Exploring the Identities of North American Yoga Teachers From Different Perspectives on the Self
Peticca-Harris, Amanda M.
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This qualitative study explores the work and identities of a sample of twenty-seven North American yoga teachers from two different ontological, epistemological and methodological perspectives. This study illustrates how the self can be understood and constructed in different ways using different readings of the interview material. The first reading of the interview material uses a symbolic interactionist approach and illustrates how a yoga teacher creates a sense of self using the meanings that they assign to their experiences. The second reading of the interview material employs Foucaults notions of power/knowledge and subjectivity and suggests that yoga teachers sense of self is constituted by various discourses. Here, yoga teachers have agency in selecting their subject position and how they wish to locate themselves within the discourses, but they are not able to operate outside of discourse. These readings of the self and identities are at times complementary and, at others, contradictory. Taking these readings together, this study contributes some important insights to the body work literature surrounding womens motivations for this form of body work/ care work, the interconnections between care roles and the leisure-framing of work that individuals may undergo for their own physical and emotional well-being.