Thinking about yoga school? How about getting your master’s degree? Now you can. Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles is the first in the US to offer an honest to goodness two-year masters degree in yoga studies.
A little pricier than your average 200hr training, $18,000 a year tuition at LMU ($1,000 a unit) will afford you the opportunity to learn how to read Sanskrit and to study the history, philosophy, physiology and anatomy of yoga and how it relates to religion and spirituality. In your second year you may even get to pilgrimage to yoga’s motherland India to “soak in the culture.” In other words, for a mere $36,000 you can fully immerse yourself in the utter dorkitude of yoganess and, when you’re through, officially call yourself a yoga scholar when looking for all those jobs out there for academics with a master’s in yoga studies.
Don’t get us wrong, we think it’s great that yoga is so darn popular nowadays that a university is offering yoga programs, and a private Roman Catholic university at that. Loyola Marymount has already been holding yoga teacher trainings, classes and workshops at its Center for Religion and Spirituality for over a decade as well as offering a Certificate Program in Yoga Philosophy. This move to making it a master’s degree is only the natural next step, according to Christopher Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at LMU and coordinator of the program.
“There’s over 20 million Americans that are practicing yoga on a regular basis. That’s more than Methodists and Presbyterians combined,” Chapple said. “So I don’t think it’s really anything that’s too wild and wacky anymore.”
The LMU yoga studies program lists only three faculty members (two of them part-timers) but we imagine there will be a lot of guest lecturers. It’s only a matter of time before the Sean Cornes and Sadie Nardinis of the yoga world add adjunct professor to their title.
“As yoga moves into the mainstream consciousness, increasingly we need people that are well qualified to teach yoga teachers and we have a number of school teachers in the program. I’m anticipating that there will be permanent full time positions at, say, community colleges,” Chapple said.
Is institutionalization the answer to yoga teacher training regulation?
There are 19 students currently enrolled in the program and a facebook page to show that, yes, this is really happening. And after your master’s there may even be an opportunity to explore your Yoga Ph.D.! Don’t worry, they offer financial aid.