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That tender discipline: spacing, structured nothingness & kumbhaka

Pont, Antonia 2013, That tender discipline: spacing, structured nothingness & kumbhaka. In Skof, Lenart and Holmes, Emily A. (ed), Breathing with Luce Irigaray, Bloomsbury Academic, London, England, pp.83-97.

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Title That tender discipline: spacing, structured nothingness & kumbhaka
Author(s) Pont, AntoniaORCID iD for Pont, Antonia
Title of book Breathing with Luce Irigaray
Editor(s) Skof, Lenart
Holmes, Emily A.
Publication date 2013
Chapter number 6
Total chapters 14
Start page 83
End page 97
Total pages 15
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic
Place of Publication London, England
Keyword(s) Irigaray
Summary In the discussion that follows here, I will attempt what I have decided to call an onto-poetic reading of the yogic practice of kumbhaka. I choose the double-barrelled nomination 'onto-poetic' since I would like to use my experience of kumbhaka both to think of certain current ontological paradigms and implications, and also to allow myself the flexibility and discipline that I associate with the poetic register. I will draw on three particular thinkers, namely Alain Badiou, Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray. Badiou makes very explicit metaontological claims that, I believe, have something to contribute to a reading of kumbhaka. Derrida, for his part, has written extensively about phonologocentrism and its inherent links with speech and breath in the history of phallocentric metaphysics. Irigaray, finally, demonstrates a way to think unity, breath and praxis so as to bring these conceptual strands together in a kind of elegant, but urgent, agency.
What can the very practice of kumbhaka help me to think? And how can such thinking impact on what happens when I practice pranayama that involves kumbhaka? Kumbhaka can be situated as a practice within the broader discipline of Yogic pranayama. Yoga, as it often encountered in this historical moment in the so-called West, can appear to emphasize physical posture (which are certainly as aspect of its breadth). Yoga, however, as a technology of existential and ontological inquiry, has often, throughout its long and meandering history, made use of the manipulation of, and abstinence from, breath. I will begin by cursorily outlining the place of pranayama itself within the yogic canon of practice. Then, I will go on to explain specifically the technology of kumbhaka, before embarking on my onto-poetic discussion.
ISBN 1441145761
Language eng
Field of Research 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2013, Bloomsbury Academic
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Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Created: Tue, 17 Sep 2013, 11:49:31 EST by Antonia Pont

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