Gender, women and yoga. Where did it all begin? With Amelia Wood (8 June 2024)

WorkshopGender, women and yoga - where did it all begin?
Date8 June 2024 10.00 - 15.00
LocationOnline with BWY

Gender, women and yoga - where did it all begin?

In this one-day workshop Ruth Westoby and Amelia Wood bring you their expertise on the under researched topics of women, gender and yoga practice. They will illuminate the relationship between yoga and gender, and the roles women have played in the history of pre-modern and modern yoga. Gender: Ruth will present a history of women in yoga and reflect on a gendered history of yoga. Historical evidence of female practitioners is slight. Depending how wide a definition of yoga we take there are examples of women practicing and teaching yoga. Furthermore, if we look at the theory and philosophy of yoga we find it deeply gendered. Ruth will introduce some of these wider dimensions of yoga. Women: How have women influenced the dissemination of yoga beyond India and why are the majority of practitioners of modern yoga now (white, western) women? Amelia will present some of the social, political and cultural forces that played out from the late 19th century onwards that enabled women’s participation in yoga. Amelia will demonstrate the intersections between yoga and other cultural phenomena such as beauty standards, the natural childbirth movement, feminism and the #metoo movement. We will discuss differing concepts of liberation and the pursuit of social and spiritual freedom. The workshop will include lectures, group discussion and some practice. There is a second workshop that supports this content - on the 28th September - each workshop affords CPD points.
Amelia Wood is a PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London researching abuses of power in modern transnational yoga movements. She completed an MA in the Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS in 2015 where she specialised in the representations of women in pre-modern yoga practices. Amelia is a member of the steering committee for the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies and was on the organising committee for the 2022 Yoga Darsana, Yoga Sadhana academic conference in Krakow, Poland. Amelia has been teaching yoga and working in the industry since 2010. She is currently a lead tutor on the Yogacampus 200-hour yoga teacher-training diploma and teaches a variety of short courses that bring together her academic and teaching experiences. Topics include power in yoga, trauma and yoga, teaching skills, the history of yoga and women in yoga. She trained in the Krishnamacharya tradition and her teaching is therapeutic, accessible and inclusive.
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