Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change

Yoga and meditation are often perceived as solely internal, individual practices. Yet these practices can also be undertaken to promote positive social and personal developments that benefit the greater community. The concern for the social welfare of both the world and its people is essential to the practice of Yoga, and to the greater Ignatian ideals of Loyola Marymount University’s mission of service and whole person education for the sake of transformation and social justice.

Historically, Yoga and meditation have been instrumental in facilitating social change. Gandhi's non-violent resistance movement, rooted in Yogic principals, later inspired Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., and anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela. Today, Yoga and meditation continue to be socially transformative practices.

The Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change professional certificate program offers Yoga practitioners and teachers an opportunity to explore these various socio-ecological service applications for Yoga and meditation in regard to the following topics:

  • Ecology
  • Neuroscience
  • Families, parenting, and children
  • Global Peace
  • Addiction and Recovery
  • Prisons
  • Schools
  • Diversity
  • Gandhi, Yoga, and Social Change

Who Should Participate

This program is designed for Yoga teachers and practitioners of varied backgrounds. Being the only professional certificate program of its kind, it makes available to the public a comprehensive reflection of the social role of Yoga and meditation, filling an important need as the numbers of service-oriented Yoga and meditation practitioners continue to grow.

Program Benefits

This program will provide practical skills and essential knowledge to Yoga practitioners and meditators who want to translate their personal practices into socio-cultural and ecological activism. Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the neuroscience of meditation
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ecological issues
  • Demonstrate knowledge social justice challenges
  • Equipped to apply Yoga and meditation in various contexts for social change

Following the guidelines outlined by Yoga Alliance®, this 100-hour program may be used to supplement other teacher trainings, such as 800-hour Samata Yoga Teacher Training offered by extension instructor Larry Payne.

General Information

Course and program requirements, schedules and tuition are subject to change; and additional fees may be incurred for books and materials. Click here to review all policies prior to enrollment. For additional information, contact the Center for Religion and Spirituality at (310) 338-2799 or, or contact the program facilitators directly (listed below under 'Faculty').

  • Registration + Fees

    Begins: September 9, 2017 | REGISTER

    Course: YMSX 800

    Tuition: $1,950

  • Schedule

    Classes meet one weekend (Saturday and Sunday) a month during the Fall and Spring semesters, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. each meeting. Some classes are open to the general public as workshops (see Calendar of Events).  

    • September 9, 2017
    • September 10
    • October 28
    • October 29
    • November 11
    • November 12
    • December 9
    • December 10
    • January 27, 2018
    • January 28
    • February 24
    • February 25
    • March 17
    • March 18
    • April 21
    • April 22
    • May 26
    • May 27
    • June 16
    • June 17

    LMU Westchester Campus
    1 LMU Drive
    Los Angeles, CA 90045

  • Faculty



    • Kathy Bingham
    • Robert Birnberg
    • Julie Carmen
    • Louis Cozolino, Ph.D.
    • Nischala Joy Devi
    • Kimberly Dark
    • James Fox
    • Traca Gress
    • Sarah Herrington
    • Veena Howard, Ph.D.
    • Susan Kaiser, J.D.
    • Jay Kumar, Ph.D.
    • Mark Lilly
    • Marilyn McLaughlin
    • Arjuna O'Neal
    • Swami Omkarananda
    • Tommy Rosen
    • Angela Saucedo
    • Maureen Shannon-Chapple
    • Patty Shenker
    • Christiane Wolf, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Course Requirements

    Students must complete a total of 10.0 semester hours in coursework with a letter grade of 'B' or higher in each course to receive a certificate of completion. Please refer to the course catalog for required text, class meeting location, and other general information.

    Coursework: YHSX 800

  • Course Descriptions

    YMSX 800
    Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change
    10.0 Semester Hours

    In this course, students will explore various trends in Yoga and meditation, with an emphasis on discovering emerging areas of service, engagement, and social activism. Special attention will be given to the science of meditation, current ecological and social justice topics, and Yogic applications in various contexts for social change.