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Race and Yoga

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Be Still, Be Present: Black Girl Yoga and Digital Counter Spaces


Controlling images of Black womanhood and the exclusivity of mainstream wellness spaces complicate Black women’s relationship to yoga. The purpose of this study is to explore how a popular Instagram page, Black Girl Yoga, engages Black women with the spiritual practice. A combined Visual Discourse Analysis (VDA) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) revealed that BGY engages Black women with yoga by a) constructing a culture of inclusivity, b) affirming the individuality of Black women, c) intertextualizing African American cultural discourse and yogic principles, d) decentering Black women’s oppression, and e) creating continuity with physical yoga counter spaces. Implications for theory and praxis are discussed.

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