SOAS University of London

Centre of Yoga Studies

Emotional and atmospheric labour in contemporary yoga teaching

Jennifer Lea

Date: 18 November 2020Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 18 November 2020Time: 7:45 PM

Venue: Virtual Event Room: Online

Type of Event: Talk

You can watch the recording of this event on YouTube. For other event recordings see our Media page.

This presentation draws on Dr. Lea's recent research which has approached yoga through the lens of work. Through in-depth interviews carried out with yoga teachers in the South West of England, the research looks at the kinds of work that yoga teachers do, as well as the impacts of this work on them as workers. Here she will focus on the emotional and atmospheric labour carried out by teachers, both in and out of the yoga studio. The presentation explores how teachers variously manage the look and feel of their bodies, the work involved in the collective creation of an atmosphere in the yoga class, and what it means that the work being done here is yoga teaching (rather than another kind of embodied service labour).

Speaker Biography 

Jennifer Lea is a Human Geographer based at the University of Exeter, UK. Her research is broadly concerned with geographies of the body. She has a particular interest in spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation, and has written about spiritual landscapes, spiritual authority, and habit with Chris Philo and Louisa Cadman. She has recently done some research about the embodied labour carried out by yoga teachers, and this is currently being written into a series of papers that consider aesthetic, atmospheric and embodied labour.