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Int J Yoga. 2019 Jan-Apr;12(1):68-72. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_25_18.

Yoga is for Every (Able) Body: A Content Analysis of Disability Themes within Mainstream Yoga Media.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, Charlotte, NC, USA.
Department of Psychological Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA.


Yoga is increasingly being recommended as a health self-management strategy for people with a range of disabilities. Mainstream yoga media have been criticized for limited representation of racial/ethnic, gender, age, and body size diversity within their publications; however, it is not known how these media outlets include visual representations of or textual information relevant for people with disabilities (PWDs). The purpose of this research was to understand if and how mainstream yoga media visually represent and include information for PWDs. We conducted a content analysis of the "Yogapedia" section of each Yoga Journal magazine published in 2015 and 2016 (n = 17). Two independent coders rated all of the images and text in these sections. Data were analyzed using a thematic approach informed by a prominent theoretical model of disablement. Results suggest that images contained no representation of disability. In contrast, magazine text included an abundance of references to disability; however, these mentions predominately aligned with constructs found early in the disablement process and strongly focused on physical and mobility limitations. These findings expand upon previous research examining the underrepresentation of marginalized groups within yoga media and illuminate a paucity of relevant information for individuals with disabilities who are interested in and may benefit from yoga practice.


Content analysis; disability; media; representation; yoga

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