Curious what's come before? 

Here's a list of our past events!


The Yoga of Food: Vegetarianism, Ecology and Food Activism with Kathy Bingham and Patty Shenker
April 24, 2016, Loyola Marymount University.

What we eat has changed more in the last 40 years than it did in the 40,000 years before. In this workshop Health Educator and Yoga Instructor Kathy Bingham explored the implications of our food choices on our personal and environmental health. What is the true cost of modern industrial agriculture? What is Food Activism and what issues fuel its growth? What’s happening to the health of our nation eating the typical American diet? What is the connection between industry and public policy related to agriculture, and dietary recommendations? Particiapnts discoverd the health and environmental benefits of a whole foods, plant based diet, and explored vegetarianism as a yogic practice.

Animal advocate Patty Shenker also talked about one of her favorite animals - the orangutans - who she visited in Indonesia with the famous Dr. Birute Galdikas. Orangutans are endangered, due primarily to palm oil which she discussed in hopes that education, conservation and public outcry can save this magnificent species. Yoga helps us to understand the interconnectedness of all beings and in this workshop we come to understand that our food choices really do matter. Our fork can be a weapon of destruction or an instrument of compassion and connection.

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda - Film screening + Q&A with director Lisa Leeman
April 6, 2016, Loyola Marymount University.

“Using a seamless mix of re-creations and fascinating true footage, this very eventempered documentary takes its audience all the way through a saint’s life, from his first sensations in the womb to that moment in 1952 when, having recited a poem to a large crowd at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, he exited his body just like that...In between those events he changed the Western world.” —Maui Film Festival

AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda is an unconventional biography about the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Filmed over three years with the participation of 30 countries around the world, the documentary examines the world of Yoga—modern and ancient, East and West—and explores why millions today have turned their attention inwards, bucking the limitations of the material world in pursuit of self-realization. The evening included both film screening and a conversation with the filmmakers. This event was free and open to all LMU students.

Yoga and Body Image: Understanding the Body’s Relationship to Privilege and Oppression in Yoga Culture with Kimberly Dark
March 19, 2016, Loyola Marymount University.

This workshop explored the intersections of personal and cultural messages and perceptions regarding “body identity” in yoga culture.  Personal identities are complex and sometimes we embody conflicting messages, aims and intentions.  We are each constantly negotiating the terrain between personal views and perceptions of ourselves and our bodies and the external gaze. Though yoga often prompts us to focus within, we don’t leave the burden of external judgment entirely behind when we unroll the mat. We carry cultural stories in our bodies, and the very real privileges and oppressions that formed those stories. Participants worked with experiences of body size/shape, gender, sexuality, and via their intersections with these other issues, race, class, age and ability. Pariticpants also focused on the language of teaching, yoga, and participation, revealing our own – and cultural – assumptions and stories through body contemplation and writing. As a part of the workshop participants also contextualized the role of body image via an understanding of how yoga came into western culture and the pursuit of yoga as a fitness activity. This workshop included minimal asana practice, personal writing (sharing is optional) and small and large group discussion.

Kimberly Dark is a master facilitator who has led groups to awareness and understanding on three continents over the past twenty years. In addition to teaching yoga since 1999, she’s a writer and storyteller whose work has been invited to hundreds of colleges, universities, theatres, festivals and conferences. Through the body and stories, she leads groups to their own skills of peace and cultural transformation. She blogs regularly for Decolonizing Yoga and Ms. Magazine and is also a founding member of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition Leadership Team, in addition to coordinating the Yoga Program at Kalani, one of Hawaii’s largest retreat centers. Kimberly uses an Iyengar-style training and more than twenty years experience with diverse yoga practices to challenge and welcome students of every ability and body type. She has taught yoga styles ranging from vinyasa, yin and restorative to prop-assisted hatha yoga for people who don’t feel comfortable in fitness settings due to size, health or anxiety. Her classes encourage personal sovereignty, inner voice and an entitlement to health and vibrancy at all sizes, ages and abilities.


Meat or No Meat: The Politics of Brahmanical Identities in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Western India with Dr. Urmila Patil
March 16, 2016, Loyola Marymount University.

In India, as elsewhere, food has many meanings: spiritual, cultural, religious, and social. This semantic richness of food makes it an ideal vehicle for community identity. This talk was about how the consumption of meat divided the Brahman communities of the western Indian state of Maharashtra in the pre-modern era. As the Brahman communities competed over various social, religious, and political entitlements, the consumption of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food became an ideological basis to define authentic Brahmanical status and identity. By narrating this lesser-known story, the talk highlighted the complexities inhering within the orthodox Hindu understanding of food and the consumption of meat, and thereby challenged the attempts to essentialize the Hindu identity based on food.

Urmila Patil has worked as lecturer of Sanskrit, Hinduism, and Asian Religions at the Loyola Marymount University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of California at Irvine. Sanskrit has been her first love since middle-school. She chose Sanskrit as her major for BA and MA in Mumbai University and went on to receive her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. She confesses that at Austin she met her second love, History. Ever since, she is fascinated by anything that involves both Sanskrit and history. Moving on, Urmila taught Sanskrit and Indian epic traditions as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She also honed her linguistic skills in Hindi as the Acting Director and instructor of the Hindi Program at the Lauder Institute, an affiliate of the Wharton School of Business. Today, when she is not rotating between the universities in Los Angeles, she prefers to go home in India and be fascinated with the people and the life there.

Bharatanatyam and Sacred Dance with Dr. Padmaja Suresh
March 14 (Mon), 2016, 8p, University Hall 1857, Loyola Marymount University.

This workshop explored Indian classical dance forms and established common ground with other forms. Through crisp demonstrations featuring rhythmic dance syllables and expressive emotional gestures, set to music in the most accurate language of Sanskrit, attendees were given the opportunity to understand deep layers within the practices, including an analysis of energy channels in movement. While remaining firmly on the ground with concrete choreographed dancing, one gets to open towards the abstract foundation of universal reality. This is a cosmic dance of creation, sustenance and destruction popularly termed as the dance of Shiva.

Dr. Padmaja Suresh, Director, Aatmalaya Aacdemy Bangalore is an acclaimed Bharatanatyam dance teacher, scholar and performer with several years of experience extensively in India and across nations. Her experience includes working as cultural ambassador of the Govt of India. A disciple of Guru Kalyansundaram, she also has a doctorate interlinking Tantra and Natya, is a content writer for Indian University Grants Commission on dance higher education as well as examiners and is a recepient of several awards and honors.

This event was free and open to the public.


Yogavasistha with Christopher Chapple
January 28 & 29 (Thu & Fri), 2016, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., YogaGlo, 1800 Berkeley St, Santa Monica, CA 90404.

In this course we will explore the advice given by the great Vedic philosopher Vasistha to his young protege, Lord Rama. This core text of Kashmir Saivism teaches that all worldly pursuits are dreamlike and that the human beings, though an experience of enlightened nondualism, learns how best live a life of engaged freedom.

This event is free and open to the public.

A Tapestry of Traditions: Sacred Hebrew Chant from India and the Middle East with Vanya Green Assuied
January 27 (Wed), 2016, 7:30 p.m., Theology Village, University Hall 3700, Loyola Marymount University.

In this workshop, we will explore the practice of chanting piyutim, sacred Hebrew poems sung in Jewish communities throughout the world. Piyutim were first composed in ancient Israel and have served as a thread tying Jewish Diaspora communities together across the globe. We will focus on melodies from the Middle East and South Asia, particularly India, where the Bene Israel community has lived for over two thousand years. These devotional chants reflect the deep musical and cultural ties that exist between people throughout the region and shed light on how spiritual traditions have borrowed from one another, while remaining true to their sets of beliefs.

Vanya Green Assuied is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist specializing in the intersection between music and healing. Her music builds upon a long-standing Mediterranean tradition of meeting of East and West. She integrates cross-cultural vocal training and research into health and wellness as a Board Certified Music Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, with a Master’s Degree from New York University in Music Therapy and a Bachelor’s from Brandeis University in Neuro-anthropology and Latin American Studies. She helped establish the inaugural music therapy program at UCLA Medical Center, is a part of the clinical team of the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program, is on the advisory board of the Children’s Music Fund and consults for UCLArts and Healing. Her latest music project, Kolam, blends the Bhakti yoga practice of devotional chant with Jewish music, finding the common threads between Indian sacred music, liturgical Hebrew poems known as piyutim and contemporary melodies. To listen to Vanya’s music and find more information about her work, please visit

YogaEd Information Session with Jason Battung (YogaEd Facilitator)
January 25 (Mon), 2016, 7:15 p.m., Theology Village, University Hall 3700, Loyola Marymount University.

Come learn about YogaEd’s teacher training program, offered at and in conjunction with, LMU. This training is offered through Extension and open to all students. The training can fulfill the pre-requisite requirement for the MA in Yoga Studies.

The Yoga Ed. Professional Institute is a professional certificate program designed for individuals inspired to integrate Yoga in the K-12 classroom. Certified by the Yoga Alliance, this program meets National Physical Education and Health Standards and focuses on the evidence-based physical, mental, and emotional benefits Yoga can provide children and teens. Upon completion, participants will be equipped with tools to help students build a lifetime of health and wellness through the practice of Yoga. This program designed for teachers, school administrators, and other interested professionals inspired to integrate Yoga for children and teens into academic environments. Participants also have the opportunity to enroll in the courses individually if not interested in receiving a certificate.

This event is free and open to the public.

Mindfulness, Social Justice and Learning the Language of Peace with Maureen Shannon-Chapple
January 24 (Sun), 2016, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., $45 (register online or day of), University Hall 3226, Loyola Marymount University.

This workshop will explore the intersection between mindfulness practice and social justice work, with special attention to developing mindful communication skills. How do we effectively communicate, especially in conflict situations, in a way that reflects the values and insights nurtured in the quiet of meditation? How do we express the practice in active, socially engaged contexts? Exploring the ways others have answered this question will alternate with practice periods and communication exercises as a way to inspire our own responses to these important questions.

Maureen Shannon-Chapple, M.S., has worked with children, families, and adults in a variety of contexts. A long-time practitioner of yoga and meditation, Maureen completed the Community Dharma Leader program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2008. Maureen leads InsightLA's Tuesday night Sitting Group at LMU and teaches beginner classes in the Mindful USC program at USC.

What is Mindfulness? How Can it Help Foster Societal Change? with Christiane Wolf
January 23 (Sat), 2016, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., $45 (register online or day of), University Hall 3226, Loyola Marymount University.

This workshop will give participants an introduction and overview of what Mindfulness and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) are, it's background and most important research outcomes.  We will then use one particular mindfulness class, the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) class as an example of how mindfulness can foster societal change. There will be an overview of the MBCP curriculum, some research, as well as salient presentations from the class and lot of hands-on practice of formal mindfulness practices as well as practicing with physical pain (in labor and everyday life).  

Dr. Christiane Wolf is a mindfulness teacher, trainer and speaker. She is a senior certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) trainer and accredited to train and supervise MBSR teachers for the certification process of the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Wolf is the director of MBSR programs at InsightLA, program director and lead instructor for VA CALM, a MBSR and mindfulness training program for clinicians at the Greater Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration. She is also a Dharma teacher in the Vipassana (Insight) tradition and leads silent retreats in the US and in Europe. She is the co-author of "A Clinician's Guide To Teaching Mindfulness" (New Harbinger). Dr. Wolf lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three children.

Yoga Traditions in Indonesia: From Old Javanese Śaiva Tuturs to Modern Manuals of Balinese Hinduism with Andrea Acri
November 16, 2015, Theology Village, University Hall 3700, Loyola Marymount University.

Andrea Acri surveyed the Indic traditions of ṣaḍaṅga and aṣṭāṅga Yoga in the Indonesian Archipelago, as illuminated by selected premodern and modern textual sources. The body of Old Javanese-Sanskrit religious scriptures locally known as tutur and tattva, reconfiguring Indic materials along localized lines, yields interesting material for a comparative study of Yoga. While the majority of those texts attest a variety of ‘tarka-based’ ṣaḍaṅga Yoga stemming from early Śaiva Saiddhāntika prototypical sources from South Asia, one text, the Dharma Pātañjala, presents a form of aṣṭāṅgayoga clearly derived from the Yogaśāstra (i.e. the Yogasūtra-cum-Bhāṣya), embedding it in a thoroughly Śaiva framework. A similar allegiance to Pātañjala Yoga is found in pamphlets of Balinese Hinduism published in Bali from the mid-1950s onward, which would seem to mirror the ‘canonization’ of Pātañjala Yoga promoted by Neo-Hindu reformers in India. A comparative study of the South and Southeast Asian sources, besides showing the ways in which Indic Yoga texts and practices were adapted in different cultural contexts, may cast a new light on the historical development of Yoga traditions in India itself.

Andrea Acri (PhD Leiden University, 2011) is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS, Singapore. His research interests include Sanskrit and Old Javanese philology, Tantric Śaivism, and the transfer of Indic Religions and Philosophies from South to Southeast Asia. He has published the monograph Dharma Pātañjala; A Śaiva Scripture from Ancient Java Studied in the Light of Related Old Javanese and Sanskrit Texts (Egbert Forsten/Brill, 2011), co-edited From Laṅkā Eastwards: The Rāmāyaṇa in the Literature and Visual Arts of Indonesia (KITLV Press, 2011) with Helen Creese and Arlo Griffiths, and authored several articles in international journals.

YMCS November Workshops

Prison Yoga Project: A Path for Healing Original Pain with James Fox
November 14, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., University Hall 3226, Loyola Marymount University.

This workshop will introduce participants to mindfulness-based, trauma-informed methodology for teaching yoga in prisons and in rehabilitation and recovery centers. James will provide evidence-based support for these programs and speak about how to address common emotional/psychological issues of prisoners using yoga and mindfulness as therapeutic practices. The workshop will include a short asana practice proven effective in introducing yoga to prisoners and addressing their common psycho-physiological issues.

Workshop fee is $45; to register please visit

Learning to Heal Ourselves from Trauma with Angela Saucedo
November 15, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., University Hall 3226, Loyola Marymount University.

Understanding trauma and how it affects those that we serve is a vital key in developing healthy and thriving communities. This innovative workshop will introduce various tools and techniques to help mitigate the psycho-physiological issues that can develop to those working in fields where trauma/suffering is prevalent. Angela will provide evidence-based support to illustrate the usefulness of mindfulness practices amongst clinicians, social workers or anyone in a helping profession, including yoga instructors.

We will explore how the philosophy, principles, spirituality and practice of Yoga are instrumental elements in helping professionals enhance the factors that underpin emotional resilience to stress. Participants will be guided through a short asana and meditation practice that has proven effective in reducing stress and building reliance.

Workshop fee is $45; to register please visit

Khalsa 11/11

Locating Authenticity and Authority in the Sikh Kirtan Renaissance with Dr. Nirinjan Khalsa
November 11, 2015, Theology Vilage, University Hall 3700, Loyola Marymount University.

Professor Nirinjan Khalsa presented her Ph.D. dissertation research on the contemporary revival of Sikh devotional music (Gurbani Kirtan), which she uses as a lens to examine notions of “traditional” authenticity and authority within modern Sikh identity formation. Based on extensive ethnographic research and her own experience as a student-practitioner of the Gurbani Kirtan parampara (tradition) that has been passed down from teacher to student (guru-shishya) over hundreds of years, Professor Nirinjan Khalsa questions modern reformist agendas that aim to homogenize Sikh (musical) identity into a normative standard, and in turn erase the past and present diversity inherent within its practice. She proposes that the Gurbani Kirtan parampara resists the imposition of modern standardization through a dynamic living process that teaches methodologies to embody experiential knowledge (gnosis) within the self thus relocating authority and authenticity within lived devotional practice.

Funes 10/28

Subtle Dimensions of Bodily Self-Awareness: An East-West Comparative Discussion on Introspective Proprioception
October 28, 2015, Theology Vilage, University Hall 3700, Loyola Marymount University.

In this talk Professor Ana Funes shared her PhD dissertation research on the implications of non-dual interpretations between body and mind to understand the question of “What it is to be aware of one’s own body?” Using phenomenology, feminist thought and studies in embodied cognition, she analyzed responses to this question as can be found in Samkhya, Yoga, Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Saivism.

YMSC October Workshops

Cutting Edge Perspectives on Using Yoga to Overcome Addiction with Tommy Rosen
October 25, 2015, University Hall 3226, Loyola Marymount University.

This workshop explored the powerful connection and symbiotic relationship between the path of recovery from all addictions and the path of yoga. Participants engaged the philosophy, ethics, spirituality, and practice of Yoga as instrumental elements for overcoming addictions of all kinds. The workshop incorporated basic yoga and meditation practice, giving participants firsthand experienc of the techniques that are useful to overcoming addiction and aiding recovery. 

Healthy Families in a Toxic World with Julie Carmen
October 24, 2015, University Hall 3226, Loyola Marymount University.

This practical workshop examined the tools and techniques that foster equanimity within challenging environments. Participants included clinicians as well as anyone grappling with imbalance in their family milieu, work setting or community at large. Workshop attendees practiced language for crucial conversations and conscious listening skills. The workshop included a brief overview of the Human Potential Movement, Virginia Satir, Abraham Maslow, Viktor Frankl, Fritz Perls, Carl Rogers and Viola Spolin and how they each informed contemporary Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change.

Kumar 9/27

Yoga and Neuroscience: Integrating Personal and Planetary Healing through Science and Spirituality with Dr. Jay Kumar
September 27, 2015. 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. University Hall 3226, Loyola Marymount University.

Participants were invited to consider the following: are you interested to discover the powerful connection among Yoga, your brain, ecology, and health? It is becoming increasingly evident that personal and planetary healing are intimately aligned, while the possible key to achieve both occurs by integrating cutting-edge science with timeless spirituality. This workshop explored how the latest research in neuroscience and mind-body medicine mirror sacred Yoga teachings to cultivate greater personal health and planetary wellbeing. This presentation was geared towards Yoga instructors, medical practitioners mental health workers, and social pioneers wishing to explore how science and spirituality dynamically interact as a 21st-century paradigm for global healing.

Doshi 9/20

Doshi Bridgebuilder Award – Dr. Pratapaditya Pal

September 20, 3:30 p.m. Roski Dining Center, University Hall, Loyola Marymount University.

A celebration of Dr. Pal's Contribution to the Study of the Arts of India.

Dr. Pratapaditya Pal received his D.Phil from the University of Calcutta and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University.  He served as the Keeper of the Indian Collection at the Museum of Fine arts in Boston from 1967 to 1979 and became Senior Curator of Indian Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1970, where he worked until 1995.  A Getty Research Institute Scholar and Research Fellow of the Norton Simon Museum, Dr. Paul also served for 20 years as General Editor for Marg Publications in Mumbai.  He has taught at Cambridge, Harvard, U.C.L.A., U.S.C., U.C.S.B., Columbia, U.C.I., and Indiana University.  His more than 50 books include The Sensuous Immortals(1978), The Peaceful Liberators: Jaina Art from India (1994), and Goddess Durga: The Power and the Glory (2010).  In 2010 he was awarded the Padmashree Award for his lifelong work on the art and culture of Asia.

Program for September 20, 2015...
3:30 p.m. Gathering and Welcome
4 p.m. Reflections on the work of Dr. Pal

           Featuring Guests:
           Ian Alsop, Peaceful Wind Gallery, Santa Fe

From 1970 to 1988, lived in Kathmandu Nepal, where he eventually learned the Newari language and became a student of Nepalese cultural history. From 1980 he was involved in a project to produce a classical Newari dictionary. He has written numerous articles on Nepalese and Tibetan art and culture in Orientations, Arts of Asia, and Artibus Asiae, and was a contributor to the recently completed MacMillan Dictionary of Art and the volume The Art of Tibet: Towards a Definition of Style. He is also publisher and editor of the online Journal,, to which Dr. Pal has contributed several important articles. 

Since 1989, he has been living with his wife Lois and two children in Santa Fe New Mexico, with frequent journeys to Nepal and Tibet. He and his wife Lois also manage Peaceful Wind, a gallery of Asian fine art in Santa Fe.

           Debashish Banerji, University of Philosophical Research

Debashish Banerji is professor of Indian Studies and dean of academic affairs at the University of Philosophical Research, Los Angeles. He is also adjunct faculty in Art History at Pasadena City College and Research Fellow in Transformative Inquiry at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Los Angeles. He has curated a number of exhibitions on Indian and Japanese Art and has research interests in art history, philosophy, culture studies, postcolonialism and posthumanism. He is the author of The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore (Sage 2010), Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo (DKPW 2012) and a number of edited volumes, the latest being Rabindranath Tagore in the 21st Century: Theoretical Renewals (Springer 2014).

           Gerald Larson, Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara; Indiana University

Gerald James Larson is Rabindranath Tagore Professor Emeritus, Indiana University, Bloomington, and Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara, USA.   Dr. Larson is the author or editor of some twelve books and over 150 scholarly articles on comparative philosophy, history of religions, and Hindu and Buddhist studies in South and Southeast Asia (and see his website:   His books include India’s Agony Over Religion (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1997), Religion and Personal Law in Secular India  (Indiana University Press, 2002), and Volume XII of the Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, entitled Yoga: India’s Philosophy of Meditation. (Delhi, 2011). A Festschrift was published in his honour in 2005, Theory and Practice of Yoga: Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, edited by K.A. Jacobsen (Leiden: Brill, 2005).  Currently Dr. Larson is Research Professor, Program in Religious Studies, University of California, Irvine.    

           Alka Patel, University of California, Irvine

Alka Patel's research has focused on South Asia and its connections with Iran and Central Asia including overland and Indian Ocean maritime networks. Her works include Building Communities in Gujarat: Architecture and Society during the Twelfth-Fourteenth Centuries (Brill 2004), Communities and Commodities: Western India and the Indian Ocean (guest editor, special issue of Ars Orientalis [2004/2007]), and her current book project on the Ghurids of Afghanistan and northern India (ca. 1150-1215). Her interests have expanded to include mercantile mobility, networks and architectural patronage in 18th-19th-century South Asia, as evidenced in Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition (co-ed. K. Leonard, Brill 2012) and her collaborative project with Karen Leonard on the merchant communities of Hyderabad, India.

5:30 p.m. Keynote address and presentation of award honorning Pratapaditya Pal
6 p.m. Reception

Yoga Day 9/19

Yoga Day!
September 19, 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Various locations, Loyola Marymount University.

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE | This event is free and open to the public | Please bring a mat, towel and water!

Celebrate Yoga! Yoga Day is LMU’s annual celebration of Yoga tradition, experience, and its many expressions, past, present and future. Workshops, lectures, and practice will go on throughout the day at various locations on campus.

Food trucks will be on site, and the Lair will be open for sustenance throughout the day. Bring your friends and family!

Schedule below. Welcome table opens at 9AM. No pre-registration necessary for classes, but plan to arrive to early to each session to make sure you get a spot - first come first serve! 10AM Info Session on our Masters in Yoga Studies Program!

10am-11:15am | Dava Schatz: Yoga for Athletes | Lawton Plaza

This exciting class stands as a bridge builder between athletics and Yoga. Towel, mat, and water are recommended.

Come practice with instructor Dava Schatz, who has trained Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, and Men's Tennis at LMU, is a graduate of the MA in Yoga Studies Program, and continues to teach Yoga to athletes in Los Angeles. 

10am-11:15am | Daniella Tatik: Jivamukti Yoga | BUR 229

Jivamukti Yoga is a full body, mind, and spirit experience yoga class incorporating the five tents of Jivamukti Yoga: Asana (postures), Bhakti (devotion), Dhyana (meditation), Nada (sound), and Sahastra (scripture study). Look forward to flowing vinyasa sequencing, with chanting, meditation, focus on breath, relevant yogic philosophy, hands-on assists, and eclectic fun music playlist of everything from traditional Indian ragas to reggae to rock and downtempo beats. As a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings, Jivamukti Yoga is grounded in the original meaning of the Sanskrit word asana as “seat, connection” - relationship to the Earth. Appropriate for all levels of yoga experience

Daniella's passion for the sacred teachings of Yoga is as great as the joy she finds in sharing them with others. Teaching since 2009 in Hawaii, NYC, and now LA, Daniella is an 800hr Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, registered E-RYT 200 with Yoga Alliance. Daniella's classes hold space for you break through limitations and realize your true self which is nothing other than LOVE so that you can move with more grace and flow in all aspects of your life. Her teaching is intuitive and heart centered while rooted in the ancient teachings of Yoga. She is inspired by the mystical aspects of life and draws inspiration from her studies of Sanskrit and Bhakti philosophy, love of vegan cooking, journeys to India and abroad, and spending time in nature. Daniella offers gratitude to her most influential teachers: Sharon Gannon, David Life, Jules Febre, Rima Rani Rabbath, Uma Nanda Saraswati, Nicki Doane, and Manorama.

10am-11:15am | Shanna Hughes: Gentle Healing Yoga | BUR 239

The way that gentle yoga works without putting any unnecessary strain on the practitioner is by using modifications of standard hatha yoga poses. This approach includes carefully orchestrated movements, controlled pressure, and well-measured stretches, including range of motion exercises all with the support of the breath. Postures may be approached in gradual steps, with plenty of time to focus on breathing and repetition, so that the practice is simple to do and easy to remember. A gentle yoga style encourages a highly individualized approach to practice with on-going encouragement to make moment-to-moment adjustments.

Shanna Hughes is a trained yoga therapist with 12 years of experience in classic yoga training with a special emphasis on therapeutic and clinical applications of yoga and special-needs yoga integration. For the first fifteen years of her life, Shanna lived in Kashmir, India where her parents studied yoga and meditation under the guidance of a world acclaimed teacher. By joining these classes as a child, Shanna learned at a young age the healing power of meditation and yoga. Shanna has traveled the world teaching gentle physical postures and breathing techniques that have proven to be both calming and healing; and in many cases, reversing what seems like irreversible physical and emotional challenges.


10am-11:15am | Master of Arts in Yoga Studies Information Session | St. Robs 106

Guests will have the opportunity to meet with faculty members and students currently enrolled in this accredited Masters program. Frequently asked questions will be answered on the following topics: Pre-requisites, class schedule, travel to India, scholarships, assistantships, and application deadlines.


10am-11:15am | Andre Haralyi: Subtle practices of Yoga: Pranayama, Meditation and Deep Relaxation | St. Robs 109

“Yoga is the oldest and most complete technique of self-development, Yoga can be used as a powerful tool to achieve perfect physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony, giving you an extra edge in your life.” Join Andre in a practice grounded in the subtle Yoga techniques of pranayama (breath-work) and meditation, from which the body, mind and spirit finds deep relaxation.

Andre began practicing Yoga after a serious accident in 2000 when he discover in Yoga more than simple techniques to improve general health, but a new way of approaching life, which played a key role in his recovery. His passion for Yoga, led him across the globe to complete his teacher training with Professor Marcos Rojo Ph.D, following the lineage of Kaivalyadhama Institute in India, to be certified in Thai Massage in Thailand and in Yoga Therapy RX in US. He is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Yoga Studies at LMU. He was a staff member of Integrative Medicine at Albert Einstein Hospital in Brazil, where he taught yoga and meditation to cancer patients and is currently using traditional Yoga techniques to extend and improve the potential of Athletes.


10am-11:15am | Irma Graciano: Warriors for Healing, Level 1 - Yoga for Veterans | Malone 112AB

This is an expansion class intended to introduce students to gentle movement, breath awareness and to be present in the moment. Shifting from Fight and Flight, to Rest and Restore. This is a 50 min sample class designed for veterans and those facing traumatic stress. Yoga science offers extremely effective tools for dealing with this crisis. Numerous studies confirm that veterans who participate in yoga (including postures, breath work, guided visualization and affirmation) show improvements in coping with PTSD and emotional challenges while enhancing their physical and mental stability. Veterans practicing yoga have reported improved sleep habits, decreased stress levels, an increase in physical and emotional flexibility, and greater self-compassion and self-esteem.

Irma Graciano, a certified Warriors for Healing Instructor, firmly believes in the capacity of yoga to heal on both the physical and emotional level.  She loves finding strength in community and to see others committed to social responsibility. Yoga saved her life and it is her sincere wish to offer this gift to others as it was once offered to her.


11:30am-12:45pm | Viviana Vallin & Millie Heur: First Nature Yoga | Lawton Plaza

It is the mission of naturalist and teacher Viviana Vallin and yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher Millie Heur, working together as First Nature Yoga, to inspire and cultivate the awareness that nature is we and we are nature and to explore through yoga, mindfulness meditation and direct experience in the outdoors the interconnectedness of all beings and things present in Life on Earth.  By following this mission it is our intention to foster greater familiarity, by the participants, to the natural environment, the health of that environment and to their own emotional and physical health and well-being through a guided walk combined and integrated with a yoga and meditation practice. More and more studies have cited the positive effect time in nature has on our lives and how effectively it can mitigate the harmful events of the stresses of every day contemporary living.  It is not only through mindfulness meditation and yoga but also through time spent in the natural world, whether it be a backyard, a park or a nature trail, that we can find a ready and reliable resource to aid and support us as we face the challenges and trials of our lives and that at the same time can also help to promote a greater sense of physical and emotional well-being and vibrancy. Be prepared to meditate, walk, and engage light yoga stretches!

Viviana Vallin is trained as a Teacher Naturalist with the Audubon Society. She worked at the Audubon Center of Debs Park located in northeast Los Angeles for three years, first as a Teacher Naturalist and then as the Education & Engagement Manager. Viviana developed curriculum and delivered programs to engage k-12 students, families and the community to connect with nature in their own way. Using interpretive techniques, place-based learning and inquiry driven presentations, Viviana believes we can rebuild our inherent connection with nature and strive for balance and wellness for ourselves and the environment. Viviana is currently a second-year graduate student in the Yoga Studies Masters program at Loyola Marymount University.

Millie Heur has been certified as a yoga teacher by the Yoga Alliance since 2005. Millie started her own meditation and yoga practice in her late teens while a university undergraduate student and has continued through the years studying with some of the most respected teachers in the country. Besides yoga, Millie is also passionate about nature, as an advocate for its preservation and also its use as a resource for connecting to spirituality and promoting emotional and physical health and fitness. She currently teaches private yoga students and a Gentle Yoga and Yoga Nidra class at Yogala Studio in Echo Park.  In the past, she taught office yoga twice a week for several years at her former place of employment, taught groups of survivors of state-sanctioned torture and victims of human trafficking.  Last year she completed the training to teach yoga to veterans suffering the effects of PTSD and has a great interest in teaching yoga to underserved groups who might not find their way to yoga in the traditional avenues.  Millie has a Masters degree in Education, Instructional Systems Technology and Bachelors degree in Communications.


11:30am-12:45pm | Amy Osborne: Intuitive Flow, Cultivating Social Consciousness | BUR 229

A brief lecture (15 min) will be followed by an “Intuitive Flow” asana class (60 min, all levels). Lecture will focus on what it means to cultivate social consciousness through our practice and achieve harmonious balance in our everyday lives, including an overview of the neurology of meditation. Asana class will include a short meditation, Hatha & Vinyasa-inspired asana, and a guided “open flow.” Beginner, intermediate and advanced practitioners are invited to deepen their connection to their practice; particularly encouraged for those interested in beginning or advancing their own home practice.

                  Amy Osborne is a second year (Cohort II) graduate student in LMU’s M.A. of Yoga Studies program. Prior to studying at LMU, Amy worked for five years in public relations and government affairs in Boston & Los Angeles, and completed her 200-RYT teacher training at Liberation Yoga in Mid-City in 2014. Amy recently completed LMU’s 100-hour certificate in Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change and the Prison Yoga Project’s 14-hour training in San Diego.  She currently volunteer teaches weekly asana classes at Century Regional Detention Facility, a women’s prison in Lynwood, and formerly taught at Venice Family Clinic.


11:30am-12:45pm | Paula Tapia: Yoga Therapy for Athletes | BUR 239

Every individual and every body has a background, a personal story, particular patterns of movement, and tendencies toward certain aches and injuries. As a system, Yoga Therapy approaches the whole individual honoring its uniqueness and seeks to create balance for the practitioner. Whether you are an amateur or an experienced athlete, this class is designed to enhance your performance and is specifically intended for those who deal with body aches and injuries and/or those who would like to prevent injuries and practice asana safely.

Paula Tapia RYT-500, YTRx-500, POLY-500, is a Los Angeles based certified Yoga Therapist and Instructor. A life of dance, sports and gymnastics-associated injuries led her to specialize in Yoga Therapy Rx™. She is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and a member of the guest faculty of the Yoga and the Healing Sciences Program at Loyola Marymount University. Paula has been teaching the movement of the body for 20 years including dance, fitness, aqua therapy, barre therapeutics and Yoga. Her style is preventive, dynamic, safe and suitable for everybody. For more information, visit


11:30am-12:45pm | Lori Fazzio: Neuroplastic Yoga - Bhavana Your Asana | St. Robs 106

If you remember where your old injuries are, chances are they still impact you in some way. There may be subtle limitations you are not even aware of such as weakness, guarding, or compensatory movement patterns. In this workshop we will discuss and practice evidence based neuroplasticity science and present practical, easy to use tools you can integrate into your practice and classes to unlock these patterns. The result? Less pain, improved function and ease.

Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, DPT, PT, MAppSc, CYT, YTRX has a B.S. in Physical Therapy from Boston University, an Advanced Masters Degree in Manipulative Therapy from the University of South Australia, and received her doctorate from Massachusetts General Institute of Health Professions. Dr. Rubenstein began practicing Yoga in 1993. Interested in the scientific applications of Yoga Practices on health, she was the lead investigator with Dr. Ellen Langer at Harvard University in a randomized control study entitled “Effect of Mindfulness on Memory and Function in Chronic Pain Sufferers”. Lori has been teaching in Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Therapy Rx since 2008 and is the Clinical Director of Level IV where she mentors students in an interdisciplinary chronic pain program at the Simms Mann Venice Family Clinic.  She is on faculty in Loyola Marymount University’s Master of Arts in Yoga  Studies and has appeared on "Good Morning America". Lori is the founder and owner of Mosaic Physical Therapy in Los Angeles


11:30am-12:45pm | Sara Ivanhoe: Lotus Flow | St Robs 109

The Lotus Flower grows in still water.  It is said that the mind, like the Lotus, will only come to full bloom within stillness.  In our desire to be good students, many of us increase the challenge and pace of our asana practice.  While movement is a quintessential way of releasing tension, historically the yoga tradition is a path towards meditation.  In addition, the Lotus Flower itself thermo-regulates - meaning that no matter the outer climate - it retains its inner balance, an important lesson.  LOTUS will begin as a rigorous asana practice, then move into hip openers and lotus preparations.  We will investigate methods for attaining inverted lotus as a playful method of honoring our lineage and seated lotus, as it creates a perfect platform for mediation. Practice will culminate with an extended Lotus Flower meditation.

Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe, M.A. is celebrating her 20- year teaching anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, she completed Graduate School with Loyola Marymount University’s Inaugural Class in Yoga Philosophy.  She is the Yoga Spokesperson for “Weight Watchers,” “Yoga for Dummies,” “Crunch Yoga,” and appeared as a series regular on “Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab,” as the therapeutic instructor. Her mentor for Jnana Yoga is Dr. Christopher Key Chapple, for Bhakti Yoga, Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), and for Hatha Yoga, Erich Schiffmann.  For most of that 20 years, she can call Yoga Works her home.


11:30am-12:45pm | Sarah Herrington: Kids Yoga | Malone 112AB

Yoga is also great for children!  Come experience a full class, including breathwork and focus, Sun Salutations, poses and games especially for elementary school aged children.  Kids will not only have a fun yoga session, but will leave with games and tools they can use on their own to explore yoga and enhance their lives.  Expert mini-yogis and newbies are both welcome.

Sarah Herrington, MFA, is Program Administrator for LMU’s Master in Yoga Studies program and the founder of OM Schooled kids yoga teacher trainings.  She has taught elementary school yoga for over 8 years, primarily in NYC public schools and is the author of OM Schooled the book and the Idiot’s Guide to Yoga.  She believes yoga for kids can be both fun and educational.  


11:30am-12:45pm | Sheela Bringi: Kirtan | Living Room

An immersion into the theory and practice of sacred Indian singing and mantra yoga. Learn the basics of Sanskrit pronunciation and tonality. Sheela Bringi, MFA, is a sacred music performer, educator and recording artist. She holds a master’s degree in World Music Performance - North Indian Music from the California Institute of the Arts.

Sheela has trained extensively in North Indian classical music with maestros including Pandit G. S. Sachdev and Ustad Aashish Khan, as well as contemporary music with modern greats such as Cecil Taylor and Fred Frith. Raised in the foothills of Colorado, Sheela comes from a family of spiritual teachers, yogis, scholars and devotional musicians from South India. She received training in Vedic chanting, meditation and Hindu religious traditions from her mother, Sreedevi Bringi, a professor of Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy at Boulder’s Naropa University. Sheela leads workshops around the world on mantra and the sacred music of India.


1pm-2pm | Christopher Chapple: Sacred Thread, The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali | St. Rob’s 106

Join translator Chris Chapple in a reading of his book Sacred Thread: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which captures the dynamism of yoga practice in daily experience by pairing the Sutras with photographs of street life in India. B.K.S. Iyengar, upon reviewing the book, wrote "...this visionary approach to the Yoga Sutras inculcates in the viewers not only the skills and values of yoga but also the knowledge and wisdom of yoga." Books will be available for purchase!

Christopher Key Chapple is the Navin and Pratima Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Chapple received his undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature and Religious Studies from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his doctorate in the History of Religions through the Theology Department at Fordham University. He served as Assistant Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions and taught Sanskrit, Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism for five years at the State University of New York at Stony Brook before joining the faculty at LMU. He co-founded LMU’s program in Asian and Pacific Studies, chaired the Department of Theological Studies for five years, and served as Associate Academic Vice President for four years. In 2002, he established the Yoga Philosophy Certificate Program through LMU’s Center for Religion and Spirituality. He is now Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program. Dr. Chapple's research interests have focused on the religious traditions of India: Yoga, Jainism, and Buddhism


2pm-3:15pm | Bobby Napolitano: Ashtanga Yoga | Lawton Plaza

Clearing up the misconception that yoga means a set of poses that function as a workout, this class gets to the essence of the practice: stillness of mind. Through the classical Ashtanga system, established by 5th Century Indian Sage Patanjali, we will tap into breath control, sensory withdrawal, concentration and meditation for a deeper experience.

Bobby is a certified yoga instructor from Yoga to the People (YTTP). After a year of studying their quick-paced, sweaty "vinyasa" style he began to teach his first classes at YTTP studios throughout New York City. Looking for a dose of "spiritual" yoga, he picked up and moved to Sivananda Yoga Ranch in Monticello, NY. There Bobby learned the traditional Hindu, hatha-raja style as taught by Swami Vishnudevanada. Bobby volunteered in Harlem, at the Urban Yoga Foundation, where he combined elements of the: vinyasa, hatha, and Bikram styles into his classes. Besides working with adults, Bobby worked in "kids yoga" at Democracy Prep Charter School, giving instruction to middle school children ages 11-13. He has taught privately to clients at their homes, building their practice according to personal needs. Bobby hails from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a region known for its ethnic and cultural diversity.


2pm-3:15pm | Erika Burkhalter: Vinyasa of the Jeweled Isle - Backbend Flow | BUR 229

Explore the myth from the Devi Bhagavatam of when Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma landed on the shores of the Devi’s Jeweled Island, woven into a backbend flow. 

Erika Burkhalter, MA Yoga Studies, MS Neuropsychology, E-RYT 500, has been teaching yoga since 1999, and exploring its practices since childhood.  Erika teaches at Yoga Works, Costa Mesa, and offers philosophy and āsana intensives to a variety of yoga teacher training programs in Southern California.  A graduate of Loyola Marymount’s inaugural class of the M.A. in Yoga Studies, Erika focused her research on the interconnection between mythology, philosophy and modern science.  As a former neuroscientist, Erika is particularly intrigued with how ancient wisdom correlates with modern science to allow us to lead happier, more fulfilling lives. 


2pm-3:15pm | Dr. Eden Goldman: Yoga Doctors Master Class, Chikitsa Vinyasa Yoga | BUR 239

The Yoga Doctors Method of Chikitsa Vinyasa is an organic system that synthesizes the most structurally and energetically intelligent elements of classical Yoga Therapy, Thai massage, Raja Yoga, Qi Gong, Chiropractic, Bhakti Yoga, rehabilitative medicine, sports/athletic training, and modern movement science. This intuitive and soulful master class features both traditional and avant-garde therapeutic variations to asanas and is designed to teach practitioners to adapt the practice to their individual bodies with natural artistic fluidity, breath-oriented movements, inner and outer balance, and a deep sense of grace and gratitude for the body.

Dr. Eden Goldman, D.C., C.Y.T., E-RYT500, is a wellness-based chiropractor, certified Yoga therapist, physical rehabilitation specialist, and owner of The Yoga Doctors Institute and Wellness Center in West Los Angeles, CA.  His healing work integrates classical eastern Yoga therapeutics, Bhakti and Raja Yoga, Thai Massage, and myofascial release bodywork with western advancements in movement science, preventive medicine, peak performance athletic training, and chiropractic.  Co-author of Yoga Therapy and Integrative Medicine: Where Ancient Science Meets Modern Medicine, Dr. Goldman is also the Director of Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga and the Healing Sciences 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program.  Professionally, he has been featured in many forms of media including Yoga Journal, ABC News, Yoga Mind Body Spirit, Yoga for Dummies, and LA Yoga Magazine. 


2pm-3:15pm | Denise Kaufman: Cultivating Santosha - Yin Yoga | St Robs 109

Yin Yoga is a slow, deep, unwinding practice. Working with our allies of gravity, leverage and time, Yin work tractions open the hips and spine. Gently surrendering through thresholds of release, we increase range of motion, open deep prana flow and dissolve into grateful contentment. Please bring props (pillows, towels, blankets, blocks) if you have them.

Denise has been exploring yoga, movement, energy flow and community connectedness for over 50 years and has practiced and taught in various yoga traditions since the 1980’s. She loves sharing the power of a deep Yin practice! 


2pm-3:15pm  | Kait Dilliplaine: Kids Yoga | Malone 112AB

Yoga is for everyone, including our youth! It promotes coordination, concentration and body awareness. It allows kiddos to tap into their creativity and begin developing a healthy sense of self. But mostly, it is fun! Kait’s youth classes incorporate yoga games, the asanas (poses) pranayama (breathing exercises) and yoga nidra (guided meditation/progressive muscle relaxation) in order to promote a healthy body, clear mind and enlivened spirit!

Kait first turned to yoga in order to rehabilitate old injuries sustained as a former ballet dancer.  It was love at first Down Dog! She received her RYT 200 certification under the tutelage of Dharma Shakti at Yogalution Movement and Ayurveda in Long Beach,  CA.  Inspired by her mentor’s connection to the philosophical elements of yoga, Kait believes that this transformational practice is more than just a physical practice; it is a healthy, balanced lifestyle that can be adopted by any, and everyone, at any age! Kait recently concluded her first year of Loyola Marymount's Yoga Therapy Rx program, and is currently pursuing her MA in Yoga Studies. 

2pm-3:15pm | Maureen Shannon-Chapple: Mindfulness Practice | The Living Room

After hearing the word so often in the media, perhaps you have been wondering, "Just what is mindfulness?" This workshop will serve as an introduction to mindfulness practice, which has it roots in Buddhism but has gained a wider audience with the explosion of research about its benefits: it has proven to be effective as a tool to manage stress, fear, anxiety and depression. It is a simple but profound way to be present with our own experience in a loving, real and authentic way. Our session will include some short, guided practices. Beginners are welcome, as well as anyone who would like to refresh his/her personal practice.

Maureen Shannon-Chapple, M.S., has worked with children, families, and adults in a variety of contexts. A long-time practitioner of yoga and meditation, Maureen completed the Community Dharma Leader program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in 2008. Maureen leads InsightLA's Tuesday night Sitting Group at LMU and teaches beginner classes in the Mindful USC program at USC.


3:30pm-4:45pm | Carly Gaffey: Free Flow | Lawton Plaza

Join Carly on the lawn for a gentle vinyasa flow class exploring asana, breath and free movement. Connect your mind, body, and heart through this fun and free flowing practice. All levels welcome! 

Yoga found Carly three years ago during a stay in Costa Rica and it has been a rapid love affair ever since. Carly is a New Hampshire native who grew up studying dance. She was first hooked by the relief Yoga offered from her long standing hip injuries, but quickly found that this practice was taking healing off the mat and into other facets of her life. After completing her Hatha Yoga teacher training with the Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico she moved the Los Angeles to pursue a MA in Yoga Studies here at LMU. Carly is fascinated by Yoga's ability to cultivate a better and more peaceful understanding of ourselves, while fostering the ability to connect with each other. 


3:30pm-4:45pm | Dakini Yuan Miao: Yoga of Joy | BUR 229

Experience the profound, tantric practice of Yoga of Joy from its Divine source! Yoga of Joy is an ancient-future system of Tibetan and Primordial Yoga, which combines mantra, mudra, visualization, intention, breath-work and postures. This practice helps us release the physical, mental and emotional stresses of modern life, while returning us to our "spiritual home" and our innate state of childlike joy. Empty the mind, open the heart and uplift our collective consciousness.

Yuan Miao was born in Mainland China to a family with a rich Chinese and Tibetan spiritual heritage. Her grandmother raised and initiated her into the Himalayan Dakini lineage, common to both Newari Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Miao emphasizes creation and cultivation of direct, spiritual experience and embodies the wisdom of esoteric Tantric teachings which include mantric healing sounds, yantric imagery, Blue Pearl healing energy, and spontaneous forms of energy transmission. 
She is the founder of Yoga of Joy and established The New Century Foundation to bridge the ancient teachings of the East with the modern, technological lifestyle of the West. She is the prolific author of numerous mantric CDs, DVDs and books, including her inspirational autobiography, On the Wings of Phoenix Rising. Widely recognized as an emanation of Guan Yin, she transmits sacred healing sounds in her mantric concerts throughout Asia and the U.S.


3:30pm-4:45pm | Sarah Mata: Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation | BUR 239

In this class we will explore the Pranayama Mantra as a teaching that can help us to fink the link between our asana, pranayama and meditation practice.  The center of the manta is the Gayaytri, which brings us to the bhavana of light as the central metaphor in feeling our physical presence - illuminated by the breath and further deepened by the antah kumbaka  (inhale excellence) of our nadi shodana  (alternate nostril breathing ) pranayama.  In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali credits pranayama as the practice that “parts the veil that covers our own light.”  Meditation flows smoothly as the contemplation of light is suffused into the heart of the yogi or yogini. This mantra is especially advised for students kindling their intellect to the brightest and bestows as well the light of the spirit. 

Sarah has been teaching yoga professionally for over 20 years. She is a certified Viniyoga and Vinyasa Krama teacher, and has extensively studied all of the traditions of Krishnamacharya, including Ashtanga and Iyengar. Among her important teachers are T. K. V. Desikachar, K. Pattabhi Jois, Srivatsa Ramaswami, Gary Kraftsow and numerous American teachers. Her work ranges from vigorous flow for the very fit to more user-friendly adaptations. Creative sequencing and attention to the breath are at the core of her classes.


3:30pm-4:45pm | Michelle Regius: Religious Pluralism Kirtan Celebration | St. Robs 109

Join yogini Michelle Regius for a devotional chanting meditation. We will praise the Divine through Hindu, Jewish, Jain, and Christian traditions in Sanskrit, Hebrew, and English. Though we may speak different languages, and talk to God in different ways, we are all children of God; we are all brothers and sisters. Come celebrate unity, life, love, and harmony among all of our unique souls. 

Michelle Regius is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program at Loyola Marymount University. She loves studying foreign languages and comparative theology. 


3:30pm-4:45pm | Michael Flynn: Hearts and Hips with a Twist, a Revolving Perspective | Malone 112AB

This class intends to open the heart and hips.  We will twist from side to side, look up and down, inside and out constantly changing our perspective. Along with strengthening and stretching the body, we will be stretching and strengthening the mind. Beginner to advanced options will be given. So, all levels are welcome. Start the process of shifting your frequency to a higher vibration!

Mike Flynn is a lover of life! He instills that enthusiasm into everyone he meets and teaches. His classes challenge well practiced students while at the same time making them accessible to all. Each class is meant to shift the students' perspectives, uplift their vibrational frequency and encourage people to dream bigger! Mike is a teacher in the truest sense of the word. He is insightful, focused, demanding and energetic. Mike completed his 200 hour teacher training at the Chula Vista Yoga Center under Jano Galindo and continued studying under Kristyan Stjerne in an intensive six month training that Mike likes to call “Yoga and Life.” Mike is trained in Hatha, Vinyasa and Restorative/Yin Yoga. He has taught thousands of hours of class and is registered as an ERYT-200.


5pm-6:15pm | Alex Factor, Sonia Peltzer and Casey Stroud: Wanna Fly?! | Lawton Plaza

Join us for a taste of AcroYoga, the fun community practice based on trust and communication. 
AcroYoga combines the wisdom of yoga, the dynamic power of acrobatics, and the loving kindness of Thai massage to explore connection in community. We make acrobatics accessible to everyone by approaching all of our practices with a therapeutic intention. Come learn the foundational skills to support each other to fly and expand the possThis workshop will challenge your trust and balance as we find playful connections through communication and fun! 

Sonia and Casey, certified teachers, have been teaching together since 2012. The Squirrel, a symbol of

gathering and playfulness, has come to represent our offerings. Squirrels remind us that the balance between work, play, rest and contemplation is essential to our overall feeling of well being and harmony. This is why our mission is to share our passions with others. Our teaching style is fun, playful, challenging and encouraging. You can find out more about Casey and Sonia at

Alex is a 300-RYT Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher who teaches Vinyasa flow classes as well as AcroYoga classes. Though a strong believer of honoring your edge, he will encourage you to explore the space within, outside of your comfort zone both physically as you hold the postures and mentally as the mind begins to churn. Alex believes that your practice of yoga asana should be a playground for you to explore your personal rhythm of your breath and body connection, a place to learn from and connect with your own personal expression of self.


5pm-6:15pm | Danielle Fowler: Rest in the Essence of Your Divine Nature/Yoga Nidra | BUR 229

Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of guided meditation that has a profound effect on the body, mind and emotions. Yoga Nidra works with each layer of our being (Koshas) to experience the depth of who we are and to gain understanding of our True Nature. This practice can provide powerful healing, transform stuck attitudes and beliefs and reveal new awareness for growth. The class will include a brief lecture introducing the philosophy of Yoga Nidra followed by a guided Yoga Nidra practice. Come prepared with anything you need to rest comfortably in shavasana.

Danielle Fowler, E-RYT500, is founder and lead instructor of True Nature School of Yoga. She has lead Yoga retreats, workshops and taught Yoga classes for 15 years. Danielle has been the co-owner of two successful studios, Yoga Vista (2005-2009) and Yoga Oceanside (2010 to present). Most recently, Danielle is honored to be a graduate of the inaugural class of the Master of Arts Degree Program in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University.


5pm-6:15pm | Ana Funes: Embodying the Sanskrit Letters with Kundalini Yoga | BUR 239

In this workshop we will become acquainted with the Sanskrit letters through a sequence of asanas and pranayamas that will embody the symbolic quality of each character.

Ana Funes is full time professor in the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at LMU. She is certified in Kundalini Yoga according to Yogi Bhajan and Sivananda Yoga. She has led study groups on the yoga texts in Iyengar Yoga studios of Mexico and Honolulu and is concluding her PhD dissertation on bodily self-awareness and yoga philosophy at the University of Hawaii.                           


5pm-6:15pm | Gopi Ona-Ali: Samantrika Surya Namaskara, Sun Salutation with Mantras | St. Robs 109

We will learn the traditional Surya Namaskara to thank God for wisdom and light in our mindful breath based Vinyasa Krama class. Gopi Ona-Ali will teach the mantras that accompany the asana sequence and introduce a beautiful variation for mothers.

Gopi Ona-Ali has taught Yoga and meditation for over 15 years and has a monastic practice. She was initiated into the Gopi Order as sannyasi in 1997 by her guru Sri Donato and her spiritual successors Gopi Saravati and Gopi Chokru. They guided her to Srivatsa Ramaswami in 2014 where she learned the classical Raja Yoga that she teaches at Morningland Monastery in Long Beach. She teaches Bhagavad Gita, Vinyasa Krama and Pranayama classes weekly at the Monastery.


5pm-6:15pm | Traca Gress: Meditation on the Elements | Malone 112AB

Drawing from ancient yogic and Buddhist texts as well as shamanic and native teachings we will take an embodied journey of the five elements; earth, water, fire, air and space. The intention is that by paying attention to the way the elements live inside us we feel an innate sense of connection not only with a deep well of wisdom within but we are also more able to connect with nature and all beings. We naturally live more compassionately because we know we are not separate. No yoga experience necessary. We will use gentle practices of sounding, breathing, moving and meditating.

Traca Gress has spent most of her life exploring and practicing yoga, Peruvian shamanism, Native American teachings, Buddhism and dance. She moved to LA last year from Maine to pursue a Master's degree from LMU and will graduate in May. She is currently teaching a five week version of this class called Mindful Nature at Insight LA's retreat center in Benedict Canyon.


6:30pm-8:30pm | Philip Goldberg, Joey Lugassy and Band: The Beatles’ Yoga: How the Fab Four’s Passage to India Enlightened the West | St. Robs Auditorium

The Beatles' 1968 excursion to India legitimized meditation, introduced words like mantra, guru and ashram, and opened the floodgates for yogic teachings to spread in the west. Join Philip Goldberg, author of the award-winning, American Veda, and ace musicians led by Emmy-nominated bhakti rock artist Joey Lugassy for a magical mystery tour of the Beatles’ mind-blowing, world-changing spiritual journey. With audios, videos and live music, we will celebrate the Fab Four as ambassadors of India’s timeless wisdom and creators of unforgettable songs.

Sacred Thread Book Event
University Hall 3700, Theological Studies Village, Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday, May 20, 2015. 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

*This event was free and open to the public.*

Translators Chris Chapple and Beth Sternlieb, along with photographer Ben Marshall shared their book Sacred Thread: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which captures the dynamism of yoga practice in daily experience by pairing the Sutras with photographs of street life in India.

The Yoga of Mantra & Sacred Singing with Sheela Bringi
University Hall 3700, Theological Studies Village, Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday, May 20. 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Participants enjoyed the rapturous melodies (raga) of Indian classical music, learned sacred mantras, and participated in call-and-response Kirtan. 

Sheela Bringi, MFA, is a sacred music performer, educator and recording artist. She holds a master’s degree in World Music Performance - North Indian Music from the California Institute of the Arts. Sheela has trained extensively in North Indian classical music with maestros including Pandit G. S. Sachdev and Ustad Aashish Khan, as well as contemporary music with modern greats such as Cecil Taylor and Fred Frith. Raised in the foothills of Colorado, Sheela comes from a family of spiritual teachers, yogis, scholars and devotional musicians from South India. She received training in Vedic chanting, meditation and Hindu religious traditions from her mother, Sreedevi Bringi, a professor of Hinduism, Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy at Boulder’s Naropa University. Sheela leads workshops around the world on mantra and the sacred music of India. 

As a performer and recording artist, Sheela sings and plays the harp, harmonium and classical Indian bansuri (bamboo flute). Sheela released her first solo album, Incantations, in 2014 to critical acclaim from media including National Public Radio, and has been featured on numerous albums and soundtracks. She has performed worldwide in a wide range of venues, including concert halls and universities presenting traditional material, yoga studios leading kirtans and in dance clubs overtop throbbing, bass-heavy beats (she’s toured with Karsh Kale, DJ Drez, and many others).

Upanisads 5/15

The Upanishads with Professor Christopher Chapple
YogaGlo, 1800 Berkeley St, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Friday, May 15 + 22. 9 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Participants joined Professor Christopher Chapple during a special two day retreat-like event at YogaGlo. Topics included the Horse Sacrifice, the stories of Satyakama, Naciketas, and Prajapati, the teachings of Yajnavalkya, Om in the Mandukya, and Yoga in the Svetasvatara and Maitri Upanisads.

Graduate Colloquium 2015

Graduate Colloquium 2015
April 27, April 29 and May 4, 2015, University Hall 3700, Theological Studies Village, Loyola Marymount University. 

These three special evenings were spent sharing and recognizing the culminating projects of the first generation of students in the Masters of Arts in Yoga Studies.

Covenant House

LMU Yoga Studies Residency at The Covenant House (NYC)

LMU's Yoga Studies faculty and graduate students arrived on Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015 to begin a six week residency at Covenant House in New York City.  Professor Chris Chapple and six graduate students (Angela Saucedo, Dava Schatz, Jai Levin, Danielle Fowler, Jake Jacobs, and La Toiya Morrison) conducted several daily Yoga and meditation classes to the many youth served at Covenant House, as well as staff from Human Resources, Facilities, Job Placement, and the Mother-Child Program.  Covenant House is the nation's largest provider of transitional housing to displaced youth between the ages of 18 and 21, working with 3000 individuals each year in New York City.  The program ended on Good Friday, April 3rd.  Tom Kennedy, Senior Vice President for Programs, wrote: "Hello All:  I have been wanting to thank you all in some special way since you left.  You know I am a man of many words.  However, you have all brought me to pause.  All I can say is I and we miss you and I and we are eternally grateful for you.  You have changed us.  Our thanks to you is we will do everything in our power to continue what you have begun.  Action speaks louder than words.  And more loudly still our love which we extend everyday to you as part of our Covenant Community."  

Noel Sheth 4/15/2015

Hindu Puja and the Christian Eucharist: A Theological Comparison with Noel Sheth
April 15, 2015, University Hall 3700, Theological Studies Village. 

Participants engaged with Fr. Noel Sheth, S.J., a Professor of Indian Philosophies and Religions (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Pune, India), former Rector of Papal Seminary (Pune) and reputed scholar in Sanskrit and Pali, for a lecture and discussion.

Yoga Sutra Conference 2015

Thinking with the Yoga Sutra: Translation, Interpretation
Loyola Marymount University. Friday - Saturday, April 10 - 11, 2015.
Video link:

An international group of scholars from Israel, Germany, England, Canada, and various American universities converged at LMU on April 10 and 11, 2015 to discuss current research and to share their work with Yoga Studies graduate students and members of the Yoga community.  Topics included Yoga's usefulness for dealing with trauma, the role of physical postures in Yoga, theological aspects of Yoga, and its role in Indian and American cultural history. Professor Andrea Jain of Indiana University presented the Annual Virchand Gandhi Jain Lecture on Friday night on Jaina Yoga.   

Friday, April 10

Session 1: 9 a.m. - Noon (Malone 112AB, Loyola Marymount University)
   Mario Kozah
   Philipp Maas
   Sthaneshwar Timalsina
   Nischala Joy Devi

Session 2: 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Malone 112AB, Loyola Marymount University)
   Arindam Chakrabarti
   Kevin Perry Maroufkhani
   Stephanie Corigliano
   Yohan Grinshpon
   Andrew Nicholson
   Stuart Sarbacker

Jain Modern Yoga and the Quest for Authenticity: The Yoga Sutra in the Thought of Virchand Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, and Other Modern Yoga Thinker7:30 p.m. (The McIntosh Center, University Hall 3999, Loyola Marymount University)
    Dr. Andrea Jain 

Saturday, April 11 
Session 1: 9 a.m. - Noon (Seaver 200, Loyola Marymount University)
   Chris Chapple
   Daniel Raveh
   Mikel Burley
   Ana Funes

Session 2: 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Seaver 200, Loyola Marymount University)
   Edwin Bryant
   Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
   Ian Whicher
   Stephen Phillips   


Edwin Bryant
Rutgers University

TitleĪśvara in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra

Description: In this paper, I will argue that the Isvara element in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra cannot be considered in isolation or immunized from the late and post-Vedic Īśvara traditions that had long been sweeping over the North of the subcontinent by the time of the composition of the text. Much scholarship on the sutras seems to downplay or bypass the corollaries of this, viz., the prima facie view that Patañjali was, in all probability, either a Vaishnava or Śaiva.  This paper will engage this issue, examining the characteristics pertaining to Īśvara specified in Patañjali’s minimalistic sutras in the context of the greater theistic landscape of the time.

Bio: Edwin Bryant a professor at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published six books and authored a number of articles on Vedic history, yoga, and the Krishna tradition. In addition to his academic work for the scholarly community, Edwin's Penguin World Classics translation of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, the traditional source for the story of Krishna's incarnation, is both for Indology specialists as well as students and those interested in Hinduism from the general reading public and the yoga community.


Mikel Burley
University of Leeds

Title: The Purported Realism of Classical Yoga

Description: It is often assumed by modern interpreters that the objections to Buddhist idealism raised in traditional commentaries on sūtras 4.14-22 accurately reflect an anti-idealist bent in the Yoga Sūtra itself. Drawing upon my research into Classical Yoga and Samkhya, and giving close attention to sūtra 4.14 in particular, I argue that the foregoing assumption is dubious.

Bio: Mikel Burley is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Leeds. His research interests include interdisciplinary and cross-cultural philosophy of religion, the relation between soteriology and philosophy, and the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the area of Yoga studies, his publications include Haṭha-Yoga: Its Context, Theory and Practice (Motilal Banarsidass, 2000), Classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga: An Indian Metaphysics of Experience (Routledge, 2007), and “‘A Petrification of One’s Own Humanity?’ Nonattachment and Ethics in Yoga Traditions,” Journal of Religion 94(2): 204-228.


Christopher Key Chapple
Loyola Marymount University

Title: The Path to Origins: Pratiprasava

Description: his presentation will examine directionality as construed in the Yoga Sūtra.  The practitioner of Yoga, rather than remaining outward-facing and prompted by afflictions (kleśa), seeks to understand and gain mastery over the fettering habits that cause suffering.  Both physiological and psychological aspects will be discussed of this practice.

Bio: Dr. Christopher Key Chapple is the Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His research interests have focused on the renouncer religious traditions of India: Yoga, Jainism, and Buddhism. He has published several books with SUNY Press, including Karma and Creativity (1986), Nonviolence to AnimalsEarth, and Self in Asian Traditions (1993), Reconciling Yogas (2003), and Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjali’s Spiritual Path to Freedom (2008). He has also edited and co-authored several books on religion and ecology, including Ecological Prospects: Religious, Scientific, and Aesthetic Perspectives (1994, SUNY), Hinduism and Ecology (2000, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, Harvard), Jainism and Ecology (2002, Harvard), Yoga and Ecology (2009, Deepak Heritage), and In Praise of Mother Earth: The Prthivi Sukta of the Atharva Veda (2011, with O.P. Dwivedi, winner, translation prize, Dharma Academy of North America). He also is editor of the journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology (Brill).


Arindam Chakrabarti and Kevin Perry Maroufkhani
University of Hawaii

Title: The Past, The Future, and the External World: Yoga Against Yogacara

Description: If one reads Patanjali's Yoga Sutra (YS) through the lens of the Yoga Vasistha (YV), one can identify strong pan-psychist and non-dualistic elements. By focusing on YS IV.12-24, we will show how the YS bhasya (commentary) explicitly embraces a pluralist realism about the past, the future and the external world, refuting the Mind-only position within the Buddhist tradition. Just before the yogin attains kaivalya (liberation), prasmkhyana (omniscience) may create the illusion of idealism. Final liberation, however, comes only when one is uninterested in such omniscience. Only then does the Yogin become a cloud of dharma and compassion for others.

Bio: Arindam Chakrabarti is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His major areas of specialization are the Philosophy of Language and Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, and Indian Philosophy. His major publications include Denying Existence, a book on negative existentials and fictional discourse; an introduction to 20th-century Western epistemology in Sanskrit; and five books in Bangla, the latest of which focuses on the philosophy of food and clothing. He has also co-edited several collections of texts, including Knowing from Words (with B.K.Matilal), Universals, Concepts and Qualities (with P.F. Strawson), ApohaBuddhist Nominalism (with Mark Siderits and Tom Tillemans), and Mahabharata Now (with Sibaji Bandyopadhyay). The Eastern Philosophy of Consciousness and the Humanities Project (EPOCH Project), which engages imagination, concepts and emotion, has also been established under his direction.

Bio: Kevin Perry Maroufkhani is a Ph.D. Candidate and Part-time Lecturer at University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is currently finishing his Ph.D. dissertation in comparative philosophy and comparative ethics, focusing on Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy and systems of practical rationality in the West.


Stephanie Corigliano
Boston College

Title: The making and unmaking of the self: Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra and the experience of trauma

Description: Physical Yoga practice is effective for helping individuals heal from trauma and recover from addiction. Further, physical Yoga is often contextualized within the historical and theoretical purview of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras. As such, it is important to consider the implication of samādhi and kaivalya as detachment oriented goals that are set forth in the YS. The following essay will present evidence for the effectiveness of Yoga therapy and its connection to the YS. Subsequently, I will consider the concepts of absorption or withdrawal (samādhi) and isolation or utter simplicity (kaivalya) in the context of extreme trauma and in the YS. This comparison highlights the need for a more careful articulation of samādhi/kaivalya in relation to healing therapies and within the field of Yoga philosophy.

Bio: Stephanie Corigliano is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Theology at Boston College.  Her dissertation, “A Hermeneutic of Modern Yoga: Detachment and Spiritual Practice in Christianity and Hinduism,” explores the dialectic tension between life-affirming goals in Yoga (health, balance, well-being) and the world-renouncing asceticism of traditional texts such as Patañjali’s Yogasutra through a comparative study with Christian spiritual praxis.  Previous work includes a master’s thesis entitled, “Eckhart and the Yoga Vasistha: A Comparative Analysis of Detachment and Just Action,” as well as an article and extensive research into the history of Christian Inculturation in India.  Stephanie first practiced with Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Rangaswamy in 2000 and was authorized to teach by Jois in 2003.


Nischala Joy Devi
Abundant Wellbeing

Title: Interpreting Patanjali's Yoga Sūtra from a Heart Centered perspective

Description: Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtra has almost exclusively been translated and interpreted from a mental and intellectual view. Changing prospective, we look at it from a heart-centered, intuitive approach. This enables us to understand our true divine nature, see the divinity in others, and live from our hearts through honoring the ancient, yet eternally useful teachings. 

Bio: Nischala Joy Devi is a masterful teacher and healer. For many years she has been highly respected as an international advocate for her innovative way of expressing Yoga and its subtle uses for spiritual growth and complete healing. Her dynamic delivery and deep inner conviction empower each individual, allowing the teachings to expand beyond boundaries and limitations of any one tradition enabling her to touch people’s hearts. She is now dedicated to bringing the Feminine back into spirituality and the scriptures, in her book, The Secret Power of Yoga, a woman’s guide to the heart and spirit of the Yoga Sutras and Secret Power of Yoga Audio book Nautilus Book Silver Award Winner 2009!


Ana Funes
Loyola Marymount University

Title: The Perfect Body in Classical Yoga

Description: Yoga has been called a dualist system because of its alliance with Samkhyan metaphysics regarding the distinction between unconscious nature and self-aware consciousness. In sutra 4.19 Vyāsa argues, on the basis of an analogy between consciousness and space (ākāśa), that consciousness alone, and not the body-mind complex, is self-illuminating. I will show that this analogy could be applied just as much to the yogic notion of perfect body (kāyasampat), in which case we would have a strong phenomenological argument for a non-dualist philosophy of the body in the Yoga Sūtra.

Bio: Ana Funes completed her B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy with a focus on Philosophy of Religion at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with theses on the topics of Advaita Vedanta and interpretations of the Yoga Sutra, respectively.  She is completing her Ph.D. in Comparative Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii under the guidance of Professor Arindam Chakrabarti. She is the Clinical Professor for Loyola Marymount University’s Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program.


Yohanan Grinshpon
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Title: The Siddhis and Philosophical Exercise in the Yoga Sūtra

Description: I will present the teaching of the siddhis in the Yoga Sūtra as a call for "effective imagination" (bhavana). By extrapolation, I view "calls for imagination" as one of the essential speech-acts of the Yoga Sūtra.

Bio: Yohanan Grinshpon serves as a lecturer at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he teaches Indian culture and philosophy. His three books include, Silence Unheard; Deathly Otherness in Patanjala-Yoga (SUNY, 2001), Crisis and Knowledge; The Upanishadic Experience and Story-Telling (Oxford, 2003), and The Secret Sankara (Brill, 2011).


Andrea R. Jain
Indiana University

Title: Virchand Gandhi Jain Lecture

Description: I will situate the Yoga Sutra in the thought of two nineteenth-century thinkers, Virchand Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda, and their disseminations of Jain and Hindu traditions respectively. I will compare the role of the Yoga Sutra in their disseminations to the text’s place in late-twentieth century modern yoga systems, from the Jain preksha dhyana to popularized varieties, with special attention to Iyengar Yoga. I will argue that modern yoga systems cite the Yoga Sutra for varying reasons, ranging from establishing authority based on an ancient transmission going back to the Yoga Sutra to demonstrating that the Yoga Sutra, while authoritative, actually offers nothing more than what is already included in earlier sources that serve as a part of the relevant system’s transmission.

Bio: Andrea R. Jain is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis and author of Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture (Oxford University Press, 2014). Recently, she co-authored Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms (by Jeffrey J. Kripal et al., Wiley-Blackwell, 2014). Her recent publications also include articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and Nova Religio and book chapters in Gurus of Modern Yoga (ed. by Ellen Goldberg and Mark Singleton, Oxford University Press, 2014) and The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion (ed. by Charles Farhadian and Lewis R. Rambo, Oxford University Press, 2014). She is a regular contributor to Religion Dispatches on topics relating to yoga in contemporary culture and Co-Chair of the Yoga in Theory and Practice Group of the American Academy of Religion.


Mario Kozah
American University of Beruit

Title: Liberation and Unification in al-Biruni's Arabic translation of the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali

Description: The fourth section of al-Biruni's "Book of Patanjali", his eleventh century Arabic translation of the Yoga-Sutras, is described as treating the subjects of liberation and unification.  This talk will consider the intellectual and philosophical challenge facing the medieval Arab Muslim reader when presented with the intricacy of composition, translation and allusion that permeates this final section.

Bio: Mario Kozah received his B.A. (Queens' College, 1998) and Ph.D. (Trinity Hall, 2002) from the University of Cambridge in Oriental Studies.  After a Junior Research Fellowship at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he moved to Lebanon in 2003 and began teaching Arabic and Syriac language and literature at the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages and at CAMES. His first book is entitled The Syriac Writers of Qatar in the Seventh Century (Gorgias Press, 2014). He is currently preparing an anthology of writings by these same Syriac writers (forthcoming, Gorgias Press). In addition, he recently signed a contract with Cambridge Scholars Publishing to produce an edited volume on the Lebanese poet Jawdat Haydar entitled Jawdat Haydar’s Poetic Legacy: Issues of Modernity, Belonging, Language and Transcendence (CSP, 2015). Finally, his book manuscript entitled The Birth of Indology as an Islamic Science. Al-Biruni’s Treatise on Yoga Psychology has just been accepted by Brill Publishers for its series Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science.


Philipp Maas
University of Vienna

Title: Once More on Postures in the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra

Description: In the present paper, I take a fresh look at the exposition of posture as an ancillary of yoga in Pātañjala Yogaśāstra 2.46-48. This passage contains the famous characterization of posture as sthirasukham, which was understood in various ways by the Sanskrit-commentators and by modern scholars and translators. By weighing these interpretations against each other and by drawing upon different textual versions of the passage under discussion as they are transmitted partly in unpublished manuscripts, I hope to arrive at an improved understanding of Patañjali’s conceptions of what postures are, how they are achieved and which purposes they serve.

Bio: Philipp André Maas is assistant professor at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. His first book (originally his PhD thesis) is the first critical edition of the first chapter (Samādhipāda) of the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra, i.e. the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali together with the commentary called Yoga Bhāṣya. He published, inter alia, on classical Yoga philosophy and meditation as well as on the textual tradition of the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra. For the last couple of years, he worked in several research projects directed by Prof. Karin Preisendanz (at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and at the University of Vienna, Austria) that aim at a critical edition of the third book (entitled Vimānasthāna) of the oldest classical text corpus of Āyurveda, the Carakasaṃhitā. Since 2009 he is a member of the “Historical Sourcebooks on Classical Indian Thought” project, convened by Prof. Sheldon Pollock, to which he contributes with a monograph on the development of Yoga-related ideas in pre-modern South Asian intellectual history.


Andrew Nicholson
Stony Brook University

Title: Patañjali in the Eyes of His Opponents

Description: In this talk I will focus on depictions of Patañjali's system of thought by those who argued against it in first- and early second-millenium India, such as Śaivas and Advaita Vedāntins. One of the shortcomings of 20th century studies of Patañjali's yoga was often a lack of attention to the legacy of Patañjali's Yoga Sūtra and the responses it generated from later thinkers. By looking at the ways Patañjali's ideas were denounced and/or appropriated in other texts, we can come to a better understanding of the Yoga system's place in the intellectual history of medieval India.

Bio: Andrew J. Nicholson is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies and the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University. His first book, Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History (Columbia University Press, 2010), received the award for Best First Book in the History of Religions from the American Academy of Religion. His second book, Lord Śiva’s Song: The Īśvara Gītā (State University of New York Press, 2014), is a translation of and commentary on an 8th century Pāśupata work. He has written numerous articles on Indian philosophy and is the co-chair of the American Academy of Religion's "Yoga in Theory and Practice" Group.


Stephen Phillips
University of Texas, Austin

Title: Yoga and Classical Darśana

Description:  Largely unnoticed in textbook accounts of classical Indian philosophic schools is advocacy of yoga practice and alliance of Nyāya and Vedānta with teachings of the Yoga-sūtra. Yoga and Nyāya, for example, come to differ sharply in how nature is viewed, its components and causal laws. But on the side of subjectivity, puruṣa and ātman, there is more convergence than difference. And Advaita Vedāntins such as the great Śaṅkara propose practices of yoga as prerequisites for inquiry into Brahman the Absolute. At least three philosophic traditions converge in the commentaries of the tenth-century polymath Vācaspati Miśra who often shows influence from one or the other direction in his Yoga-sūtraNyāya-sūtra, and Bhāmatī commentaries. At the end of Nyāya-sūtra chapter four there is not only a substantial and remarkable stretch of sūtras devoted to yoga practice and liberating self-knowledge (NyS 4.2.38-49), there is also an implicit assimilation of philosophic debate as a yoga practice.

Bio: Stephen Phillips is professor of philosophy and Asian studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and has been visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and at Jadavpur University, Kolkata . He received a PhD from Harvard University (1982) after having attended Harvard College (A.B. 1975) and the Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education in Pondicherry. He is the author of seven books, including Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy (Columbia University Press), and Classical Indian Epistemology: The Knowledge Sources of the Nyāya School (Routledge). Phillips is perhaps best known for his first-time translations of late classical Sanskrit philosophic texts, including the thirteenth-century Tattva-cintā-maṇi (“Jewel of Reflection on the Truth about Epistemology”). He has lived in India about six years and sometimes teaches Sanskrit to yoga teachers. He regularly attends hatha-flow yoga classes and teaches a popular course on yoga philosophy and psychology, “Yoga as Philosophy and Practice.”


Daniel Raveh
Jawaharlal Nehru University

TitleAbhiniveśa: Pātañjala-yogaon Life and Death

Description: The aim of my paper is to speculate on what happens after death, a question about which, according to Yama (Death himself), even the gods have doubts. I will look for clues in Patañjali's commentators on the notion of abhiniveśa ("grasping onto life", or "fear of death"), which occurs in the kleśa scheme in chapter 2 of the Yoga Sūtra. I will also draw on the Kaṭha Upaniṣad and try to understand what type of answer, "the śreyas and the preyas (the good and the pleasant) are two different things" (KU 2.1), is to the question of existence-or-not after death. Finally I will work with Daya Krishna's paper "Bondages of Birth and Death: Emerging technologies of freedom on the horizon and the hope of final release from the fundamental bondage of humankind," where he argues that the lack of answer to the mahā-question of life and death is not necessarily an obstacle to freedom.

Bio: Daniel Raveh is Associate Professor in the department of philosophy, Tel Aviv University. He is author of Exploring the Yogasutra (Continuum 2013) and co-editor of Contrary Thinking: Selected Essays of Daya Krishna (OUP 2012). He is now working on a book project titled Narrative and Transfiguration: Sutras, Stories and Yoga Philosophy.


Stuart Ray Sarbacker
Oregon State University

Title: Why Yoga Philosophy Matters: Reflections on the Past and Present of the Aṣṭāṅgayoga System

Description: This presentation will discuss the ongoing import of Patañjali’s aṣṭāṅgayoga system of yoga in the comparative study of philosophy and religion in India and beyond. I will focus on three facets of the ongoing relevance of this system: 1) as a key representative of the codification of brāhmaṇa asceticism and śramaṇa traditions during the “classical” era; 2) as providing the foundational framework for establishing yoga “orthodoxy” throughout the arc of yoga traditions, through the medieval era into the present; and 3) as a constructive philosophical framework for understanding the dynamics of self-transformation and extraordinary accomplishment in a variety of  premodern to contemporary religious and cultural contexts.

Bio: Stuart Ray Sarbacker teaches at Oregon State University where he specializes in the Comparative Study of Religion with a focus on Indic religion and philosophy. His work is centered on the relationships between the religious and philosophical traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. He also works extensively on issues related to method and theory in the study of religion. He has written extensively on topics related to the theory and practice of Yoga (both contemplative practices and bodily disciplines) in South Asian religion and on method and theory in the study of religion. His book, Samādhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga (Albany: State University of Press, 2005), deals with the psychological and sociological dynamics of contemplative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.


Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
Himalayan Institute

Title: Meditation on Vishoka and Jyotishmati as a Doorway to Experiencing the Majority of the Practices Described in the Yoga Sūtra

Description: My presentation is primarily based on the texts belonging to the Sri Vidya tradition of tantra, and hatha yoga, particularly Saundaryalahari, Sri Vidyarnava, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and select Upanishads. It will be more practice-oriented than an academic analysis or comparative study.

Bio: Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, is a modern-day master and living link to the unbroken Himalayan Tradition. He embodies the yogic and tantric wisdom which the Himalayan Tradition has safeguarded for thousands of years. Pandit Tigunait is the successor of Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas and the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute. Pandit Tigunait is fluent in Vedic and Classical Sanskrit and holds two doctorates, one from the University of Allahabad (India), and another from the University of Pennsylvania. As a leading voice of and the author of 15 books, most recently The Secret of the Yoga Sutra: Samadhi Pada, his teachings span a wide range, from scholarly analysis and scripture translation to practical guidance on applying yogic wisdom to modern life. Over the past 35 years, Pandit Tigunait has touched innumerable lives around the world as a teacher, guide, author, humanitarian, and visionary spiritual leader.


Sthaneshwar Timalsina
San Diego State University

Title: A Phenomenological Approach to Asamprajnata Samadhi

Description: I will discuss the possibility of non-intentional consciousness in the highest state of samadhi. In light of this, I will briefly address my ongoing projects on memory, recognition, and other cognitive aspects that are inspired by my reading of the Yoga Sūtra commentaries.

Bio: Professor Sthaneshwar Timalsina is a professor of Religious Studies (Religions of India, Tantra, Religion and the Body) at San Diego State University. His fields of interest include Vedic and Tantric traditions, Yogacara philosophy, literary theory, and ritual studies. His book include, Seeing and Appearance: History of the Advaita Drstisrsti (published in 2006 by Shaker Verlag), and Consciousness in Indian Philosophy: The Advaita Doctrine of ‘Awareness Only ’ (published in 2008 by Routledge). He is currently working on a third book, Language of Images: Visualization and Meaning in Tantra.


Ian Whicher
University of Manitoba

Title: Reflections on Liberated Consciousness

Description: In this talk I will suggest that the full emancipatory stage of kaivalya, at which yoga practice ultimately aims, is not so much a state of spiritual isolation, as is frequently interpreted, as it is a state of nonattached “seeing” referring not only to the realization of puruṣa but also to the play of prakrti. Thus the yogi “achieves” a spiritual freedom that is not only a freedom from the world, through the transcendence of afflicted ordinary awareness (self as the “seen”), but also a freedom for the world, through a balance of theory and practice, discernment of puruṣa and ethical engagement with the manifestations of prakṛti.

Bio: Ian Whicher is a Professor and Head of the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He specializes in Hinduism and the Yoga tradition and is the author of scholarly books and numerous articles including, The Integrity of the Yoga Darśana (SUNY Press), and coeditor of Yoga: The Indian Tradition (Routledge Curzon). Dr. Whicher is currently writing a book on The Yoga of Intelligence.


The Open Heart and Healing with Yuan Miao
University Hall 3700, Theological Studies Village. Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 8:00 - 9:30 p.m.

Participants engaged with Dakini Yuan Miao, widely renowned as an emanation of Guan Yin energy in a lively lecture, meditation and discussion. This workshop supports both the individual and a collective return to our true nature and the state of an "empty" and generous heart. Opening the heart is part of an awakening process in this time. An empty, open heart allows us to manifest and discover the prosperity, abundance, wisdom and compassion which is our original, Divine nature. Be simple. Be empty. A practice of connecting deeply from the heart and experiencing healing at a profound level.

Day of Play: Yoga Festival
Sunken Gardens, Loyola Marymount University. Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Day of Play brought together Yoga, music, movement, and discussion in order to cultivate awareness, self-care, a supportive community, and positive feelings about one's body. This event was donation based and open to the public. Activites included a group Vinyasa Yoga class, AcroYoga, Yoga Slacklining, vendor booths, food trucks, a discussion panel, and a mindful sound bath meditation.

Partner Peace Practices That Support Global Unity: Talk & Class With Jason Nemer, Founder of AcroYoga
University Hall 3700, Theological Studies Village. Thursday, February 12, 2015 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Peace starts within and is then challenged and hopefully fortified by partnership. In partnership we can heal, grow, reflect and continue to find ways that our yoga practices can extend to the way we relate to others. Others become the next practice, how do we treat strangers like family and how do we avoid ever treating family like strangers? One of the answers is connection, the triad holds true here. Connect to self then partner then world. Another answer is investing in trust, both giving and receiving it like the emotional currency that it is. The third answer is fun, we all like it, want it and can expect it on a daily basis.

Hosted by Dr. Eden Goldman and

Puja and Tantra Talk with Dr. Sthaneshwar Timalsina
University Hall 3700, Theological Studies Village. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

Dr. Timalsina was born in the Nalang district of Nepal as the eldest son of Tanka Prasad and Premkumari Timalsina. From the rural villages of Nalang, he traveled to Kathmandu at the age of thirteen in search of proper education. On the backdrop of great odds, he managed to complete high school with honors and enrolled at Mahendra Sanskrit University where he received his Bachelors Degree in Sanskrit Literature with a major on Sanskrit Grammar. He then traveled to Benaras, India to receive a Masters degree in Classical Indian Philosophy with a major in Yoga-Tantra. Although many suggested that he should pursue other careers in more emerging fields like Mathematics or the Sciences, he tenaciously followed his passion for the classics with no regard to opposition. His journey ultimately led him to obtain a PhD in Classical Indian Philosophy (with a focus on Advaita Vedanta) from Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany and later travel to the United States. He currently resides in San Diego with his wife and two children. He has published two books, Seeing and Appearance: History of the Advaita Doctrine of Drstisrsti and Consciousness in Indian Philosophy: The Advaita Doctrine of 'Awareness Only', and is in the process of publishing a third, titled Tantric Visual Culture: A Cognitive Approach.

Chasing Peace: A Conversation with Rabbi Abraham Skorka
Burns Back Court, Loyola Marymount University. January 22, 2015 from 7:00 - 9:00pm

Rabbi Skorka is one of Pope Francis’ closest friends and has written with Francis on numerous occasions. Some of these collaborations include: Fe, dignidad, oración, solidaridad (Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 2013) and Entre el cielo y la tierra (Editorial Sudamericana, 2010) recently published in English. He is an eminently respected Jewish leader in Argentina whose scholarship has a global reach.  He made a three-city tour with a focus on international relations in Washington, DC, on civil rights in Atlanta, and in Los Angeles, on how the Latino world is having an impact on religion.

Abp. José Gomez accepted the invitation to give a welcome to Rabbi Skorka and took part in the evening’s program. The event was free and open to the public, and featured simultaneous English/Spanish translation.

M2 Project: A Mindful Sound Concert with Jahna and Michael Perricone, and Alicia Spillias
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3000, Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 8:00pm

Mindfulness is the act of paying conscious attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and the willingness to be with what is. Participants experienced this during a special meditation and sound concert, with a brief introduction to mindfulness followed by meditation exercises led by M2 Project’s Jahna Perricone, a mindfulness facilitator (CMF/UCLA) and singer; Master Tibetan Singing Bowl Artist, Michael Perricone; and violinist, Alicia Spillias.  The evening was enlivened with music that accesses deeper meditative states.

Jahna Perricone, CMF, is a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.  She is Director of Mindfulness Programs at C3, Center for Conscious Creatives (node of the Millennium Project), and has led several mindfulness workshops. An accomplished singer, she is currently completing a Mindfulness for Beginners Series on a popular yoga online site and will be releasing her first album of original songs, ‘Into The Mindful Wild’, in early January 2015. www.jahnamusic.comMichael Perricone is a Master Tibetan Singing Bowl Artist and musician who has performed at the Hammer, MOCA and Fowler Museums, numerous festivals, as well as for several movie and internet sites.  He is the recording artist and producer of several music albums, and is the co-owner and CEO of Lotus Post, the finest post recording studio on the west side (imdb). www.lotuspost.comAlicia Spillias has been trained classically on the violin for 24 years and has also branched off into other genres of music including folk and rock/pop. Currently she gigs around Los Angeles with her group, the Organic String Quartet, plays for a variety of orchestras and does session work for film and television.  Alicia is an accomplished vocalist, trained classically since the age of 6 and received her BM in Vocal Performance from Cal State, Northridge. 

Devotions of Attachment and Detachment: the Myriad Divinities of Jainism
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3000, Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:00pm

The Tirthankara (or Jina) is at the centre of Jain ritual and devotional life. In his liberated state, he is entirely devoid of raga (attachment) and dvesa (aversion) and is therefore completely disengaged from the world.  He responds to no prayers or petitions, and dispenses no saving grace; transactionally he is nonexistent.  Nevertheless, he remains a central focus of much heart-felt devotion.  The Jina – though central – is not the sole focus of Jain devotion. A great many other divinities share the devotional landscape, often presiding over specific domains of need. Drawing upon textual sources as well as upon phenomenological-anthropological research, we discussed the nature of Jina devotion, as well as devotion to more worldly-focused divinities within the Jaina tradition.

Dr. Kamini Gogri is the Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Research Associate at the Buddihist Center and Coordinator for the Jainology, Indian Aesthetics and Communal Harmony Courses at the University of Mumbai.

Yoga and Ecology: From Eco-Apartheid and Separation to Earth Democracy and Unity
University Hall, Loyola Marymount University. November 9, 2014 from 10:00am - 3:00pm

Vandana Shiva, renowned philosopher, physicist, author, and environmental activist, discussed the common principles shared by ecology and Yoga. Dominant sciences of exploitation, of the earth and our bodies, are shaped by fragmentation and separation, and undermine the health of the planet and people. This talk highlighted the connection between Yoga and ecology, which are both based on rejuvenation, unity, and non-separation.

Following the lecture (10:00am - 12:00pm), attendees were invited for lunch and a service learning opportunity in the LMU organic garden. The event concluded at 3 p.m.

Vandana Shiva is the founder and director of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is author of numerous books including, “Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis”; “Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply”; “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace”; and “Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development”.

Ahimsa Center International Conference: Care, Compassion and Mindfulness
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. November 7-9, 2014

Care, Compassion and Mindfulness was the theme of the 6th biannual conference on nonviolence hosted by the Ahimsa Center at Cal Poly Pomona in suburban Los Angeles. This conference drew upon scientific research and practice-based insights from a variety of disciplines and professions and furthered our understanding of the ways in which we can cultivate care, compassion and mindfulness in our individual selves, in our families and communities, and in the world at large. The cultivation of care, compassion and mindfulness calls for a radical transformation in how we relate to each other as human beings, and how we relate to other beings and to nature; it calls for rethinking our personal lives, work lives and civic lives.

LMU Library “Pub Night” with Professor Brian Treanor
Von der Ahe Suite, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University Library. Tuesday November 4, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

Participants joined Professor Treanor for an evening of discussion on his new book, Emplotting Virtue: A Narrative Approach to Environmental Virtue Ethics. Basic arguments included: that we cannot understand environmental ethics without understanding the kinds of persons we ought to be in order to live well in the environment, and that we cannot fully understand the sorts of persons we hope to be without understanding the narratives that make up our identities. Before we can effectively act to "save the world," we need to have some understanding of how we are and who we hope to become; we cannot understand either of those without understanding where we come from, articulated in the various stories in which we find ourselves caught up.

Theological Studies Colloquium featuring Chris Chapple, Daniel Smith-Christopher and Chuck Hamilton
Theological Studies Village, UHall 3000, Loyola Marymount University. Thursday October 30, 2014 from 3:15 - 4:30 p.m.

This colloquium presentation focused on a just-published festschrift edited by Dr. Christopher Chapple titled "Antonio T. deNicolas: Poet of Eternal Return."

. Chapple introduced the key themes of the book: philosophy, musicology, theories of education, and comparative literary studies.  Professor Daniel Smith-Christopher summarized and responded to an essay about the pervasiveness of "administration" in contemporary society.  Graduate student Chuck Hamilton summarized and responded to a chapter on the Bhagavad Gita by LMU alum Dr. Geoff Ashton (PhD Hawaii), assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

The Darshan of the Imagination: Adoring the Collaborative Emergent Through Clay
Art Therapy Studio (University Hall 2517) Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday October 29, 2014 from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.

From earth, to artistic collaboration, to fire, to stone, to independent object; clay is a material that easily teaches about change. As participants explored, when clay is formed it transforms into patiently waiting imaginal narratives composed of contexts, emotions, and unique scenes. When listened to and followed, these emerging images inspire reverent seeing reminiscent of the Darshan experience. This workshop explores these themes by materializing through clay, the I/Thou textures of the therapeutic relationship. During this 2.5-hour experience participants recreated a client-therapist relationship and discovered the waiting potential of Imaginal Darshan.

Michael A. Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC, is the coordinator of the Transpersonal Art Therapy program and the Naropa Community Art Studio (NCAS) at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. Prior to Naropa, he practiced as a clinician and directed the Art Therapy programs at the College of St. Teresa and Bowling Green State University. Michael is an international lecturer and accomplished author. His research addresses art as contemplative practice encompassing meditation, social engagement/karma-yoga and art-based research. For more information about Michael Franklin: 

Work as Worship: Art Therapy, Meditation, and Karma Yoga
Art Therapy Studio (University Hall 2517) Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday October 29, 2014 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

What if our work in the world felt like worship? How does meditation training support clinical training and why is it important to include contemplative practice in the curriculum sequence? How does the privilege to work as a therapist in a therapeutic relationship inspire  I/Thou encounters? What lessons from Karma Yoga and other socially engaged practices are relevant for the therapist to consider? These questions were addressed and presented by Dr. Franklin within the context of a contemplative model of training to become an art therapist and counselor.

Michael A. Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC, is the coordinator of the Transpersonal Art Therapy program and the Naropa Community Art Studio (NCAS) at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. Prior to Naropa, he practiced as a clinician and directed the Art Therapy programs at the College of St. Teresa and Bowling Green State University. Michael is an international lecturer and accomplished author. His research addresses art as contemplative practice encompassing meditation, social engagement/karma-yoga and art-based research. For more information about Michael Franklin: 

Community Offering: The Bhagavad Gita within the Great Narrative by Dr. Chris Chapple
YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Thursday, September 25th, October 2nd & October 9th from 9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Bhagavad Gita, beloved by Emerson, Thoreau, and Gandhi, opens its readers to the big questions in life: Why do bad things happen to good people?  What can be done about family dysfunction?  What is the nature of the self?  What is the best path for action?  How can one be devoted?  What is knowledge? In three different sessions, we will work through the Gita, learning the contours of the four forms of Yoga: Jnana (Knowledge), Karma (Action), Devotion (Bhakti), and Meditation (Raja).  Participants chanted key verses in Sanskrit, developed a working vocabulary of important terms, and understood the place of the Bhagavad Gita within the epic narrative of the Mahabharata.

On Thursday, September 25th, participants worked with the first six chapters of the text, focusing on Jnana and Karma Yoga.  Jnana Yoga teaches the undying nature of the Self and the transience of things in the material world.  Karma Yoga advises that the best action requires a spirit of nonattachment to the fruits of one's labor.

On Thursday, October 2nd, participants studied the next six chapters, with a focus on the nature of Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of devotion. These theological verses proclaim the omnipresence of highest self in all aspects of manifestation, and advise learning how the ultimate goals of life are to be enacted in everyday activities.

On Thursday, October 9th, participants probed into Raja Yoga as expressed in the last six chapters, which focus on the ongoing application of discernment in all circumstances.  By understanding the Gunas (sattva/illumination, rajas/passion, and tamas/heaviness), one gains the tools through which to experience a grounded joy in the midst of all activities.  

Recommended but not required translations included: Winthrop Sargeant (SUNY, with Sanskrit analysis), Antonio T. DeNicolas (Avaratara), Srnivasa Murthy (Long Beach Publications).  Also, consult the links at:

Free Yoga Day and Raga Spirit: movement, meditation, and music!
Loyola Marymount University, Saturday September 20, 2014

All Yoga Day festivities were FREE and open to the public, including: yoga, meditation, lectures, music, and food trucks!

Yoga Day presenters included: Erika Burkhalter, Ryan Brewer, Christopher Chapple, John Casey, Govind Das, Danielle Fowler, Ana Funes, Sara Ivanhoe, Jake Jacobs, Pawan Johar, Denise Kaufman, Pt. Kichlus, Atousa Mahdavi, Sarah Mata, Lori Rubenstein, Angela Saucedo, and... The world premiere of Mary Lou Newmark's "Breathing Room," a convergence of music, science, theatre, poetry, and spirituality - plus her green electric violin! Guests also had the opportunity to participate in an Information Session for the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program, where met with faculty and students currently enrolled in the program.

The Secret of the Yoga Sutra with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
Theological Studies Village (Univeristy Hall 3000), Loyola Marymount University. Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

In this inspiring lecture and workshop, grounded in time-tested wisdom, participants discovered the promise hidden in the Yoga Sutra, and gathered the tools and means to experience the missing element of their practice. It was like the Himalayas came right to our doorstep. Main topics included: What is the Yoga Sutra, and why its teachings are so crucial to us now; The Yogic understanding of our body and mind, and how to tap into our innate wisdom; How to access the power of mind and reclaim mastery over our personal world; Reconfiguring our life for joyful and purposeful living; A guided practice for experiencing our self-luminous joy. 

Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, is a modern-day master and living link to the unbroken Himalayan Tradition. He is the successor of Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas and the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute. As a leading voice of and the author of 15 books, his teachings offer practical guidance on applying yogic and tantric wisdom to modern life. Over the past 35 years, Pandit Tigunait has touched innumerable lives around the world as a teacher, humanitarian, and visionary spiritual leader.

The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award Ceremony 
Ahmanson Theater (University Hall 1000), Loyola Marymount University. Tuesday September 16, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

The 2014 recipient of the Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award at Loyola Marymount University was biologist Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of more than 80 scientific papers and 10 books, including “Science Set Free.” Sheldrake’s career has been devoted to building a bridge between scientific investigation and spiritual inquiry. Sheldrake pioneered the study of morphic resonance – that all life is connected – and making ethical decisions that factor in far-reaching consequences. Eric Strauss, President’s Professor of Biology at LMU and director of the Ballona Discovery Center, will respond to Sheldrake’s keynote address.

The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award, named for its benefactors, Navin and Pratima Doshi, is given annually to honor an individual or organization dedicated to fostering understanding between cultures, peoples and disciplines. Past Doshi Bridgebuilder Award recipients are: Dr. Karan Singh, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Huston Smith, Greg Mortenson, Thich Nhat Hanh, Zubin Mehta and Deepak Chopra.

Wah!'s "The Healing Concert"
Ahmanson Theater (University Hall 1000), Loyola Marymount University. Sunday September 14, 2014 at 7:00 p.m

The Healing Concert is an evening immersion into Wah!'s beautiful, meditative music with calming "Blisslights." It is an invitation to access deep relaxation, natural healing and rejuvenation. An accomplished musician, author and one of the founders and leaders of today's World Music movement, Wah! has performed with Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Neale Donald Walsch. Her second book, Healing: A Vibrational Exchange explores ways you can create more space and healing in your life. Wah! awakens a journey of love and expansion through her music.

Wah!'s CDs have sold thousands of copies and are used throughout the world for yoga, meditation and relaxation. If you've taken a yoga class in the last five years, you have undoubtedly heard her music. A lifelong yogi and graduate of Oberlin College/Conservatory, she has spent 30 years studying yoga and teaching music as an art form and healing medium. Wah!'s second book Healing: A Vibrational Exchange includes her CD of live tracks from The Healing Concert.

For more information on Wah!'s Healing Concert:

Free Community Offering: Compassion: A Hindu-Catholic Dialogue
University Hall 1000, Saturday May 24th, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

With talks by Swami Omkarananda, Rev. James L. Fredericks, Tracy Sachs, & Hunter Joslin. Free and open to the public. RSVP to Dr. Tracy Tiemeier (; 310.568.6234). Funded by: The Martin Gang Institute.

Free Lecture: Unpublished Manuscript Evidence on the Practice of Many Asanas in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries by Jason Birch
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3700, Wednesday May 14th, 8:00 p.m.

It is often noted that the myriad postures (asana) of modern yoga are not to be found in the well-known scriptures of Hathayoga. This has prompted some to assert that relatively few asanas were practiced in Hathayoga and those we see today are largely the invention of twentieth-century Indian gurus. There is certainly some truth in these assertions, but they need to be assessed in the light of three unpublished manuscripts which contain long lists of asanas. 

Jason Birch, DPhil (Oxford), BA (Sanskrit) Hons (USyd), was a visiting scholar at Loyola Marymount University who taught in the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program. His doctoral research was on the earliest known Sanskrit text on Rajayoga and he is currently working on reconstructing the history of yoga on the eve of colonialism. 

Free Community Offering: The Bhagavad Gita within the Great Narrative by Dr. Chris Chapple
YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Thursday, May 15th. 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Bhagavad Gita, best known for its teachings on the four Yogas of Knowledge, Action, Devotion, and Meditation, takes place as a song within a song. This series of talks explored the great epic the Mahabharata as well as the Yogas of the Bhagavad Gita.  By helping Arjuna understand his place within the larger context of family and society, Krishna brings freedom of action to the world.

Free Lecture: Vedic Poetry and Its Journey Toward Yoga by Rati Saxena
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3700, Wednesday April 30th, 8:00 p.m.

Rati Saxena is a Vedic scholar, poet, translator, editor, and Director of the Kritya Poetry Festival. Saxena received her Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the University of Rajasthan and focused her study on the Vedas, with an emphasis on the Atharvaveda. Saxena received the Kendriya Sahitya Akedemy award for translation in 2000 and has published eight collections of poetry in both English and Hindi, including one Travelodge and a critical work on the renowned Malayalam poet Balamani Amma. Her work on the Atharvaveda, entitled: The Seeds of the Mind: A Fresh Approach to the Study of Atharvaveda, was published under the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts fellowship. Saxena is a founding member of: Asia for the World Poetry Movement - Medellin, as well as both an editor and managing trustee for the bilingual poetry web journal Kritya (, through which she has organized eight national and international poetry festivals. Saxena has been invited to prestigious poetry festivals, including "PoesiaPresente" in Monza (Italy), the Mediterranean Festival, the International House of Stavanger (Norway), the Struga Poetry Evening, Macedonia, and the renown Medellin Poetry Festival in Colombia.

Gallery Talk with Dr. Chris Chapple
Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. Friday, April 18th, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Attendants joined scholar Chris Chapple on a gallery tour of Yoga: The Art of Transformation, beginning with an introduction to three large images that evoke the Hindu goddess, Jaina non-violence, and Buddhist compassion. They explored the miniature Mughal paintings of yogis, the ancient palm leaf manuscripts, scrolls that illustrate battling bands of yogis, and 19th and 20th century images of yoga romance.

Chris Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and founding Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University.  He began Yoga practice more than 40 years ago, entering training in classical Yoga under the guidance of Gurani Anjali in 1972.  He has translated many Sanskrit texts on Yoga, including the Yogadrstisamucaya of Haribhadra, the Yogavasistha discourse on Sevenfold Yoga, and the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.  He contributed the Jaina section to the catalogue for the Yoga exhibit.  His many published books include Reconciling Yogas and Yoga and the Luminous.

Co-presented by the California Institute for Integrative Studies.                       

Free Lecture: Samkhya and Yoga on the Problem of the One and the Many in Indian Philosophy by Dr. Gerald J. Larson
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3700, Wednesday, April 9th, 8:00 p.m.

This evening featured a presentation by Gerald J. Larson, Ph.D., M.Div., Research Professor, University of California, Irvine, and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara and Indiana University Bloomington.

Free Community Offering: The Bhagavad Gita within the Great Narrative by Dr. Chris Chapple
YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Thursday, March 20th 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The Bhagavad Gita, best known for its teachings on the four Yogas of Knowledge, Action, Devotion, and Meditation, takes place as a song within a song. This series of talks explored the great epic the Mahabharata as well as the Yogas of the Bhagavad Gita.  By helping Arjuna understand his place within the larger context of family and society, Krishna brings freedom of action to the world.

Free Lecture: The Yogi and the Magician: Yoga, Science, and the Conjuring of Modernity by Dr. Patton Burchett
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3700, Wednesday, March 19th, 8:00 p.m.

This talk examined the figure of Indian yogi as both a source of wonder and a key foil for notions of modern rationality in the discourses of both Westerners and Indians in the nineteenth and early 20th century. In particular, the lecture demonstrated the little known but significant influence of Victorian stage magicians on Western perceptions of yogis, as well as Hindu reformers' responses to these characterizations of yogis and thus yoga. The talk thus explored the crucial, but ambiguous place held by the yogi in the context of rising "modernity," especially in reference to the problems posed by his association with supernatural powers and his public performances of austerities, "juggling," and sense deceptions. We looked at 19th and 20th century images and discourses of stage magicians with the representations of yogis by Orientalist scholars and colonial officials, looking at the multiple semantic and visual fields of "magic" in order to understand the combination of awe, wonder, skepticism, and dismissal that characterized attitudes toward yoga in an age that saw the rise to dominance of discourses of science and rationality.

Patton Burchett is an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Religious Studies Program at New York University (NYU).  He received his doctorate in South Asian Religions in 2012 from Columbia University’s Department of Religion.  His work focuses primarily on Hindu devotional (bhakti) and tantric traditions in north India in the early modern period (the subject of his current book project, Bhakti Religion and Tantric Magic: Yogis, Poets, & Sufis in Mughal India), but he also has a major research interest in the relations between magic, science, and religion and his next project will examine the interaction and development of these three categories in India by tracing out how “yoga” was perceived, appropriated, and transformed in the service of “modern” projects of both rationality and enchantment, spirituality and secularism. His published work includes “The ‘Magical’ Language of Mantra,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion76.4 (2008), “Bhakti Rhetoric in the Hagiography of ‘Untouchable’ Saints: Discerning Bhakti’s Ambivalence on Caste and Brahminhood,” International Journal of Hindu Studies 13.2 (2009), and “Bitten by the Snake: Early Modern Devotional Critiques of Tantra-Mantra,” Journal of Hindu Studies (2013).

Free Community Offering: Elements in the World: The Witness and Yoga by Dr. Chris Chapple
YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Thursday, March 13th, 9:00 a.m.

Samkhya philosophy lies at the core of the religions of India.  Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all rely upon the articulation of the reality as articulated by this ancient and timely tradition.  In this series of lectures (combined with asana and pranayama) we explored how the witness consciousness is served by the dance of material reality, and how that dance can bring one to freedom. This specific workshop, which was be taped for future streaming, addressed the following themes:

* The Art of the Contemplative Gaze
* Engagement in the Dance
* The Samkhya Karika: Philosophical Proofs for Manifest Reality
* The Samkhya Karika: Philosophical Proofs for Witness Consciousness
* Earth, Water, and Fire in the Yogavasistha
* Air, Space, and Freedom in the Yogavasistha

Each theme involved movement and was linked with asana.  

 Free Community Offering: Spiritual Accountancy and Yoga by Dr. Chris Chapple

YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Friday, February 28th, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

This workshop, which was taped for future streaming, focused on the Samkhya Karika and addressed the following themes:

* Introduction to the basic concept of witness consciousness (purusa) in relation to the realm of activity (prakrti)
* Bridge between worlds: the role of Buddhi
* The bridge into the ego: how the role of karma shapes identity
* From mind into the world: connecting with body and senses
* Physically, gross and subtle
* The human body, sensory and active

Each theme involved movement and was linked with asana.

Free Lecture: Exhibiting Yoga: The Art of Transformation, History, and Practice with Dr. Debra Diamond
University Hall McIntosh Center, Wednesday, February 26th, 8:00 p.m.

This evening featured a special photo illustrated talk by Dr. Debra Diamond on the Smithsonian exhibit: Yoga: The Art of Transformation. By March, the exhibit will have traveled to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and will be on view until May 25. 

Dr. Debra Diamond received her Ph.D in South Asian art history from Columbia University (2000) and has published numerous articles on Indian and contemporary Asian art. Diamond is a specialist in Indian court painting, and is currently planning exhibitions on Mughal masterpieces in the Freer and Sackler collections (2012), the visual culture of yoga (Yoga: The Art of Transformation, 2013) and the Freer Gallery’s portrait of Mumtaz Mahal (2014). In 2010, Diamond received the Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize for the Gardens and Cosmos: Royal Painting of Jodhpur exhibition catalogue. 

Free Exhibit: The Circuit: From Mother India To the Roof of the World by Hunter Joslin
Hannon Library level 3, Wednesday, February 12th, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

The closing reception for The Circuit was a success. Attendants had the opportunity to meet the photographer and celebrate his work. The auction raised $3,313 and all proceeds were donated to graduate scholarships for the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies. To view more of Hunter Joslin's work, please visit

Special Event: Quantum Theory, Cosmology and Ecology: Consciousness Uniting All 
St. Roberts Auditorium, Wednesday, February 5th, 3:00-4:15 p.m.

Menas C. Kafatos is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University. This event discussed how the dialogue between science and spirituality is at crossroads: The old divisions, which allowed separate developments and evolution over the last several centuries in the West, are leading to impasses on many fronts. I claim that one common element which unifies everything is the underlying consciousness, the rock on which both science and religion must ultimately be built and were in fact built in the past and in many schools of thought in both the East and the West. Science, in particular, through developments in quantum theory, cosmology and brain science, is opening the door to common principles which reveal fundamental workings of consciousness. The non-local and entangled characteristics of the quantum universe are not some weird and uncommon phenomena but manifest through the fundamental principles at every level of experience. This realization may lead to an emerging observer-based science of consciousness that in its full rights will enable a meaningful dialogue with religion and lead to new fronts of development. The stakes are high. The piling challenges facing the next generations, not least of which is building a sustainable, ecologically friendly, modern society, cannot be addressed without a meaningful dialogue between science and religion and cannot lead to long lasting solutions if the old truths of perennial philosophies are being ignored.

Free Lecture: The Re-Emergence of Yoga
University Hall McIntosh Center, Monday, January 27th, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

This evening featured a presentation by David Gordon White, Ph.D., of the University of California, Santa Barbara. White is the J. F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religion.

Information Session: Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
Theological Studies Village: UHall 3700

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. 

The Master of Arts in Yoga Studies is currently accepting applications for fall 2014. In these special information sessions, attendants have the opportunity to meet with faculty members and students currently enrolled in the program. Frequently asked questions were answered on the following topics: Pre-requisites Class schedule Travel to India Scholarships Assistantships Application Deadlines 

Inaugural Celebration for the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
Loyola Marymount University, Saturday, September 28th, 1:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Festivities included: the US premier of, History of Yoga, the first ever film on yoga made in India, followed by a discussion panel; Asana and meditation classes led by esteemed local and international teachers; At Play with The Radiance Sutras, with Lorin Roche, Ph.D, and Camille Maurine; The Beatles’ Yoga: How the Fab Four’s Passage to India Enlightened the West, with Philip Goldberg, accompanied by Joey Lugassy and all-star band; Taco Trucks: Bollywood Bites, Green Truck, The Surfer Taco.

Vedānta: Its Many Manifestations Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, 2013; Loyola Marymount University, University Hall, St. Roberts Hall

This conference included sessions on the “Origins of Vedānta,” Tantra and Vedānta,” “Neo- Vedānta,” “Vedānta as a Master Template of Human Consciousness,” and “Vedānta and Yoga in into the Future.” The presenters were Jeffery D. Long, professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College; Rita Sherma, visiting professor of Hindu Studies at the University of Southern California; Sthaneshwar Timalsinha, associate professor of Religious Studies at California State University, San Diego; Paul Muller-Ortega, founder of Blue Throat Yoga; keynote speaker Karan Singh, member of India’s Parliament; Yajneshwar Shastri, emeritus professor Philosophy at Gujarat University; Makarand R. Paranjape, Ph.D., professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a nun at the Sarada Convent of the Vedānta Society of Southern California and the author of many books and articles on Vedānta; Alan Combs, the Doshi Professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies; Debashish Banerji, dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles; Philip Goldberg, founder of the Spiritual Wellness and Healing Associates in Los Angeles; and Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award Ceremony 
St. Robert's Hall, Loyola Marymount University, Saturday, June 15, 2013

Normally a separate event, the Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award Ceremony was conducted during the Vedānta conference this past summer. The Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions toward building bridges among peoples, cultures and disciplines. The 2013 award was given to Dr. Karan Singh, who embodies the ideals of the ward through his continued endeavors to improve international and interfaith understanding as a senior statesman, diplomat and scholar.

Ravi Shankar: A Life in Music
University Hall 1000, Tuesday, January 8th, 7:30 p.m.

Ravi Shankar (1920-2012) changed music history. We viewed the BBC documentary “Ravi Shankar in Portrait” and share remembrances.

Information Session: Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
THST Village UHall 3700, Saturday, Jan 12, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Free Lecture: Medical Benefits of Yoga by Dr. Doyle 
THST Village UHall 3700, Wednesday, February 6, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Doyle is a staff physician at US Health Works. He completed the YogaWorks Teacher Training in 2000 with Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford. He has achieved further studies in Yoga Philosophy at LMU and with Richard Freeman. He taught Yoga in LMU's Dance Department from 2008-2012 and will teach in LMU's Master of Arts in Yoga Studies starting in the fall of 2013.

Information Session: Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
THST Village UHall 3700, Saturday, Feb 9, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Free Lecture: Yoga Spirituality: Multiple Approaches by Dr. Christopher Chapple
THST Village UHall 3700, Wednesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Christopher Key Chapple is the Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at LMU and author of several books, including Reconciling Yogas and Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjali's Spiritual Path to Freedom. In 2002, he established the Yoga Philosophy Certificate Program through LMU's Center for Religion and Spirituality. Dr. Chapple is director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies.

Free Lecture: Buddhist Meditation and Yoga: Vipassana, Zen, and Vajrayana by Dr. John Thomas Casey
THST Village UHall 3700, Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. John Thomas Casey completed his graduate studies in Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the University of Hawaii in 1996 and has taught courses in World Religions, Buddhism, and Sanskrit studies at numerous colleges in Southern California since 2000, including Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, UC Irvine, and presently at Chapman University. He has taught many courses for the LMU Yoga Philosophy certificate program since its inception in 2002.

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