Masters of Arts in Yoga Studies

Masters of Arts in Yoga Studies

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

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





  1. Graduates will gain knowledge of the Sanskrit language and the history and philosophy of Yoga traditions.
  1. Graduates will understand the human physiological experience from Western and Yogic perspectives.
  1. Graduates will understand the effects of Yoga practices on the human body.
  1. Graduates will gain and apply knowledge of the spiritual and ethical dimensions of Yoga.
  1. Graduates will understand modern Yoga in the context of historical and sociological developments. 
  1. Graduates will demonstrate effective research, evaluation, and writing skills on focused topics in Yoga.


Yoga Studies graduate students will enter each summer or fall as a cohort and take all classes with each other. This format allows for support and connection as students progress towards their degree. 


Residential track | 2-years | Must reside in Los Angeles or surrounding area |
Hybrid, Low-residency track  | 3-years | Global accessibility |


Each MA student is required to take one certificate through LMU extension as a pre/co-requisiste to their MA program. Offered through LMU extension, the University provides a selection of certificates in Yoga studies which are open to the public. Topics range from Yoga Therapy to YogaEd/Yoga in Schools to Yoga, Mindfulness Social Change and Philosophy courses. Each summer master teacher Ramaswami visits campus to teach in the Krishnamacharya tradition, and twice a year the university offers 200 hour teacher trainings called Yoga and the Healing Sciences. Please view the for more information.


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

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

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