MA in Yoga Studies

LMU is now offering a Master of Arts in yoga studies – the first program of its kind in the United States – and celebrated with an inaugural celebration on Sept. 28.

Tracy Sachs, a graduate assistant in the yoga studies program who helped plan the events, said the purpose of the day was “to celebrate the groundbreaking program and celebrate this amazing thing that has brought yoga into the university setting.”

The Master of Arts in yoga studies is aimed at students who are looking to further their knowledge in the practice of yoga as well as the tradition. According to Jeri Joregenson, a current student in the Masters program, the curriculum includes the philosophy of yoga, philosophy of religions, yoga in historical and neurological contexts and a summer program in India.

Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and the Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga studies, created the program and recruited for it.

“We all come from different backgrounds, but we’re drawn in somehow,” said Angela Saucedo, another student in the program.

Dava Schatz, a student in the program who also instructed a yoga class at the event, commented on Chapple’s teaching.

“Dr. Chapple is a rare teacher who has both the practical and theoretical sides of yoga,” he said.

The event included two separate sessions of yoga and meditation classes guided by students in the Masters program as well as some of the country’s leading yoga instructors. According to Schatz, the turnout was overwhelming, with over 30 people at different classes.

“We are so excited to see people here to practice,” she said.

The event followed with a premiere of “History of Yoga,” the first film on yoga made in India, and a discussion panel. Food trucks and people flooded the area around Burns Recreation Center for a celebratory dinner. For entertainment, performances included “At Play with The Radiance Sutras,” a dance and spoken word performed by Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine and “The Beatles’ Yoga,” a combination of audio, video and live music to celebrate The Beatles’ trip to India in 1968.

“Yoga is here whether we wish to accept it or not,” Schatz said. “Scholastic work legitimizes what we do as yogis,” Schatz said. “It is important to have this program and for [LMU] to be the house for it. Today is a symbol of that.”

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