Publication Date

2009

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Management

First Advisor

Paula Green

Abstract

This research examines how the concept and practice of hatha yoga contributes to the internal healing process in the context of interpersonal conflict. It utilizes the phenomenological method by interviewing four informants who have in depth knowledge of hatha yoga to investigate two main research questions: “How does hatha yoga practice contribute to the internal healing process in the context of interpersonal conflict?” and “How can pain and suffering from interpersonal conflict be transformed into a peaceful outcome through hatha yoga practice?”

This research found that hatha yoga brings positive effects when dealing with interpersonal conflicts in three different categories. The first is by developing consciousness. By the bodily practice of hatha yoga along with other techniques such as asanas and breathing, it initiates a process that can develop our consciousness. The second is by providing an experiential learning opportunity. Hatha yoga practice offers a place for us to observe and experiment with our body, mind and emotions. We learn to deal with difficulties and emotions through observing them as well as breathing to quite the mind so that we can contemplate them. This learning can be extended to our daily life.

The last is by shifting our perspective and attitude towards conflict. Hatha yoga practice creates a shift of focus and insight that helps to view and process conflict in a totally different manner. The common theme in these categories is that hatha yoga practice triggers an internal transformation, which prepares us to be in a better place and consciousness to deal with interpersonal conflict in our life.

This paper concludes that hatha yoga practice holds promise to assist us in dealing with interpersonal conflict through internal transformation and that hatha yoga practice is an internal healing process.

Disciplines

Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Peace and Conflict Studies

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