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive postural yoga practice. This adapted postural yoga practice, which was specially designed as a supplemental somatic therapy to traditional cognitive psychotherapies for populations coping with complex trauma, is currently offered as an optional therapeutic modality to incarcerated juvenile males in regional youth detention centers in Atlanta, Georgia. In this article I will explore some unique changes, developments, questions and issues that arise from, surround and potentially transform the teacher-student dynamic in the teaching of trauma-informed, mindfulness-based postural yoga within the unique context of incarcerated youth. I will argue that the effects of the intersections of adolescence, complex trauma, incarceration, race and ethnicity, present new and significant challenges that have changed how yoga is taught.

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