Decolonizing Yoga: From Critical to Cosmic Consciousness
Feminist-Informed Yoga and a Jain Way of Life
About the Book
This book was written for diasporic South Asian women who have experienced microaggression or discrimination in modern yoga spaces in Canada or abroad. Punam Mehta, Ph.D. reveals how the yoga movement in Canada has been harmful to yoga’s grounding in Jain history, to South Asian social and cultural development, and to Jain diasporic women born and raised in Canada. She argues that marginalized women could recenter themselves by practicing yoga to overcome discrimination based on their race, gender, sexuality, class, and/or abilities within the context of today’s culture. The author seeks to answer questions such as: • What is the theoretical foundation of feminist-informed yoga in contemporary culture? • How can a feminist-informed yoga be applied as a healing approach to marginalized women? • How can contemporary yoga offer simple ways for marginalized women to feel good about themselves? The author highlights the removal of Canadian-born Jain mothers and more generally, South Asian mothers who face systemic racism in yoga studios. She also reveals how yoga, practiced in the Jain way of life, offers a holistic approach to well-being and spiritual health.
About the Author
Punam Mehta, Ph.D., earned a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts Honors, a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Health in Manitoba, Canada. She is a faculty member in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba where she loves to teach the next generation of students. She has worked as an infectious disease epidemiologist and a yoga teacher and has many years of experience in critical public health and gender studies.