Did You Know You Can Get a Master’s Degree in Yoga?

Ashley Stern
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Exciting news out of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles: their Master of Arts in Yoga Studies is entering its third year and has already graduated its first cohort!
 
That’s right – you can get a Master’s degree in Yoga! According to the Yoga Studies program’s website, the program seeks to create “knowledgeable leaders in the field of Yoga equipped to teach the academic component of yoga, its history and philosophy, as well as to open centers and studios for the study and practice of Yoga and to conduct trainings for Yoga teachers.”
 
After two rejected proposals, the program officially began in 2013 and graduated its first cohort just last May. Some of those graduates have gone on to related PhD work, while others started their own studios and have begun teaching yoga.
 
During the two-year program, students focus on three distinct areas of study. First, the MA students study Sanskrit, enabling them to read and study Yoga texts in their original language. Second is the health components of yoga, including human physiology.
 

 
Finally, each student also completes a certificate in an area of their choosing. The options for these certificates include: Yoga Philosophy; Vinyasa Krama Teacher Training; Yoga Therapy Rx; Yoga and the Healing Sciences; Yoga, mindfulness, and Social Change; and Yoga Ed.
 
During their coursework, students also spend three weeks of their summer term in India. Students will study the ancient traditions of Yoga, including meditation and an immersion in Jainism through philosophy, ethics, cosmology, and art. The course prepares students to engage with the community at large.
 
Students will have the opportunity to assist in the university’s Yoga Day celebration with free classes. The program also started the Prison Yoga Project to help bring the practice of yoga to local prison inmates.
 
Program candidates should be prepared to spend lots of time in the classroom learning about Yoga both ancient and modern during this course. LMU’s Yoga Studies program is more focused on theory than asana practice or work, but it will prepare students for a variety of paths in the world of Yoga as well as academia.
 
To learn more about the program, visit the Loyola Marymount University MA in Yoga Studies at bellarmine.lmu.edu
 

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Ashley Stern

A Wisconsinite at heart, Ashley is currently a student working on her masters in creative writing in Edinburgh, Scotland. She’s a writer, a reader, traveler, a nerd, and a lover of life. Ashley is new to yoga and developing her practice from her student flat. She drinks a lot of tea and even more coffee. She’s a dog person, wears lots of purple, and believes in Laini Taylor’s wise words, “Cake as a way of life.”

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