Abstract

The purpose of this article is to explore how the social work discipline could provide a complementary lens through which yoga therapy can be analyzed and evaluated by engaging in knowledge-creation practices and procedures that prioritize the “epistemic responsibility” described by philosopher Lorraine Code. More specifically, by seeking to strategically include often-subjugated types of knowledge and by focusing on redistributing epistemic power to agents that typically have been excluded from epistemic participation in contemporary yoga therapy research, the social work discipline, with its strong commitment to social justice, has the potential to contribute to filling an important gap in scientific literature. We begin by presenting the relevance of the social work perspective in relation to the field of yoga therapy. We next offer a reserved critical analysis of the dominant technical knowledge base that currently informs yoga therapy practice. This analysis highlights the social parameters that may be rendered invisible or left aside when adopting a positivist epistemological lens and justifies how the conceptual apparatus of epistemic responsibility serves as a potential platform for rethinking social work’s position and future contributions to the field of yoga therapy. Finally, we mobilize the concept of cultural appropriation to illustrate how striving for epistemic responsibility provides an entry point for addressing the multilevel, complex social processes embedded in yoga therapy practice and research while aiming to capture the many voices—and hence the various truths—implicated in a democratic, reflexive, and inclusive research process.

This content is only available as a PDF.