SURF

Katie McCarthy

The Effaced Teacher: Yoga to the People, Embodied Practices and theCreation of Ethical Communities

My project is a discourse analysis of the community-donation-based Vinyasa yoga studios of Yoga to the People (YTTP). I will explore issues of embodiment, technique and aesthetics and whether they incite, affect or create a potential space for a community to form within a individualized practice. Yoga teachers at YTTP are kept anonymous (simply, their names are not placed on the schedules) in an attempt to promote an ego-less space. Yet, I believe it is the teachers – through vibrational dialogue, vocal manipulation (timbre, tone, pronunciation etc) music and movement – who facilitate the development of community. This summer I will spend much time reading about the history of yoga, discourse, embodiment and aesthetics, as well as interviewing teachers, yoga practitioners, and taking the Teacher Training Program myself. I will be working with Professor Ramona Naddaff, Professor of Rhetoric and Undergraduate Faculty Advisor.

Message to Sponsor

Next semester will be my last at Berkeley and it is wonderful that I get to spend the time devoting myself to something that I am passionate about and gives me much joy and strength. Yoga and academics until now have been extremely important separate spheres of my life and although combining the two makes me at times hesitant and apprehensive due to the challenges that will manifest due to the personal investment I have in each, I look forward to finally being able to practice them in a somewhat holistic manner. To put it simply: it will be fun and adventurous to apply the language skills I have learned as a Rhetoric/English double major onto and into something that I am invested in and fascinated by. This grant gives me a chance to become more intimate with two communities that are very important to me and I am incredibly grateful that SURF is giving me the opportunity to fulfill that desire and motivation.
  • Major: Rhetoric, English
  • Mentor: Ramona Naddaff, Rhetoric