Working with a Body: Flexible Conceptual Models in Contemporary Yoga

Newcombe, Suzanne In: Barker, Eileen and Harvey, Sarah Jane eds. Health and Healing in Minority Religions. Routledge, (In press).


This chapter explores how health and healing are conceptualised in contemporary yogic contexts and articulate how an individual practitioner is likely to dip in and out of various models and metaphors for understanding her body, by using two contrasting examples. While the two different examples differ greatly in context, target audiences and aesthetics, here I am more interested in exploring similarities in the way both presentations offer a fluidity in ways of experiencing bodily suffering and promoting healing. I will follow up these examples by providing a schema of the models of understanding the body which are often drawn upon in a ‘flexible’ way in contemporary yoga contexts.

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