Poetry, chapbook, 48 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
An edgy mix of soulfulness and satire, Western Yoga: A Field Report on Desertion and Deliverance exemplifies the devotional, sad, petty, ecstatic, therapeutic, erotic, and spiritually ambiguous dimensions of a contemporary Western yoga practice.
This work is a poetic memoir of the author’s experience undertaking a yoga teacher training in her California hometown during a period of unemployment following completion of a UK graduate degree. The poems document subsequent awkward attempts to integrate the teachings of said yoga training and other (mis)adventures in California yoga settings back into life in the UK, characterized by a dissolving marriage, waning job prospects, and a sense of purposelessness.
The poems resound with the struggles of learning and unlearning, as applications of ancient Indian spiritual teachings collide with ethical dilemmas, abuses of power, and desire for belonging, in settings from the beachside yoga studio to the ivory tower. The book comes with a glossary of (mostly Sanskrit) terms to invite readers of various levels of familiarity with yoga philosophy and practice to engage with the story.
Emily Lord-Kambitsch is a poet-storyteller, mythologist, and yogi. Her poetry and short fiction is published in The Dawntreader, Burn Before Reading, and Espacio Fronterizo • Espace Frontière • Borderland. She teaches courses in Greco-Roman myth, ritual studies, memoir and autobiography, dissertation writing, and theoretical approaches to comparative mythology in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.