Wild Yoga

yoga and thought from Theo Wildcroft

Published writing

This is a selection of the writing I’ve had published – some of it physical but increasingly in online publications.

GatherYoga and KeepYogaFree

#RealYogaTeachers

“That industry is a world away from yoga. And yet, it lives and feeds off the millions of people who dedicate their lives to the practice. Yoga is a thousand year old tradition of philosophy complete with many hundreds of years of esoteric magic and a concoction of health-related practices, both produced and influenced by colonial politics and globalisation. The reality here is the river of practitioners barely sees a penny of these industry projections.”

www.gatheryoga.com/realyogateachers-theo-wildcroft/
www.keepyogafree.co.uk/articles_files/who-controls-yoga.html

OU Religious studies blog: “Contemporary religion in historical perspective”

A Harvest of Fieldwork

“I’ve checked blackboards, responded to conches, attended morning meetings, said the holy names of my sangha, hugged, namaste’d and laughed more than I thought possible. I’ve deepened some friendships, and made more. All this won’t just form the basis of my PhD thesis, it will keep me warm through the winter.”

www.open.ac.uk/blogs/religious-studies/?p=338

BASR newsletter

“Yoga darśana, yoga sādhana” International Academic Conference

“All three leaders of the MAs (Christopher Chapple, Ulrich Pagel and Federico Squarcini) were included with Dagmar Wujastyk and Michel Angot on the final keynote, which continued the sharing of approaches and issues into yoga in the academy. Major grants are rare, and all three MAs are self-funding. Interestingly, the three leaders reported that many enrolments are coming from within the modern yoga community itself, suggesting an increasing and hopefully productive symbiosis between the evolving research and the field of study. Not all conversations between the academy and the world of yoga are as benign, however, as Borayin Larios pointed out with a paper on scholars and authority in modern yoga.”

www.religioznawstwo.uj.edu.pl/index.php/pl/aktualnosci/944-yoga-darsana-yoga-sadhana-traditions-transmissions-transformations

OU Religious studies blog: “Contemporary religion in historical perspective”

Expertise and engagement

“For now, and probably until the end of my PhD, I will be looking for opportunities to speak to groups of interested people; bearing pretty pictures and booklists and a lot of knowledge and I will talk about a number of things related to yoga, British counter-culture, paganism, animism, bodies, movement and consciousness in ways most people can understand. Maybe I’ll see you around?”

www.open.ac.uk/blogs/religious-studies/?p=314

BASR newsletter

BASR Annual Conference 2015: A Collage from a Conference – co-written with other bursary students

“As a group we physically form and reform around buffet lunches, coffee breaks and evening drinks. And like most conferences, this one runs not just on the nutrition, but the mental stimulation of food and drink. Offerings may be carefully labelled according to dietary preferences and intolerances, but everyone fuels both thought and speech with caffeine and sugar. No break is complete without them. As someone who works with, and researches, bodily practices, the effect is as fascinating as it is unsustainable. I struggle to find space and stillness in the schedule to recharge, until a group of us break free for an hour’s walk to breathe clear and warm our bodies again.”

basr.ac.uk/

Pagan Consent Culture: An Anthology

Context. Consent. Contact. (chapter)

“Put simply, there are parts of me you can touch, and parts of me you can’t. I know that my gut has very definite ideas about how I should interact with the world, especially any part of it I choose to ingest. Put clearly, my mouth will touch what I will not swallow. If this sounds intimate, know that when I am alive, awake and present to this reality, then everything in life is indeed intimate to me.”

www.patheos.com/blogs/sermonsfromthemound/pagan-consent-culture-an-anthology/

Druid Network: Sacred Body

theo2In 2012 I gave a well received talk at the Druid Network’s conference entitled ‘Sacred Body’. It was an in depth introduction to a history of sacred physical practice, set against the detail of my own experience. I am happier with it than almost anything I’ve ever written.

“I agree with Graham Harvey that the evolving practice of our religion is its centre and anchor. The offerings, rituals and prayers; whether we practice our faith in silent contemplation or noisy celebration; when we choose to do this alone, or in a group, or in public – this is what defines what kind of druids we are.”

This lost its original home where it was published in six parts, so here’s a single page version I’ve preserved for posterity.

Earthsongs

earthsongsbannerEarthsongs was the long running online periodical of the Society of Celtic Shamans, whose founder is a dear friend and teacher. In the last couple of years, they have taken up podcasting, but the archives are still online, and I have a number of articles published there.

“With every breath we are more in harmony with all worlds. With every step we leave behind who we thought we were, and move into the infinite possibility of unknowing ourselves. When we recognise our borders as permeable constructs, we are free to move beyond them.”

Timeless Spirit