M.A. in Yoga Studies - Residential

Residential Program

Pile of yoga mats outside chapel

The Residential Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program is a 2 year program. It provides the study of the Yoga tradition from multiple perspectives. Courses are formatted for in-depth engagement and discussion. The group experience in India allows for opportunities to integrate the in-class material. The program meets the needs of Yoga students and teachers alike who are seeking to enhance their knowledge of the tradition in both theory and practice.

Each fall semester a new class will be welcomed as a cohort. The cohort will continue through the spring, summer, and fall conclude in the following spring. Fall 2021 will welcome our ninth cohort!

Explore the residential program curriculum and certificate requirement below:

  • The total time to complete the residential M.A. in Yoga Studies track is 21 months and amounts to 36 graduate level credits. In addition to the following curriculum, all students must complete a certificate program as a pre/co-requisite to graduation.

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

    • YGST 6015 Foundations of Yoga Studies (In person Intensive Mid to late August)

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

    • YGST 6010 Health Science and Yoga:

              An overview of anatomy and physiology from the Western perspective and Ayurvedic theories of the subtle body, health and wholeness.

    •  YGST 6005  Sanskrit I:

              This course provides the student with a foundational understanding of Sanskrit writing and grammar.

    Spring 1 | Nine semester hours

    • YGST 6020 Yoga Philosophy: Text and Practice:

              A close study and discussion of the Yoga Sūtra of Patanjali, The Bhagavad Gītā, select Upanishads, the Sāṃkhya Kārikā, the Yogavāsiṣṭha, and other classical literature.

    • YGST 6026  Sanskrit II:

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

    • YGST 6030 Hatha Yoga Texts:

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

    Summer | Six semester hours

    • YGST 6040 Buddhism and Yoga:

              Yoga's relationship with Buddhism will be explored with an emphasis on Vipassana, Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. *Offered summer session 1*

    • YGST 6041 Jaina Yoga:

              This course will study the Jain traditions of Yoga including Preksha meditation and its emphasis on nonviolence. This course will also immerse the students in Jainism through philosophy, ethics, cosmology, and art. *Offered summer session 2*

    Fall 2 | Nine semester hours

    • YGST 6025  Sanskrit III:

              In this course students will translate the sutras and commentary from Patanjali's seminal text, the Yoga Sūtra.

    • YGST 6055 Modern Yoga, Mindfulness, Social Change

             Yoga entered European and North American consciousness following Swami Vivekananda’s lecture at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893. In the 20th century, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Sivananda, Swami Krishnamacharya and many others introduced large groups of people to the principles and practices of Yoga. Buddhist meditation became popular in the mid-20th century through the work of Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzburg, and others. The course will explore this legacy and the effectiveness of these techniques in effecting Gandhian-inspired social change.


    • YGST 6082 Comparative Mysticism:

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

    Spring 2 | Three semester hours

    • YGST 6096 Writing and Research Seminar YGST 6096:

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

    *Students may take Yoga Therapy concentration courses in lieu of (2) elective courses: Sanskrit III AND Comparative Mysticism OR Modern Yoga, Mindfulness, Social Change.