Bakes - 3
Title: Women’s Athletics as an Embodied Transformative PracticeLaura BakesMaster of Arts, Religious StudiesApril 15, 2009Jeremy Lowry, Faculty Mentor The term,
was originally coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1990s. In his book,
Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience
, he explained the phenomenon as a distortion of time, amerging of action and awareness, a loss of the sense of self (or self-consciousness-less) and absorption.The experience of flow is a complex interweaving of biological, chemical, and meaning-making processes. The union of mind and body during the state of flow allows the athlete to re-discover humangrace. This state is a natural (organic) human experience that does not require religious ideology.Athletics, viewed through these perspectives, is an integral, transformative practice. Sport can alsorepresent a holistic means for individual and feminist self-determination. The experience of flow and theability to re-shape the body through athletics can introduce women to a unique type of non-sexualized, positive experience within their bodies.