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The Joyous Yoni 1 : An Exploration of Yogic Perspectives Toward Sexual Empowerment for Women

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Abstract

This paper explores yogic approaches to women's sexuality. Acknowledging that sexualized violence against women is a harsh and pernicious reality for women all over the world, the paper adopts an inclusive perspective on women's sexuality that focuses on pleasure. A basic introduction to yoga prefaces a discussion of prana (life force) and concepts of unity and oneness. These concepts provide a framework for yogic concepts of the body, with an emphasis on sexuality. Specific breathing exercises, meditations, poses, locks and seals are mentioned. The experience of one of Canada's most accomplished yoga teachers is also depicted. The paper concludes by affirming that women's positive experiences of sexuality may be heightened through yogic practices that assist in living in the body more fully. Given the vacuum of scholarly work in this area, this paper is a small step toward understanding the common ground between the vast subjects of yoga and women's sexual empowerment.

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