Wednesday Night Lecture Series

Wednesday Night Lecture Series

Join the LMU Graduate Yoga Studies community for a series of free talks, open to the public.

  • "White Utopias: The Religious Exoticism of Transformational Festivals"

    Lecture by Dr. Amanda Lucia

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020
    7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PDT

    On Zoom


    In White Utopias: The Religious Exoticism of Transformational Festivals, religion scholar Amanda Lucia supplies a detailed account of the religious practices of communities of the “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR). For nine years of ethnographic research, Lucia followed yoga practitioners through the transformational festival circuit and analyzed both yoga classes and transformational festivals as important educational spaces for disseminating contemporary spiritual values. In this talk, Lucia focuses particularly on the practice of yoga and discusses the yogic field’s preoccupation with authenticity as a strategy of cultural appropriation. Lucia’s research analyzes various authenticating strategies and demonstrates their interdependence with the predominantly white demographics of yoga in the United States.

    Amanda Lucia is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California-Riverside. Her research engages the global exportation, appropriation, and circulation of Hinduism. She is author of White Utopias: The Religious Exoticism of Transformational Festivals ( 2020), Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (2014), and numerous articles. She is currently crafting a body of research on sexual abuse in guru-led religious communities.






    "Living Within a Universe Story"

    Lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker

    Wednesday, November 11, 2020
    7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PDT

    On Zoom


    We are being called to a new mode of being human in the age of the Anthropocene. We are discovering our role within a vast evolving universe that gave birth to us and that orients and grounds us. We are seeking ways to nurture ourselves and the life community in an age of disruption and diminishment.

    Inspired by Thomas BerryJourney of the Universe narrates the epic story of the unfolding of the Universe, Earth, and humans over billions of years. Our discussion will explore this Emmy Award winning film, book, and conversation series that can inspire transformative and healing change for a flourishing future.

    Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology where she teaches in an MA program between the School of the Environment and the Divinity School. With John Grim she organized 10 conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard. They were series editors for the 10 resulting volumes from Harvard. She co-edited Confucianism and Ecology, Buddhism and Ecology, and Hinduism and Ecology. She has authored with John Grim, Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014). They also edited Thomas Berry’s books including Selected Writings (Orbis 2014). Tucker and Grim published Thomas Berry: A Biography (Columbia University Press, 2019). With Brian Thomas Swimme she wrote Journey of the Universe (Yale 2011) and was the executive producer of the Emmy award winning Journey film that aired on PBS. She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee and was a member of the Earth Charter International Council.


    Wednesday Night Lecture 2020 - Mary Evelyn Tucker Headshot
  • An Evening with Dr. Farah Godrej

    Please join us from 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

    More information to be announced.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Graduate Yogo Studies Logo




    An Evening with Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa

    January 29, 2020

    Dr. Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa is a kundalini yoga therapist who will speak on the Psychology of Health Recovery.

    Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, PhD, C-IAYT, YACEP aligns the ancient teachings of Kundalini Yoga with modern medicine as Founding Director of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology. Under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan she developed and directs the 3-year 1,000 hour IAYT accredited International Kundalini Yoga Therapy Professional Training.


    Headshot of Shanti Shanti Kaur smiling and wearing a white turban and white clothing. 

    Artist with a Camera: An Evening with Robert Sturman

    November 13, 2019

    Lecture by Robert Sturman

    A dedicated yoga practitioner, photographer Robert Sturman has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana in his work. His stunning repertoire runs the gamut from yogis perched on rocks surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, to African orphans practicing yoga in Kenya, to breast cancer survivors, bare-chested and scarred. In addition, Sturman has worked extensively photographing war veterans who have embraced the practice of yoga to heal PTSD, in an effort to help change the heartbreaking statistics of veteran suicides each day.

    Sturman's honors include Official Artist of the 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards, 2010 FIFA World Cup Artist Representing America, and Official Artist 2008 United States Olympics. Sturman has been the subject of two separate New York Times articles celebrating his photographs of yoga from around the world.



    Photo of a fire responder in fully uniform practicing yoga and holding side plank pose. 

    Teachings of the Sages: Living Purposefully, Dying Gracefully

    October 16, 2019

    Lecture by Swami Ma Radha Bharati, a disciple of Swami Rama, Swami Veda, and the Himalayan Tradition

    Since 1970, Swami Ma Radha Bharati has studied, practiced and taught the principles of the Himalayan Tradition throughout the world. She has served as founding counsel and director of the Gurukulam at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, and frequently guides the participants of silence and sadhana retreats. She holds an MA and has done Ph.D. work in comparative philosophy and ethics.

     Photo of Swami Ma Radha Bharati sitting in a garden.