Yoga and Joy

Hasbrouck, Alethea (2013) Yoga and Joy. Doctoral thesis, Meridian University.

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This dissertation examines Yoga and Joy. The Research Problem considered: In what ways does a consistent practice of yoga expand our capacity to maintain a joyful state relatively undisturbed by external experience? Prior to beginning, this study hypothesized that a consistent daily practice of yoga can allow for an enhanced experience of joy that is relatively consistent, even in the face of difficult external events. The Literature Review explores the psychology of yoga and defines key terms, discusses yoga therapy, joy, and the mind/ body connection. In summary, the existing literature leaves a gap in the felt experience of yoga as well as the connection to and related effect of joy. Utilizing Imaginal Inquiry, participants worked with constriction in the body, created images, wrote in journals, explored a self-guided and group yoga practice, viewed images of world problems, and made clay sculptures. A follow-up meeting invited participants’ feedback from the day, presented and invited responses to the preliminary learnings. A felt group experience of yoga was evoked for participants on both days. The Cumulative Learning states that combining the practice of yoga with artwork, psychology, and community can add significant potency and depth to the practice. The first learning states that the degree to which participants quickly formed a sense of immediate vulnerability and community with one another, however briefly, was potentially due to the subject matter and extended personal experience with yoga. The second learning states that integrating artwork with yoga offers a potent somatic practice that has the potential to help in accessing emotional and physical constriction. The third learning reveals that through practice and expression of yoga, self-limiting beliefs can be worked through. The fourth learning indicates that the practice of yoga in a group setting can activate awareness of a compassionate, heart-centered way of being. The fifth and final learning posits that utilizing the psychological process and community encouragement can add to deepening a spiritual connection. Implications of the study include relearning to be in our bodies and live more through our hearts in joyful living through yoga. The ancient practice of yoga can be utilized in reconnecting with our true nature in order to bring unity and joy into our lives.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Psychology > Critical Theory
Programs: Psychology
Depositing User: Alethea Hasbrouck
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2017 22:35
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 23:44

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