Accepted Paper:

Visualizing Vinyasa: Temporalities and Rhythms in Online Representations of Yogic Practice  
Schuyler Marquez (Arizona State University)

Paper short abstract:

In the late twentieth century, cosmopolitan elites have embraced yoga as an alternative movement that can provide relief from the constraints of modern life. This paper considers to what extent visual and sonic representations of yoga are embedded in historically situated temporalities and rhythms.

Paper long abstract:

In the late twentieth century, the practice of yoga has surged in urban centers across the globe. Both mainstream and boutique style businesses present the bodily practice as an alternative movement and program that can help participants break through the stressful rhythms of modern life. Such businesses creatively draw on minimalist aesthetics and tempos in ways that position yoga as a form of post-secular spirituality. Emphasizing a slower and transcendent form of embodiment, such visual and sonic representations often position vinyasa or yogic flow as entailing a relief from the burdensome temporalities and weight imposed by capitalist labor regimes, global infrastructures, and health crises that constrain and stress the body in particular ways. This paper examines how visual and sonic representations of yogic practices in online advertisements and classes seek to enact emergent temporalities and rhythms in the face of periods of uncertainty and crisis. The paper considers to what extent these temporalities and rhythms can be considered alternative, novel, and creative forms of resistance in relation to capitalist and post-secular formations. In what ways are these visual and sonic aesthetics re-enactments of temporalities and rhythms set forth in previous historical epochs? Do these divergent temporalities and rhythms position particular persons and places as outside the frame of modernity? How can these complex relationships between the past and present, rhythm and arrhythm contribute to discussions about agency and constraint in global relations of power?

Panel P22
Rhythm, sight and sound: work in times of uncertainty
  Session 1