AcademicsUndergraduate AcademicsYoga Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Yoga Studies

Naropa’s Bachelor of Arts in Yoga Studies is more than a yoga teacher training and yoga certification program. Here, you’ll embrace yogic practice as a way of life. Be transformed on and off the mat at the nation’s first yoga university.

The first yoga class at Naropa University was taught in 1974 by spiritual leader Ram Dass. In a school bus converted into a camper, he spent two months preparing the course in the deserts of New Mexico and California. He not only immersed himself in the Gītā and its commentaries that summer, but even gave the inaugural lectures to a rapt audience of desert jackrabbits—a picturesque beginning for yoga studies at Naropa.

In subsequent decades, Naropa launched the Bachelor of Arts degree in Yoga Studies—the first bachelor’s degree in yoga offered in America. The program has been flourishing for the last ten years and facilitates a unique merger of contemplative and academic rigor.

Becoming a yoga instructor is often life changing. For students in Naropa’s yoga studies degree program, this is particularly true. You’ll spend four years delving into yoga’s history, literature, and philosophy. The methodologies of Hatha Yoga will come to life as you practice asanas, pranayama, and meditation. This is a yoga education like no other.

Yoga Studies

Quick Facts




Yoga Teacher
Training Certificate


The Language of Yoga
Credits in
Kim Fessenden head shot


with your counselor

Kim Fessenden

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Last Names Beginning with A–G

Jenna Priest head shot


with your counselor

Jenna Priest

Undergraduate Admissions Counselor

Last Names Beginning with H–Z

Courses You Could Take

in Yoga Studies

For students interested in the deep study of yoga, learning how to become a yoga instructor is only one piece of the big picture. Naropa’s yoga certification and degree program is dedicated to preserving the vast teachings of yoga, from its history and philosophy to its practice and methodologies.

The yoga studies curriculum covers the foundations of yogic practice, the history and theory of yoga, the science of human anatomy, Sanskrit language and literature, and more. Throughout your studies, you’ll engage in transformative yoga practice and an intensive yoga teacher training that results in your yoga instruction certification.

Courses in the Bachelor of Arts in Yoga Studies include:

The Naropa Difference

Studying yoga at Naropa is the closest thing in the United States to attending a yoga university. The modern mindfulness movement started on our campus, and the study of yoga is integral to our mission of contemplative learning.

Seasoned Faculty

The award-winning faculty of Naropa’s bachelor’s degree in yoga studies are distinguished scholars, historians, authors, world-travelers, and deeply committed practitioners of yoga. With specialties in Indian philosophy, world music, Buddhist studies, and more, our faculty can offer mentorship in a diverse array of yoga-related disciplines.

Your yoga degree and yoga certification will be supported by faculty who have decades of experience in helping students of yoga to thrive. They will guide you in academic study, contemplative practice, and mindful movement, infusing each lesson with the ancient wisdom of yoga.

Artistic Development

Graduates of Naropa’s yoga studies program will have both a bachelor’s degree and a 1,000-hour yoga teacher training certification. This certification meets and exceeds the Yoga Alliance certification standard of 500 hours.

In a community of like-minded peers, you’ll learn how to become a yoga instructor, studying the marriage of breath, movement, and consciousness in the yoga tradition. You’ll explore the chakra system, learn advanced breathing techniques (pranayama), practice meditation, and study anatomy and alignment in the human body.

You’ll graduate with plentiful experience as a yoga instructor, imbued with the knowledge and confidence to lead others in transformative, spiritually centered practice.

Careers for Yoga Studies Majors

Becoming a yoga instructor is a noble path, and many of Naropa’s yoga studies graduates become full-time yoga teachers. Others go on to open yoga studios, practice therapeutic yoga, lead yoga teacher trainings, engage in international social justice work, found businesses based on health and wellness, and earn advanced degrees in religious studies, psychology, the arts, and other disciplines.

The skills you develop in Naropa’s Bachelor of Arts in Yoga Studies are globally relevant and highly transferable. Our graduates know themselves and are motivated to discover the career path unique to their spiritual journeys.

Student Transformed

Student Transformed

What to Expect

Become a yoga teacher with the ability to demonstrate correct yogic form.
Learn the language and techniques necessary for successful yoga instruction.
Transform from the inside out through meditation and self-inquiry.
Discover a rewarding career as a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, or counselor.
Careers in
Understand the history and philosophy behind yogic practice and tradition.
Foundation in
of Yoga

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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