White teachers, brown yoga: Teacher candidates learning yoga
Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Each year, our university’s Division of Global Affairs themes its programming around a particular country in a program called “Year of.” 2017-2018 was “Year of India” with the various Colleges preparing associated programming. This paper is about how the College of Education conceptualized, prepared and executed a series of events called “Global Learning and Mindfulness Through the Study of India” that specifically focused on mindfulness and yoga as a form of civic engagement. Each of the events included a keynote speaker, yoga practice and a series of workshops designed to help teacher candidates (our students) make sense of the themes discussed in the keynote as well as to increase their understanding of India, Asia and global engagement and citizenship in general. In the paper, we will share our experiences and the themes from these workshops, as well as findings from our research into how our students made sense of two keynote addresses and workshops. We believe the content of the keynotes are particularly fitting for the theme “Mindfulness and Resistance.” The first, Roopa Singh, spoke about the whitening of yoga via the patenting of yoga in the United States using theories of whiteness as currency and critical race theory. For the second, “yoga as civic engagement,” Sonali Sadique discussed mindfulness and yoga as restorative justice practices as well as yoga as a philosophy and way of life rather than programmed arm and leg movements of the whitened Americanized version. Both of these radically flip the narratives of civic engagement, yoga, and race familiar to the predominantly white, suburban, middle class students that we teach. Through students’ written responses, we found a few success stories as well as entrenchments in thought that signal ways in which we might help white preservice teachers think differently, and better, about the role of mindfulness and yoga practice in schools and the world.
Practicing Yoga as Resistance: Voices of Color in Search of Freedom
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Adams, Erin; An, Sohyun; Ford, Jillian; and Rodriguez, Sanjuana, "White teachers, brown yoga: Teacher candidates learning yoga" (2021). Faculty Publications. 5147.