Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change

2019-2020 Workshop Series
Weekend morning workshops are open to the general public. Registration is open.

Concern for the welfare of the earth and all of its peoples can be an essential component of yoga, meditation and reflective practices. Often, yoga and meditation as perceived solely as internalized, individual practices. However, both can be undertaken and applied to a broader social context that encompasses and benefits the greater community. In this way, these practices can be utilized as technologies for social change and tools that embody the greater Ignatian ideals of Loyola Marymount University’s mission of service and whole person education for the sake of transformation and social justice.


Workshop Series

The Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change program welcomes the general public to attend any and all workshops during the Fall and Spring terms. These public workshops are facilitated by leading scholars, activists and yoga practitioners. View calendar here.


Certificate Program

Yoga, meditation and reflective practices have a compelling history as agents of social change. M.K. Gandhi’s non-violent resistance movement, rooted in yogic principals, inspired civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as the anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. In the present day, yoga and meditation continue to be socially transformative practices. The Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change professional certificate program explores these practices as tools for social change. It develops a foundation of knowledge and application that will facilitate yoga practitioners and teachers as they apply the practices to socio-ecological service opportunities including:

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

The program is designed to offer participants an immersive experience. Students interact with leading experts from each field, and engage in topic-related experiences and projects intended to enhance the practicable application of each topic. Throughout the course, students have opportunities to reflect on  these themes and experiences as they pertain to each student’s individual practice. A complete list of topics, lecturers, and class meeting locations can be found below in the program 'Schedule'.

Who Should Participate

This program is designed to accommodate yoga teachers and practitioners from all backgrounds. The only professional certificate program of its kind, this workshop series avails to the public the opportunity to engage in comprehensive reflection about the social role of yoga and meditation, filling an important need as the number of service-oriented yoga and meditation practitioners continues 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.

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 coordinator directly (listed below under 'Faculty').

  • Registration + Fees

    Begins: September 14, 2019

    Enroll: Enrollment via the online course catalog or by phone at 310-338-1971

    Course: YMSX 800

    Tuition: $1,990 | Tuition payment plans are available. Please contact Academic Services in LMU Extension at 310.338.1971 to make arrangements.

  • Schedule

    Classes meet one weekend (Saturday and Sunday) a month during the Fall and Spring semesters, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each meeting. Morning lectures are open to the public as workshops. Classes meet on the following weekends:

    • September 14-15, 2019
    • October 12-13
    • November 9-10
    • December 7-8
    • January 11-12, 2020
    • February 15-16
    • March 21-22
    • April 18-19
    • May 16-17
    • June 20-21

    LMU Westchester Campus
    1 LMU Drive
    Los Angeles, CA 90045

  • Faculty



    • Kathy Bingham
    • Bill Brown
    • Julie Carmen
    • Kimberly Dark
    • Sarah Herrington, M.F.A.
    • Veena Howard, Ph.D.
    • Hala Khouri
    • Jay Kumar, Ph.D.
    • Mark Lilly
    • Raja Michelle
    • Arjuna O'Neal, M.B.A.
    • Swami Omkarananda
    • Joseph Prabhu, Ph.D.
    • Curtis Takada Rooks, Ph.D.
    • Maureen Shannon-Chapple
    • Eric G. Strauss, Ph.D.
    • J. Cole Thomas
    • Felicia Tomasko
    • 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.