"Finding calm in the chaos": the influence of yoga practice on the professional experiences of white student affairs mothers
Duffield, Jennifer Kosciw
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A culture that supports student affairs educators to engage in holistic wellness behaviors, as espoused by student affairs professional competencies, is not engrained in student affairs work, as capitalistic, patriarchal, and white supremacist systems prevent this from occurring. This cultural barrier creates unrealistic expectations around work and wellness for student affairs mothers. The purpose of this feminist narrative inquiry study was to explore the influence of yoga practice on the professional experiences of student affairs mothers. The White student affairs mothers in this study who had an established yoga practice reported a lack of representation and support in the workplace. They described how they maintain their yoga practice, the positive impact of yoga on their holistic wellness, and how their practice constructively influenced interactions with colleagues and students, and their approach to stress management, leadership, and their mindset at work. Findings suggest that White student affairs mothers challenged capitalistic and patriarchal norms in higher education by committing to a regular yoga practice, which also promoted an integration of engaged pedagogy in their work. Despite these positive outcomes, institutions of higher education must invest resources to dismantle capitalistic and patriarchal expectations that limit the success and growth of student affairs mothers.
student affairs services