Older women, embodiment and yoga practice

BARBARA HUMBERSTONE, CAROL CUTLER-RIDDICK
2014 Ageing & Society  
ABSTRACTIn this paper, we consider the ageing body and the 'body techniques' practised by older women within their yoga classes. The paper emphasises the importance of exploring alternative definitions of the human condition, how these are shaped and assembled through particular embodied practices which are realised personally and socially. Taking a contextualised phenomenological approach, older women's experiences are made visible through interview and participant observation. Unlike much
more » ... on. Unlike much sporting practice, the body techniques managed by the women did not emphasise sporting prowess but provided for an integration of body and mind. In the process, biological ageing was accepted yet the women maintained control over the process, troubling prevailing narratives of ageing, declining control and increasing weakness that are taken for granted in much of Western society. The paper highlights the significance of socially rooted ontological embodiment in understanding the ageing body and particular bodily practices.
doi:10.1017/s0144686x1400018x fatcat:pm4ytncujfgd3nwp4rt7vs5at4