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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Race and Yoga

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Mainstream narratives about yoga in the U.S. often describe how the practice promotes physical and spiritual wellbeing. But, yoga practitioners and scholars rarely question who has had access to the practice since its arrival in North America, and thereby its purportedly healing and liberatory properties. Relatedly, they fail to critically interrogate the representation of the prototypical yogi in contemporary America: upper and middle-class white persons, particularly white women.

Race and Yoga is the first scholarly journal to examine issues surrounding the history, racialization, sex(ualization), and inclusivity (or lack thereof) of the yoga community.

Yoga During COVID-19: Perpetual Pandemics


Mothering and Self-Care While Black in the Age of COVID

This article examines the experiences of Black mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic through a lens of self-care. As a group of people particularly impacted by persistent gender inequality, the economic and health disparities laid bare by the pandemic, as well as the structural racism that underscores these inequities, Black mothers’ self-care emerges as an important topic of conversation as women everywhere confront the challenges of parenting, running households, and attending to their own well-being. Communicated through a collection of short case studies, this piece presents a broad range of narratives that demonstrate the way Black mothers engage the practice of yoga to attend to their needs and the needs of their families. Presented with statistical and analytical context, this piece demonstrates the ways yoga supports Black mothers and how it falls short.