Yoga is a growing industry. From 2009 to 2016, employment in the yoga industry is expected to rise 27 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Most yoga professionals enroll in 200-hour certification courses accredited by the Yoga Alliance. However, growing demands for qualified instructors is increasing the level of education available for aspiring yogis to master’s degrees and even medical degrees.
Degrees in Yoga Philosophy
Few schools in the world have a master’s degree program in yoga. Most of those schools only offer degrees in yoga philosophy. Yoga philosophy includes topics such as the chakra energy systems; studies in raja, bhakti, jnana, and karma yoga; ayurveda; Hindu spirituality; and classes in Sanskrit, the Vedas and “The Bhagavad-Gita.” You can take graduate programs like these at the Hindu University of America in Orlando, Florida and the Bihar School of Yoga in India.
The word “asana” is a Sanskrit word meaning “meditative seat” and is an umbrella term that encompasses all of the yoga poses ever made. Graduate programs that specialize in yoga asanas are difficult to find. However, the Bihar School of Yoga and the S-Vyasa University, both in India, offer a master’s degree in yoga sciences. You can take the graduate program in the S-Vyasa University only after you finish its yoga instructor course.
Even medical and doctorate degrees in yoga asana and philosophy can be obtained in the U.S. and India. The Hindu University of America offers a doctorate program in yoga philosophy and meditation, as well as other yoga-related subjects, including a degree in Hinduism, Hindu philosophies, and Sri Aurobindo studies. S-Yvasa University also offers a doctorate degree in yoga and a medical degree in yoga and rehabilitation.
Graduate programs are expensive. However, you can take out a private student loan to pay for these programs, and most of the schools in the U.S. also offer payment plans. Colleges in India may be easier to fund because they use Indian currency. The S-Yvasa University, for example, charges approximately 30,000rs in tuition for its master's programs, which is only about $667 US dollars, according to coinmill.com.