Towards a body-mind spirituality: The practice of yoga and the case of Air

Kapsali, Maria
November 2012
Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices;2012, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p109
Academic Journal
Yoga is a widespread psychophysical discipline considered to cultivate the spirituality of its practitioners. Various forms of the practice can be accessed in the public arena and are increasingly common in dance and performing arts education programmes. Although the discipline has been examined from both a historical and ethnographical point of view, its spiritual dimension has received little attention from scholars. This article critically discusses the way in which yoga, as it is practiced and disseminated within contemporary western environments, is thought to facilitate the practitioner's spiritual development. It will be argued here that some aspects of yoga's pedagogy may, in fact, hinder this endeavour. This article also discusses the creation of a theatre piece that was based on the practice. Drawing on the working methods used in the devising of the piece, this article will further contend that in order for the spiritual dimension of the discipline to be realized, contemporary yoga practices should be supplemented with activities that engage the practitioner's imagination and encourage reflection.


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