Anya P. Foxen

Anya Foxen

Anya P. Foxen

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Anya Foxen received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the intersection of South Asian yogic and tantric traditions with Western esotericism and metaphysical spiritualities. Her special areas of interest include gender and embodiment, as well as the interplay of religion and science. She is the author of three books: Is This Yoga? (Routledge, 2021, with Christa Kuberry); Inhaling Spirit (Oxford University Press, 2020); and Biography of a Yogi (Oxford University Press, 2017). She is also a “retired” yoga teacher and long-time practitioner.

The Sublime and the Ridiculous: What Happens When the Impossible is

Using the rubric of “subtle bodies,” this talk suggests that people have long theorized ways that our very ordinary bodily processes are actually manifestations of far more extraordinary, even cosmic realities. Drawing examples from modern bodily practices, from postural yoga to hooping, it argues that practices we often dismiss (and too often along gendered lines) as silly, or superficial, or “just exercise” can actually serve as reliable windows into experiences of the impossible.