Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Public Health Studies: Community Health Promotion and University Honors
OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
Yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness practices provide numerous benefits both physical and mental health to their practitioners (Shapiro et al., 2016). There is less research exploring the role mindfulness-based wellness programs and practices fit within the cultural environment of the United States and how the mindfulness movement influences wellness culture and practices. These practices and spaces have been accused of harming folks who don't fit the dominant social narrative of thin, white, upper-middle-class participants. This paper aims to explore how the United State’s commodification of mindfulness practices contributes to experiences of shame, exclusion, and appropriation in wellness culture. This is done by a literature review of the existing academic research that relates to U.S. mindfulness-based wellness culture while also analyzing the existing social commentary and media beyond peer-reviewed academic work. Within this paper, the author identifies four major aspects of focus- the commodification of mindfulness culture itself, and the corporate mindfulness practices, cultural appropriation, and racism that happen in response. Reconciliation is needed between mindfulness teachings, practitioners, and participants of all backgrounds for mindfulness-based wellness practices and culture to be accessible and inclusive to all.
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Starling, Charlotte Grace, "Experiences of Shame, Exclusion, & Appropriation in Mindfulness-based Wellness Culture" (2021). University Honors Theses. Paper 968.