Yoga Philosophy at LMU Extension
LMU Extension

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Yoga Philosophy
"By remaining deliberately ambiguous and non-dogmatic about ultimate theological issues, the Yoga tradition establishes itself as a positive proponent for individual spiritual development for persons of all religious backgrounds and creeds." —Christopher Key Chapple, Instructor


Register Online Today!‌Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yoke, join, or apply. Yoga is usually translated as union, for its methods and practices lead to a profound integration of body, mind, and spirit. The yogic ideal is to achieve complete freedom and authenticity by transcending the limiting structures of the ego-personality (the person we behave as on a normal day) and discovering the true spiritual Self within.

Yoga is a set of spiritual practices but in itself is not an institutionalized religion, per se. Hinduism is related to yoga through a common recognition of the Vedas as an authoritative source, and both Buddhism and Jainism share many of the core values of the Yoga tradition. But Classical Yoga is best understood as a system of spiritual practice, rather than a particular religion. The Yoga Philosophy professional certificate program provides a foundational introduction to these spiritual and philosophic traditions.

Who Should Participate

This program is designed for Yoga teachers and students of Yoga who have an interest in learning about the rich traditions associated with Yoga practice. These include Classical Yoga, various schools of Hinduism (Shaiva, Vaishnava, and various forms of devotionalism), Buddhism, and Jainism.

Program Benefits

Students who study Yoga philosophy have the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of Yoga. Students will be exposed to the language and root texts on Yoga which emerged from classical period of Indian history, which are foundational to the modern practice of Yoga in the United States. Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Appreciate and understand the historical and cultural context of Yoga
  • Understand and teach from the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, which continues to be revered by scholars and practitioners alike as the most coherent and authoritative outline of the fundamental principles of Classical Yoga
  • Value the root texts on Yoga in its original language

General Information


 This program is ongoing with
 courses offered each term.
    >Enroll Online

 Class Meetings
 (beginning Jan. 2015)

 Semester Hours

 YGPX 800
 YGPX 816
 YGPX 817
 YGPX 818
 YGPX 819
 YGPX Electives


 Materials + Books

 Laura Amazzone
 Christopher Key Chapple, Ph.D.
 John Hughes
 Pawan Johar
 Jay Kumar, Ph.D.

Course and program requirements, schedules and tuition are subject to change; and additional fees may be incurred for books and materials. Please check the Web site or contact the Center for updated information. Click here to review all policies prior to enrollment. 

Questions? Contact the Center for Religion and Spirituality at (310) 338-2799 or, or contact the program facilitator, Pawan Johar, at