Female Yoginis

Master of Arts (MA) in
Yoga Studies

Naropa's 1974 inauguration was marked by Ram Dass teaching the Yogas of the Bhagavad Gītā to over one thousand students, and we've remained dedicated to yoga studies ever since. The Master of Arts in Yoga Studies is one of only two such yoga degrees in the country.

Female ascetics (yoginis) in Rajasthan circa 1730-1740. Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Public Domain

The Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Naropa will do more than teach you how to become a yoga instructor or earn your yoga certificate. Designed for yoga teachers, experienced practitioners, and passionate enthusiasts, this yoga degree offers rigorous training in the history, practice, and philosophies of yoga’s major lineages. 

During your three years in this low-residency master's program, you'll immerse yourself in yogic forms of meditation, study Buddhist and Indo-Tibetan religious traditions, and unveil the knowledge in Sanskrit texts. 

Through engaging online courses and two residential yoga retreats held in Boulder, Colorado, you'll build community and gain a deep knowledge of yoga that transforms your practice and your life.

Quick Facts

  • 43 Credit Hours
  • 18 Days Spent in Intensive Yoga Retreats
  • 3 Transformative Years


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Graduate Student International Student



in Yoga Studies

Begin your journey towards becoming a yoga master with the master’s degree in yoga studies at Naropa. You’ll gain advanced expertise in yogic studies, achieve linguistic proficiency in Sanskrit, and become a culturally conscientious steward of yogic traditions. 

Upon graduation from the yoga studies program, students will be prepared for doctoral research in South Asian religions, Indian yogic traditions, and Indology. They may also choose to pursue careers that bring the creative, transformational practice of yoga to communities across the world. 

Courses in the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies include:

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You’re already a yoga practitioner or yoga teacher. Now, become a yoga scholar at the first university in the United States to offer an accredited Bachelor of Arts in Yoga Studies and a Master of Arts in Yoga Studies for seasoned practitioners.


Earn Your Yoga Degree From Anywhere in the World

If you’re an experienced yoga practitioner, typical yoga teacher training programs near you may not satisfy your desire to dig deeper into the complexities of yogic tradition. Or perhaps you’ve already earned a yoga certificate but want to match that credential with a scholarly background in Asian religions. You can now experience Naropa’s yoga studies program, which is rooted in both yogic practice and the study of yogic tradition, from anywhere in the world. 

Over three years, you'll follow a compelling online course of study that allows for the obligations of work and family life. Two residential retreats at the beginning of your first and final years will bring your yoga studies to life in a community of faculty and fellow practitioners.


Embrace Contemplative Practice

In keeping with Naropa's tradition of contemplative education, the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies is rooted in meditation, introspection, and deep engagement with mind, heart, and body. 

Your yoga degree from Naropa will include training in meditative practices drawn from the yogic systems of the Yogasūtra, Śaiva tantra, Haṭha yoga, and Vedānta. These contemplative practices, combined with your study of Sanskrit, will equip you with a new language, one that allows you to more fully express your authentic self through the practice of yoga.


Study With Accomplished Faculty

The Naropa yoga studies faculty are accomplished scholars of yoga who are committed to contemplative pedagogy. As educators whose lives have been heavily steeped in Indian culture and tradition, they are adept at approaching modern yoga through the lens of Buddhist and Indo-Tibetan history. 

Whether you’re meeting online or in person, your professors are dedicated to building community through thoughtful lessons and authentic discussion. They are committed to sharing both the complex theories of yogic philosophy as well as the sense of wonder that accompanies the practice of yoga. While you may be studying from home, your yoga degree will be an unforgettable journey of community, connection, and growth.


It is important to cultivate discernment in the sense of a historical awareness: the ability to discern many different streams in yogic traditions, and understand their fundamental orientations, outlooks, and practices. This allows us to realize the integrity of each lineage. And thus when we draw from that lineage, we gain greater access to its transformational power.
Ben Williams, PhD, Assistant Professor, Yoga Studies
Nataraja Kallio & Ben Williams: Reining in the Wild Mind - Yoga Traditions and Studies




The yoga program at Naropa gave me the tools to truly build myself towards my maximum potential. My vision for the future would not be possible without this program, and I look forward to seeing how yoga will show up in every moment of every day.
Nolan Wilder, BA in Yoga Studies, 2016



Careers in Yoga

Discover careers in yoga studies, creative entrepreneurship, sociology, and more.

Contemplative Practice

Deepen your meditation practice and become a self-aware yoga practitioner.

Strong Foundation in Yogic Philosophies

Gain an understanding of the traditions and religions behind yoga's teachings.

Proficiency in Sanskrit

Access Sanskrit texts that transmit invaluable teachings on yoga.

Knowledge of Yoga’s Various Lineages

Understand the origins and teachings of different streams of yogic tradition.