Leah Mernaugh Bergman

Leah Mernaugh Bergman

PhD student


Daromir Rudnyckyj


Space, place, knowledge and power

Hello! I am a doctoral student in cultural anthropology under the supervision of Dr. Daromir Rudnyckyj from the Department of Anthropology and Dr. Paul Bramadat from the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.

My anthropological interests focus broadly on how evangelical Christians in North America negotiate their relationships to the broader cultures in which they take part. In this vein, my current research explores the intersection of modern postural yoga and Christianity in Canada and the United States. How (and how much) do Christians who practice yoga transform the practice into something altogether different? And to what extent does yoga, and the broader milieu of “self-spirituality” that often surrounds it, transform Christian belief and practice?

I hold a BA in Linguistics and Cultural Studies from Seattle Pacific University and an MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Leuven in Belgium. My MSc research was my first glimpse into the world of Christian yoga, where I explored how Christian yoga practitioners in Washington State circumvent spiritual concerns surrounding the practice and manage yoga’s perceived connections with Hinduism. As a participant-observer in the yoga world, I also learned how to touch my toes for the first time.