Orientation on September 8th. First Course Begins September 9th!
The teachings and practices of yoga are inspiring a deep transformation of human consciousness at the somatic, psychological and spiritual levels. Join us for this comprehensive adventure into the texts, traditions and practices of the yoga tradition.
Yoga Philosophy encompasses a range of texts and traditions, from the Vedas to the Yoga Sūtras, from Vedanta to Haṭha and Tantra. These texts and traditions teach and transmit a range of subtle contemplative practices that support and extend beyond the postural Yoga that is so popular today.
As yoga becomes increasingly popular in our globalized world, the need to immerse ourselves in the foundational teachings of yoga becomes fundamental to protecting the integrity of its most transformative practices. Our “Yoga Philosophy: Texts, Traditions & Practices” 300-Hour Online Training and Certification is an innovative program that is the first of its kind. True to Embodied Philosophy’s commitment to the synergy of knowledge and experience, we have curated a program that brings together a faculty of scholar-practitioners from both devotional and academic contexts.
This program recognizes that yogic contemplative practice is limited without the supportive framework of knowledge, and knowledge without the motor of practice is flat and disembodied. The program’s curriculum aims to balance a rigorous understanding of yoga philosophy with an embodied engagement of yoga’s subtle practices, including meditation, pranayama, chanting, creative contemplation and inquiry.
Over three trimesters, you will learn from some of the most respected teachers of yoga philosophy today, including renowned scholars and devotional leaders. You will receive guidance from faculty as you embark on a research project that will help you develop specialized knowledge of a topic of your choice. You will join us for a winter virtual retreat and a summer virtual immersion to deepen your knowledge and to connect personally with fellow students and faculty.
You Will Learn How To:
Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan
Krishna, Bhakti, Shakti
Yoga & Buddhism
Goddess Trad. / Shakta Tantra
Tantra & Goddess Traditions
Prana & Pranayama
Mary Reilly Nichols
Our program curriculum is designed to cultivate three core areas of competency that are necessary for a comprehensive and embodied understanding of the yoga philosophical tradition.
In Foundations Courses, you will discover the history, philosophy and fundamental concepts of the various yoga philosophy traditions.
In Text Courses, you will carefully read and explore the sacred texts of the yoga canon with faculty who have devoted their lives to deep study and practice.
In our Practice Courses, trainees will discover the many subtle practices of yoga that extend beyond the modern postural yoga paradigm.
Yoga History 1: Ancient - Tantrik Traditions
Foundations: Samkhya & Classical Yoga
Text: Yoga Sutras 1
Practice: Yoga Sutras 2 (Samadhi/Meditation)
Text: Bhagavad Gita 1
Practice: Bhagavad Gita 2 (Karma Yoga/Action)
Elective from our Course Catalogue
Text: Vedas & Upanishads
Practice: Traditions of Meditation
Yoga History 2: Tantrik - Krishnamacharya
Foundations: Goddess Traditions & Early Tantra
Text: Bhakti Poetry
Practice: Deity Yoga & Devotion
Elective from our Course Catalogue
Text: Shiva Sutras
Practice: Energy Body - Chakra, Prana, Pranayama
Yoga History 3: What is modern yoga?
Contemporary Ethical Debates
Yoga & Contemplative Science
Elective from our Course Catalogue
Elective from our Course Catalogue
At the beginning of the winter trimester, we will come together "virtually" (via zoom) for a weekend of talks, discussion and practice.
You will be guided by faculty on the initial proposal and first draft of a final project focused on a topic of your choosing.
The training experience culminates with a 5 day virtual immersion August 19 - 23, 2020.
*Summer immersion fees are separate
Yoga philosophy is first and foremost an embodied philosophy. It is not a philosophy of the intellect alone, but one that structures and grounds yogic practice. It aims to decondition the mind in a way that inspires a fuller experience of one’s true nature – an experience that might be considered divine.
People are often drawn to yoga as a fitness program or as a means to reduce stress. In the modern world, these are important facets of yoga that can inspire and uplift an individual’s life. This program offers the next step for those who have glimpsed the transformative insight that a physical practice can offer. It is designed to connect motivated practitioners to the rich history and tradition of yoga and the variety of goals that yogis have pursued over time, from practical health benefits to spiritual enlightenment.
Yoga philosophy is what is needed in the modern yoga community today – particularly in modern industrialized societies, where an emphasis on the physical has eroded our connection to more subtle, esoteric teachings and practices. Every yoga teacher and practitioner should be studying the texts and traditions of yoga, not simply because it honors where yoga came from, but because it enriches and expands the domain of yogic experience.
The program begins in September 2019 and lasts until June 2020, with a culminating summer retreat in August of 2020.
No. Some courses are live, while others have been pre-recorded. You will receive a full calendar of live sessions and a suggested timeline for when to engage with the pre-recorded content.
No. While we encourage your presence at live sessions so you can interact with the teacher, you are also welcome to watch the sessions on your own time according to your own schedule.
Unfortunately, no. Yoga Alliance requires that 270 of the 300 hours of its 300 hour designation be completed in the physical presence of a teacher. Because this program is entirely online, it is not eligible for RYT 500 Status. These hours are, however, redeemable as Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Credits (non-contact hours), because Embodied Philosophy is a YACEP, a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.
The primary homework will be to read and to practice your Sanskrit. You will also be required to complete a reflection assignment each trimester and a short quiz following each course. Your biggest piece of homework is the final project.
Yes. Select faculty will guide you on the initial proposal and first draft of your final project.
In the yoga studio world, you will not find a program as thorough and rigorous as this one. In the academic world, you will not find a program as dedicated to the laboratory of personal practice.
This is also unique about the program:
You do not have to attend the summer virtual immersion to complete the training, however to receive your certificate and to make the most out of your experience, the summer virtual immersion is required. If you are not able to attend the live virtual immersion, you may complete it the following year.
We wanted to keep the virtual summer immersion separate, as some will elect to participate in the immersion another year.
Yes, cases will be considered individually based on category and number of courses taken. Approved credits will be transferred to the program.
This training would be of quality whether you are a Yoga Practitioner, Yoga Teacher, Meditator, Healer, Therapist, Psychologist, Wisdom Seeker, Contemplative Facilitator, Meditation Teacher, Educator, Massage Therapist or Body Worker, Complementary & Alternative Medicine Professional, Clergy & Religious Leader, Wellness Professional, or a Citizen of Planet Earth Interested in an Awakened World.
This training prepares students to be able to give talks and workshops on yoga philosophy, but it will not prepare a student to teach the physical postures (known as asana). For this kind of training, you should complete a 200 Hour Teacher Training registered with Yoga Alliance at the RYT 200 Level.
Watch our Q&A Webinar in which Embodied Philosophy Director Jacob Kyle discusses "Why Study Yoga Philosophy?" and answers questions regarding the program's structure and content.
Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan is a cardiologist, award-winning author of Shakti Rising (New Harbinger, 2017) and The Heart of Wellness (Llewellyn 2018), teacher and Tantrika, initiated in the goddess path of Sri Vidya and nondual Shaiva Tantra. She blends her medical expertise with her knowledge of Yoga, Tantra, and the Direct Path in her teachings and courses. Her workshops, courses and writings on meditation, Yoga, Tantra, Ayurveda and non-duality strive to bring these time-honored traditions to modern living in practical ways. Her workshops, upcoming talks, past interviews and online programs can be found on kavithamd.com.
Katy Jane first discovered yoga and meditation after a near-death experience in high school which led her to live with a Brahmin family in Nepal where she was first exposed to Vedic Sanskrit. She then went on to study South Indian Carnatic music at Amherst College and classical yoga with many masters in India and the USA. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies (Vedic Sanskrit & classical yoga) from the University of California (Santa Barbara). An American Institute of Indian Studies scholar for Hindi and Bengali, she was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship for her master’s degree research in West Bengal and Bangladesh on the indigenous and Sanskritic cults of the goddess Kālī. During her two-year tenure in Calcutta, she was sponsored by the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture for Vedic Sanskrit studies and Vedānta. There she immersed herself in traditional adhyāyanam with her Vedic Sanskrit paṇḍita and a rigorous daily Vedic study. For her doctoral research on “enlightenment” within Vedic, classical yoga and Śrī Vidyā traditions (and embodied in place), she was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship. During her research year, she completed a full circumambulation of the Narmada River, interviewing her dissertation subjects along the way—countless pilgrims, bābās, sādhus and sādhvīs and yogins. In writing her dissertation, she discovered a more popular and less strictly academic voice. As a result, after serving as an assistant professor of world religions and Sanskrit at California Polytechnical University, Simpson College, the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Naropa University, she left academia to apply her knowledge of the Vedas, classical Yoga, Sanskrit and Śrī Vidyā to the yoga community. She teaches her signature course, Sanskrit for Yogis, (and in-depth courses on Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras, the Bhagavad Gītā, the principle Upaniṣads, Vedic chanting, among others) in many 200hr and 500hr yoga teacher training curriculums worldwide. She’s the author of Awakening with Sanskrit, Feeling the Shakti of Sanskrit, and Sanskrit for Yogis: An Introduction to Nāda, the Yoga of Sacred Sound. Presently, she serves as the director of yoga studies at the Dunagiri Retreat in Uttarakhand, India where she resides with her fiancé, teaches online Sanskrit classes and maintains a busy jyotisha (Vedic Astrology) consultancy. Learn more at drkatyjane.com.
Stephanie Corigliano is the managing editor for Tarka at Embodied Philosophy and adjunct professor in the Religious Studies department at Gwynedd Mercy University. Her 2015 Phd in Comparative Theology from Boston College focused on the use of the Yogasūtras within the Modern Yoga teaching tradition of T. Krishnamacharya and engaged the work of Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. to highlight the potential interdependence of devotion and detachment in spiritual practice. She recently published the chapter, “The Making and Unmaking of the Self: Patañjali’s Yogasūtra and the Experience of Trauma,” for the volume Thinking with the Yogasūtra of Patañjali: Translation, Interpretation, edited by Ana Funes-Maderey and Christopher Key Chapple. Stephanie is an authorized teacher of Ashtanga Yoga in the tradition of K. Pattabhi Jois and a daily practitioner since 1999. Mother of two active boys, she also maintains a 28 acre homestead in Northern California where she keeps bees and grows a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Jacob Kyle, MSc, MA, is a yoga asana teacher, writer, philosophy educator and the Founder/Director of Embodied Philosophy, an online educational platform for Eastern philosophies and contemplative practices. Kyle holds two Masters Degrees in Philosophy: an MSc in Political Philosophy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MA in the History of Philosophy from the New School for Social Research. His ongoing studies in Western and Eastern philosophies have included the study of the Yoga Sutras with Edwin Bryant and Tantrik philosophy with Christopher Wallis. He was initiated into Neelakhanta Meditation and has since then been enrolled in Blue Throat Yoga programs under the tutelage of esteemed Kashmir Shaivism scholar Paul Muller-Ortega, studying the texts and practices of the Trika Kula lineage of Kashmir Shaivism. In 2019, he commenced the SadaShivacharya meditation teacher training process with Blue Throat Yoga. To augment his yoga asana teaching practice, Kyle has completed over seven hundred hours of training and workshops with many master teachers.
Tias Little’s unique and skillful approach enables students to find greater depth of understanding and awareness in their practice, both on and off the mat. His approach to the practice is inter-disciplinary, passionate, intelligent, innovative and full of insight. Tias synthesizes years of study in classical yoga, Sanskrit, Buddhist studies, anatomy, massage and trauma healing. Tias began studying the work of B.K.S Iyengar in 1984 and lived in Mysore, India in 1989 studying Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Pattabhi Jois. Thus his teaching brings together precision of alignment, anatomical detail and a profound meditative experience.
Tias is a licensed massage therapist and his somatic studies include in-depth training in cranial-sacral therapy. His practice and teaching are influenced by the work of Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais and Thomas Hanna. Tias is a long-time student of the meditative arts and Buddhist studies beginning with Vipassana and continuing in Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. His teaching style is unique in being able to weave together poetic metaphor with clear instruction filled with compassion and humor.
Tias earned a Master’s degree in Eastern Philosophy from St. John’s College Santa Fe in 1998. Tias is the author of three books, The Thread of Breath, Meditations on a Dewdrop and Yoga of the Subtle Body.
Laura Amazzone, M.A. is a teacher, writer, intuitive healer, and initiated yogini in the Shakta Tantra and Sri Vidya traditions of India and Nepal. Her book, “Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power” explores how Durga and Her myriad expressions in ancient myth and contemporary ritual are a living, transformative power that is completely relevant to our daily lives—and a much-needed guide in these shifting times. Laura has published numerous articles within the fields of Hinduism, Tantra and Women’s Spirituality in many different encyclopedias, anthologies, journals, and online publications. She is currently writing a book on Durga’s collective form, the Astha Matrikas, and is also working on a collaborative book project on the Indus Sarasvati Culture with authors Vicki Noble and Miriam Robbins Dexter. Laura teaches online seminars and ritual classes offering authentic and undiluted lineage-based teachings, rituals and spiritual practices from Shakta and Shri Vidya lineages as well as over two decades of scholarship on Goddess, Her collective forms (8 Matrikas, 9 Durgas, 10 Mahavidyas, Lunar Nityas, Dakinis and Yoginis,) and the Shakta Tantra tradition. Laura leads pilgrimages to the sacred temples and shrines within the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal where she has focused much of her work. Laura’s scholarly research has been deeply enhanced and complemented through her spiritual studies and personal sadhana under the tutelage of Shri Vidya lineage holder and Master Yogini adept Uma-Parvathi Natha of Odiyana Pitham. For more on Laura’s work and offerings, visit LauraAmazzone.com.
Zoë Slatoff has a Master’s Degree in Asian Languages and Culture from Columbia University. She is the author of “Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga,” a Sanskrit textbook for yoga students, which uses extracts from classical yoga texts to integrate traditional and academic methods of learning the language.
She is now working on a PhD in South Asian Studies at Lancaster University, centering on a translation of the Aparokṣānubhūti, a text attributed to Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, which by integrating Yoga and Advaita Vedānta, teaches how āsana practice can actually help one transcend the attachment to bodily form and provide a vehicle for recognition of the Self.
Zoë has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 20 years. She teaches daily Mysore classes at her yoga shala in New York, Ashtanga Yoga Upper West Side.
Edwin Bryant received his Ph.D in Indic languages and Cultures from Columbia University. He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years, and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published six books and authored a number of articles on Vedic history, yoga, and the Krishna tradition. In addition to his academic work for the scholarly community, Edwin's Penguin World Classics translation of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, the traditional source for the story of Krishna's incarnation, is both for Indology specialists as well as students and those interested in Hinduism from the general reading public and the yoga community.
As a personal practitioner of yoga for 35 years, a number of them spent in India studying with traditional teachers, where he returns yearly, Edwin strives to combine academic scholarship and rigor with sensitivity towards traditional knowledge systems. In addition to his academic course load, Edwin currently teaches workshopson the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, and Hindu Philosophy at yoga studios and teacher training courses throughout the country. His translation of and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) is specifically dedicated to contributing to the growing body of literature on yoga by providing insights from the major pre-modern commentaries on the text with a view to grounding the teachings in their traditional context.
Dr. Christopher Key Chapple is the Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His research interests focus on the renouncer religious traditions of India: Yoga, Jainism, and Buddhism. He has published several books on these topics with SUNY Press, including Karma and Creativity (1986), Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions (1993), Reconciling Yogas (2003), and Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjali’s Spiritual Path to Freedom (2008).
He has also edited and co-authored several books on religion and ecology, including Ecological Prospects: Religious, Scientific, and Aesthetic Perspectives, Hinduism and Ecology, Jainism and Ecology, Yoga and Ecology, and In Praise of Mother Earth: The Prthivi Sukta of the Atharva Veda. His most recent books are Poet of Eternal Return and Sacred Thread.
Chris serves as academic advisor for the International Summer School of Jain Studies and on the advisory boards for the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale), the Ahimsa Center (Pomona), and the Jaina Studies Centre (SOAS, University of London). In 2002 he established the first of several certificate programs in the study of Yoga at LMU’s Center for Religion and Spirituality and founded LMU’s Master of Arts in Yoga Studies in the fall of 2013.
Sally Kempton is a master of meditation, yoga philosophy, and practical tantric philosophy. Her retreats and workshops are known for creating breakthroughs, born of her ability to help people turn sublime truths into lived, and life-shifting, experience. Sally spent 20 years as a swami in a Vedic order, and has been studying and teaching spiritual wisdom for 40 years. She is the author of Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga and Meditation for the Love of It, a seminal book on basic meditation practice, and writes the popular Yoga Journal column, Wisdom. Learn more at sallykempton.com.
Ramesh Bjonnes was born in Norway and lived for nearly three years in India and Nepal learning directly from the masters of Tantric yoga. Bjonnes is co-founder of the Prama Institute, a holistic retreat center outside Asheville, NC. He has practiced traditional Tantric yoga for over 40 years and has written extensively on Tantra, yoga, culture and sustainability, and his articles have appeared in books and numerous magazines and newspapers in Europe and the US. He is the author of three books on yoga; Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit: A Personal Guide to the Wisdom of Yoga and Tantra; Tantra: The Yoga of Love and Awakening and A Brief History of Yoga. Ramesh teaches meditation from the Yoga Sutras and the history of yoga to various yoga teacher trainings. He lives and teaches with his wife Radhika in an ecovillage in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
Marcy Braverman Goldstein, Ph.D. received doctoral training at University of California, Santa Barbara and in India, and has taught at UNC Charlotte, Davidson College, and The Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte. As founder of Sanskrit Revolution, Marcy teaches Sanskrit, history, yogic speech, and philosophy at studios and festivals nationally. Drawing from her academic background and 25 years of practicing yoga, she creates classes that illuminate the language and culture of yoga, deepen people’s knowledge, and inspire personal growth.
Swami Sarvapriyananda has been Minister and Spiritual Leader of the Vedanta Society of New York since January, 2017. Prior to that, he was Assistant Minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California for 13 months. He joined the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1994 and received Sannyas in 2004. Before coming to America, he served as an acharya (teacher) of the monastic probationers’ training center at Belur Math (the order’s headquarters in India); Vice Principal of the Deoghar Vidyapith Higher Secondary School; Principal of the Shikshana Mandira Teacher Education College; and first Registrar of the Vivekananda University. His presentations have become quite popular on YouTube. We spoke about Vedanta philosophy and his work as a representative of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda lineage.
Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian is a Cell Biology researcher currently studying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to cancer therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina, USA. He is also a Yoga Biology researcher, and is the Founder Director of PranaScience Institute. Sundar’s Yoga research has provided the first scientific evidence how Pranayama could stimulate alterations in the salivary biomarkers that have potential clinical applications in health and disease. He has authored a book titled “PranaScience: Decoding Yoga Breathing”. His recent audio album is “Chanting Is Pranayama”. This JC Bose Memorial Awardee’s work is well publicized through TEDxCharleston talk, Discover Magazine, New York Times, Huffington Post, and other popular media. Sundar grew up in Tamilnadu, India in a traditional Yoga and Siddha medicine practicing family background; and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Swami Chitbhavananda's Vivekananda Gurukula College in India where he deepened his Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, and Kirtan practices. He has been conducting workshops and giving talks on the scientific aspects of Pranayama globally. He is a member of International Association of Yoga Therapists, and the Integral Yoga Teachers Association, and he is an IAYT certified Yoga therapist (C-IAYT). He enjoys teaching what he learned from his research and practice through workshops, webinars and teacher training programs. His website is Pranascience.com.
Vanamali Mataji is a contemporary Hindu contemplative, teacher, and author. She lives in a small ashram in Rishikesh, an ancient place of pilgrimage in the foothills of India's holy Himalayas. Vanamali Gita Yogashram is a small ashram (spiritual retreat and place of aspiration) overlooking the sacred river Ganga in North India. Vanamali is another name for Lord Krishna. It means "the wearer of a garland of wild flowers." Mata or Mataji means revered mother. Mataji's birth name is Devi, Mataji is a great devotee of Lord Krishna. Vanamali Mataji is the author of The Lila Hindu World Heritage Library, which includes the books: Sri Krishna Lila, Sri Rama Lila, Sri Shiva Lila, Sri Devi Lila, Sri Hanuman Lila, Lilas of the Sons of Shiva. Vanamali has written a translation of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Nitya Yoga, a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, Gurudeva and The Taste Divine, a spiritual cookbook. Her titles are available worldwide through Inner Traditions Books. She is the founder and president of Vanamali Gita Yogashram, dedicated to sharing the wisdom of Sanatana Dharma and charitable service to children.
Neil Dalal is Associate Professor of South Asian Philosophy and Religious Thought at the University of Alberta, where he teaches in both the Philosophy Department and Religious Studies Program. He received his PhD in Asian Cultures and Languages from the University of Texas at Austin where he specialized in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy, and an MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dalal’s interests explore philosophy of mind, contemplative psychologies, and meditation practices found in classical South Asian Yoga systems. He grounds this research in classical Sanskrit texts and commentaries as well as their living traditions. Dalal’s current research focuses on the intersections of contemplative practices, textual study, and embodiment in Advaita Vedānta. He is the co-director of Gurukulam (The Orchard/Sony Pictures), a sensory-ethnographic study of a contemporary Advaita Vedānta community, co-editor of Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics (Routledge Press), and has published articles in venues such as the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Journal of Indian Philosophy, and Journal of Hindu Studies. Dalal is also a teacher within the traditional lineage of Śaṅkarācārya’s Advaita Vedānta. He spent several years living a monastic lifestyle in India while studying under the direct guidance of the renowned Advaita Vedāntin, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who gave him permission to teach in 2002.
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