Loyola Marymount University

University Hall
1 LMU Drive, Suite 2800
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Telephone: 310-258-8700
Website: bellarmine.lmu.edu/yoga/

Description of Organization

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) understands and declares its mission to be: the encouragement of learning, the education of the whole person, the service of faith and the promotion of justice. The University offers 38 master’s degrees, one education doctorate, one juris doctorate and 15 credential programs. The Master’s of Arts in Yoga Studies program is designed to meet the needs of Yoga teachers and students who wish to enhance their training and improve their competencies.

The primary goal of the Master’s of Arts in Yoga Studies program is to provide students with the tools needed to succeed in the practice and teaching of Yoga. The program is designed to produce leaders in the field of Yoga, equipped to open centers and studios for the study and practice of Yoga, to teach Yoga classes and to conduct trainings for Yoga students.

The program’s curriculum enhances the students’ understanding of the theory and practice of Yoga by offering courses on the complex history of Yoga, its primary classical textual resources, its health benefits and its relationship to various forms of spirituality. Students will learn the contemplative, meditative aspect of Yoga and a range of styles of Yoga from Sivanananda to Krishnamacharya to Self-Realization Fellowship to Bikram to smaller lineages. They will also gain a deeper understanding of the connection between Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Yoga.

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women in Buddhism grant was awarded to support a multi-part podcast and an open public event titled, “What Would Green Tara Do: Confronting Systems of Oppression through Women’s Leadership.” The podcast and event investigates women’s contributions to the world of Buddhist philosophy and Dharma traditions. A different woman leader will be interviewed each month. LMU’s annual Yoga Day will feature these speakers in conversation with one another on the LMU campus.

The podcast – (6 to 8)-part series of 40min interviews with scholars and industry leaders. Podcast release dates: every third Tuesday, April through November 2024. This podcast explores Buddhist teaching, practice, and philosophy as they align with topics of social justice, particularly as such issues are relevant to the interests and needs of enhancing the lives of all women. Each episode introduces an influential Buddhist teacher practitioner and then engages with them through conversation and practice in order to investigate how their teaching and work advances goals that include equity, justice, and diversity, and the pursuit of spiritual resilience and wellness.

The event — takes place on Yoga Day, Saturday, November 2, 2024.

In 2022, a grant in the amount of $19,500 was awarded to Wellness Support in Higher Education and in the Community: Meditation and Yoga. This multi-faceted grant allows the LMU Yoga Studies programs to move forward into the overall area of Wellness Support. Past LMU YGST programs developed with support from the Lenz Foundation have identified community needs in several areas that are currently being served by LMU faculty, students, and alumni, including work with incarcerated persons, people in transitional housing, the elderly, schoolchildren, undergraduate students, and more. This grant enables LMU to expand its offerings on several fronts, including exploration of new grant relationships, additional programming, and a developing partnership with LMU’s Graduate School of Education. Additionally, this grant  supports the development of new digital offerings and foster a community of teacher-leaders of Asian origin.

In 2021, a COVID-19 Operational Grant of $12,500 was awarded to Loyola Marymount University to support the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies program’s Clinical Professor of Yoga and Health. The COVID-19 Impact:  Due to COVID-19, LMU was unable to re-open its campus for the Fall 2020 Semester. Consequently, they incurred a revenue shortfall, due in large part to the loss of revenue from student housing. Budget cuts were instituted, including the reduction of operating budgets; the suspension of retirement contributions for all employees; executive pay cuts; budget reductions for managers of schools, colleges and other divisions; and staff layoffs and furloughs. 

In 2019, a grant in the amount of $10,000 was awarded to support the position of a Clinical Professor of Health Science and Yoga, expanding the post from part-time to full-time. The funding enabled the Clinical Professor position to: 1) expand the M.A. in Yoga Studies program’s Yoga Therapy track, with its focus on science, medicine and wellness; and 2) fully implement and oversee the Post-Graduate Yoga Therapy (PGYT) Certificate program within the master’s program. The expansion of the master’s program’s Yoga Therapy track included new courses, and the full implementation of the PGYT Certificate program included an extensive offering of community outreach for students in the Yoga Therapy track, allowing them to work in internships to refine their delivery of Yoga Therapy while simultaneously providing Yoga and meditation to communities in need. The grant enabled the M.A. in Yoga Studies program to accommodate increased interest in the growing field of Yoga Therapy, and to ensure that the program continued its role at the forefront of this new area.

In 2013 and 2014, a $5,000 grant was awarded to support scholarships for students seeking to attend the Master’s of Arts in Yoga Studies program.