Each fall semester a new class will be welcomed as a cohort. The cohort will continue through the spring, summer, and fall concluding in the following spring.

The total time to complete the M.A. in Yoga Studies will be 21 months with 36 credit hours, plus pre/co-requisites. Admission to the program is available only for the fall semester.


Each student must demonstrate successful completion of one of the following LMU Yoga Studies Extension Certificates:

Yoga Philosophy

Vinyasa Krama Teacher Training

Yoga Therapy Rx

Yoga and the Healing Sciences

Yoga, Mindfulness, and Social Change 

Yoga Ed

Another option will be allowed, upon review, to transfer six post-graduate credits from LMU and/or another institution in an area related to Yoga Studies. 
*Please Note: registration for Extension Courses takes place through the Extension office, not the Graduate office. Follow the links above.

Fall 1
Six semester hours (plus introductory language study as needed) 

YGST 6010 Health Science and Yoga:  An overview of anatomy and physiology from the Western perspective and Ayurvedic theories of the subtle body, health and wholeness.

YGST 6015 Foundations of Yoga Studies:  This course will investigate basic methodological approaches to the academic study of Yoga, with an emphasis on the place of Yoga within theological discourse.  It will include a bibliographic survey of primary and secondary sources and engagement with key select resources.  Sikh and Christian approaches to Yoga will be included.

YGST 6998 Sanskrit Language: This course provides the student with a foundational understanding of Sanskrit writing and grammar.  

Spring 1
Nine semester hours 

YGST 6020 Yoga Philosophy: Text and Practice:  A close study and discussion of the Yoga Sūtra of Patanjali, The Bhagavad Gītā, select Upanishads, the Sāṃkhya Kārikā, the Yogavāsiṣṭha, and other classical literature.

YGST 6026 Sanskrit: The Bhagavad Gītā: The Bhagavad Gītā sets forth the primary practices of philosophical and meditation Yoga, including the ways of Knowledge, Action, and Devotion.  We will read select passages, completing the study of various aspects of Sanskrit grammar. 

YGST 6030 Hatha Yoga Texts:  This course in movement and breathing (Āsana and Prāṇāyāma) will draw from classical texts such as the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, the Gherhaṇḍa Saṃhitā, and the Yoga Śāstra with particular attention to practice applications. Requires demonstration of student teaching skills. 

Six semester hours 

YGST 6040 Buddhism and Yoga: Yoga’s relationship with Buddhism will be explored with an emphasis on Vipassana, Tibetan Buddhism and Zen.

YGST 6041 Jaina Yoga: This course will study the Jain traditions of Yoga including Preksha meditation and its emphasis on nonviolence. This course will also immerse the students in Jainism through philosophy, ethics, cosmology, and art. This course takes place in India.
NOTE: This is generously subsidized by the International School for Jain Studies. Students may apply for travel support. 

Fall 2
Nine semester hours 

YGST 6025 Sanskrit: The Yoga Sūtra: In this course students will translate the sutras and commentary from Patanjali’s seminal text, the Yoga Sūtra.

YGST 6050 History of Modern Yoga: Yoga entered European and North American consciousness through the Romantic poets, the New England Transcendentalists, and the world lecture tour of Swami Vivekananda following the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893.  In the 20th century, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Sivananda, Swami Krishnamacharya and many others introduced large groups of people to the principles and practices of Yoga. The course will explore this legacy.  Students will be required to demonstrate teaching ability from select traditions.

YGST 6082 Comparative Mysticism:  In this class we will explore the inner or mystical life as articulated in the life and practice of various religious traditions. We will begin with a study of a modern classic: The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, the pre-eminent American philosopher and psychologist as well as the key ideas of Carl Jung. We will then examine the Jewish and Islamic mystical traditions, as well as key writers in the emerging field of contemplative Christian ecology. Yoga and mysticism will be examined through the writings of 20th century philosopher Sri Aurobindo.  

Spring 2
Six semester hours

YGST 6095 Comprehensive Exam Seminar:  In this course students will be taught study tactics and will work together in preparation for a comprehensive exam, which will be created by the students in tandem with Yoga Stduies faculty.

YGST 6096 Writing and Research Seminar: This course will guide the students as they write their final thesis.  The course will aid them through the process by introducing research methods and writing techniques in order to complete a clear final thesis or research project.  Students will be able to help one another as different phases of their given projects will be shared in class.

*Outside Sanskrit Learning:

Often beginning students wish to study Sanskrit in advance, or in addition, to LMU courses for additional preparation

        -Erasmus Academy: Online (ongoing)

        -Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages: Sanskrit or Tibetan: Berkeley, CA (summer sessions)