Dissertation Title:

Sourced Black Woman an Embodied Mythology: A Life Affirming Narrative Integrating Yoga Therapy, Depth Psychology, and African Mythology


Chanin Hardwick

Date, Time & Place:

April 27, 2024 at 10:00 am


This inquiry will focus on the psycho-spiritual embodiment of the Africanist female experience and the intersection of race and gender as it relates to the potential of individuation and transformation. This study uses an Africanist-centered form of autoethnography called Nkwaethnography to examine the ongoing transformative experience of conscious and unconscious awareness of long held patterns of behavior and cognition, utilizing the integration of Yoga therapy, personal mythology, and storytelling. These unconscious embodied patterns of behavior and thoughts within the practice of yoga are known as samskaras (personal patterns) and vasanas (intergenerational or karmic patterns). These patterns are similar to the Jungian concepts of complexes and archetypes and therefore create illusion that impede the practitioner from experiencing pure consciousness, or oneness with the divine. An exploration of the experience with these samskaras and vasanas along the yogic path—seen as images, memories, sensations, and symbols that serve as signposts on the journey—will be the focus of this research. Both Jung and yogic scholars state that these signposts are important to notice, as long as we avoid fixating on them. More specifically, the study focuses on the embodied complexes and archetypal shifts that occur within the yoga journey—the space between doing, being, and becoming—and how these shifts might support an Africanist woman in transcending persistent and intergenerational race-based patterns, and in discovering a knowing, specifically associated with the StrongBlackWoman myth, of the material encountered with the racial complex and archetypal grief, terms coined by Brewster (2019a, 2020).

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy & Healing Practices, H, 2019
  • Chair: Dr. Juliet Rohde-Brown, Ph.D.
  • Reader: Dr. Kandice Timmons, Psy.D.
  • External Reader: Dr. Gail Parker, Ph.D.
  • Keywords: African Mythology, Africanist Woman, Archetypal Grief, Embodied, Embodied Mythology, Non-dual, Numinous, Mysticism, Racial Complex, Nkwaethnography, Polarity, StrongBlackWoman, Transcendent Function, Yoga Therapy