Theories and Practices
Edited By Diana Trebing and Ahmet Atay
chapter 9 All I Really Need to Know about Mentoring I Learned from Yoga
Danielle M. Stern
Prior to entering a full-time faculty position in communication, I was privileged to have enough funding to attend conferences that supported graduate students with opportunities to connect with mentors. I benefited from a collegial, thorough faculty mentoring process in my first year on the tenure track in the University of Wisconsin system. I hit the jackpot of mentors when the department chair in my second tenure-track job connected me with an amazing colleague in the English department who also researched and taught critical theory and feminism. After earning tenure, I returned the favor and chaired and coordinated my current university’s new faculty mentoring process two years in a row. I thought I was a good mentor, a supportive teacher; then I embarked on a 200-hour yoga teacher training a couple of years after earning tenure. I threw much of what I learned about mentoring out the window.
Despite all my years of training and practice as a critical/cultural scholar, all my years of teaching and writing about power, norms, and bodies via the works of Foucault and Butler, I realized my role as a teacher/mentor could not fully develop until I took a long, hard look at the power inherent in my own embodied experience and privilege. Yoga teacher trainings range between $2800 and $4000 (Baitmangalkar, 2016). Since yoga practice in the United States is incredibly white, it is no surprise that the training programs skew this way also. In this chapter, I...
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