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Pedagogic practice, culture and the globalization of yoga teaching

Issue: Vol 7 No. 1 (2010)

Journal: Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/japl.v7i1.11


This paper examines the way in which teaching practices are delocated and relocated in different cultural spaces, and the literacy practices developed as a result of these changes. It argues that such changes give rise to unanticipated changes in outcomes, both in relation to forms of pedagogy and in relation to the construction of relationships between teacher and student, and student and ‘text’. The teaching of yoga offers a prime example of transnational flow, as adaptations in the West are re-exported into India, yoga’s traditional home. Taking the practice of yoga teaching as an example, and working within the tradition of linguistic anthropology, audio- and video-recorded data are presented from Vedic Chanting classes in South India, as traditionally taught and as taught in response to a multilingual group of Western students, and contrasted with the emerging official pedagogic discourse of yoga in the UK. Following Ellsworth (1997), the paper asks: What kind of knowledge does this pedagogy offer? What techniques does it use to regulate knowledge and the relationship of the teacher and the students to that knowledge?

Author: Jill Bourne

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