About Yoga Studies

About Yoga Studies

Loyola Marymount University offers the first Master of Arts in Yoga Studies in America. Graduate students engage in deep study of Yoga philosophy and history, Sanskrit, elements of physical practice, comparative spirituality, study in India. View the Curriculum page for a detailed overview of subjects.

The program produces knowledgeable leaders in the field of Yoga. Post-graduation, our students have gone on to further study in related PhD programs, have begun teaching Yoga in undergraduate institutions, opened centers and studios, found leadership work in Yoga media companies, and work to train other teachers in Yoga.


                  Students doing yoga in classroom


  1. Graduates will be able to use their knowledge of the language, history, and philosophy of the Yoga tradition in their analysis of key Yoga texts.

  2. Graduates will be able to apply their knowledge of human physiology, in the western and Asian traditions, in the practices of Yoga.

  3. Graduates will be able to use their knowledge of the spiritual and ethical dimensions of Yoga in their analysis of key Yoga texts.

  4. Graduates will be able to add new levels of depth to Yoga classes they teach.

  5. Graduates will be able to design a program to train teachers of Yoga.

  6. Students will demonstrate effective research, evaluation, and writing skills on focused topics in Yoga.


Yoga Studies graduate students will enter each summer or fall as a cohort, and complete the program within two years of study. Study in India is included in the curriculum.


The university also offers a selection of Yoga Studies certificates which are open to the public. Topics range from Yoga Therapy to YogaEd/Yoga in Schools to Yoga, Mindfulness Social Change and Philosophy courses. Each summer master teacher Ramaswami visits campus to teach in the Krishnamacharya tradition, and twice a year the university offers 200 hour teacher trainings called Yoga and the Healing Sciences. Each MA student takes one certificate. Please view the Certificates Programs page for more information.


Yoga is regularly practiced by an estimated 36.7 million Americans, but often physical practices are emphasized. The MA in Yoga Studies program works to explore a full picture of the tradition from practice to text to theory.

Yoga's origins date back at least two thousand years to the Indian subcontinent. It has been linked with practices of meditation in Buddhism, ethics in Jainism, and movement and breathing in medieval Hindu spiritual practices. The traditions and practices of Yoga have been embraced by Muslims (particularly in India) and Sikhs, and, for more than a century, by many Jews and Christians. The health benefits of Yoga have been well-documented.

Cambridge University scholar, Elizabeth de Michelis, has written that Yoga offers "some solace, physical, psychological, or spiritual, in a world where solace and reassurance are sometimes elusive." This formal course of study in Yoga advances the mission of Loyola Marymount University, particularly the commitment to learning, and the education of the whole person.