LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 13, 2017 (LA Times): Ana Funes is a philosophy professor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). She sat under a whiteboard she’d filled with flow charts and Sanskrit. Her graduate students had just spent more than an hour examining the “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” a 15th century manual. Now they were eager to understand how the ancient text could be translated into physical experience. They were studying to earn a master’s degrees in yoga studies in the only university in the country where it is possible to do so. Forty-million people in America say they do yoga — twice as many as five years ago — but how many of them really learn about what it is and where it comes from? It’s an important area of study, says the practice’s few (but growing number of) scholars.
At LMU, studying yoga takes two years and is more in the books than on the mat. Five professors — two full time, three part time — lead about 30 students through numerous disciplines. Students study health sciences. They learn Sanskrit in order to read the “Yoga Sutras,” the “Upanishads,” the “Bhagavad Gita” in their original language. They grapple with Eastern philosophy and numerous Indian theologies.