In this paper, I (S. L. Deibert) share my story of discovering the relationship between reflexivity, autoethnography, and yoga through a meaningful experience. Yoga has been an important influence on my physical and mental well-being for over a decade, but I did not consider its implications in my academic life until I was asked to write a reflexive assignment for a course. The task was exploring who I am in connection to my master’s thesis project; the challenge was finding a starting point for my reflexive journey of self-discovery. Frustrated by the latter, I turned to yoga for refuge; instead of escaping the assignment, I found that my quest for self-exploration was intertwined with my yoga practice. The purpose of this paper is to delve further into my experience with yoga as a medium for developing reflexivity. Using autoethnography, I share my journey of developing critical thinking through a narrative related to my yoga class experience. Linking my research to my yoga practice allowed me to better understand myself as a person and researcher, become mindful of how my own views shape my experiences, and develop a deeper level of critical reflection. Overall, this work demonstrates the experience of a connection between yoga, reflexivity, and autoethnography, and adds to the sparse literature exploring the intersection of these three.


autoethnography, reflexivity, yoga

Author Bio(s)

Shelby Deibert is currently a Research Coordinator in the Department of Pediatrics and a PhD student in the Health Research Methodology program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This article was written during her graduate studies at Laurentian University in the Master’s of Human Kinetics program. Please direct correspondence to deibersl@mcmaster.ca.

Stephen Ritchie is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Master’s program in the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is active in a diverse portfolio of research, using a variety of methods, including several research collaborations with Indigenous communities in rural and remote locations. Please direct correspondence to sritchie@laurentian.ca.

Bruce Oddson has a background in psychology (University of Toronto, 2001). He has a diverse collection of interests with focuses on wellbeing, happiness, and learning. Please direct correspondence to boddson@laurentian.ca.

Ginette Michel is the Coordinator of the Health Promotion program in the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at Laurentian University and Professor within the School. Ginette also encompasses a Nursing background. Ginette has involved herself with collaborative research in Indigenous communities. She is the Director of the Health Promotion Without Borders program at Laurentian within the School and her area of interest lies primarily in Cultural Health, minorities in Health and Education and Health Promotion Initiatives and curriculum development in Higher Learning. Please direct correspondence to gmichel@laurentian.ca.

Emily Tetzlaff is a student in the PhD in Human Kinetics program, specializing in health, safety and wellness, within the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at Laurentian University. Emily’s research interests are in the area of occupational physiology, health promotion and occupational health and safety. Please direct correspondence to gmichel@laurentian.ca.


We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Robert Schinke for developing the assignment that initiated the lead author’s reflexive journey. We are also grateful to Ms. Willa Paterson for instructing the yoga class that inspired the narrative presented in this paper.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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