UK's first degree course in yoga

Thursday 9 October, 2008

There are degrees in just about anything these days - so why not in the wide-ranging subject of yoga?


The not-for-profit organsation Yoga for Health and Education Trust (YHET) is launching the UK's first yoga foundation degree, kicking off in January 2009.


The part-time, 30 month Foundation Degree in Yoga Teaching course (run in conjunction with the University of Bedfordshire and subject to validation) will be followed by a BA Honours in Yoga Studies, beginning in September 2011. The first will be a pre-requisite for the degree course.


Modules will include ayurveda, the philosophy of Vedanta and the study of the effects of yoga on ageing.


Interest has been keen so far, a YHET spokesperson tells me, and will appeal to both existing teachers and for those who have had a regular yoga practice for the last two years and are keen to go deeper.


Like it or not, yoga is still seen by many as airy-fairy and esoteric. The YHET hopes a degree course will go some way towards correcting this.


The spokesperson adds: 'Yoga is becoming recognised by more and more health professionals as a route to wellbeing. This will be a widely recognised formal qualification.'


One of the yoga industry's challenges is the fragmented and variable nature of its training courses, which range from a distance learning courses, month-long intensives, and four year courses.


A degree has the chance to formalise and standardise this training and offer an instantly recognisable qualification - and one that does justice to the hugely involved subject of yoga.


I hope this course can do the above with flying colours - we'll be following its progress with interest.


More information can be found at:

Yoga for Health and Education Trust


Should yoga be a degree subject? What do you think? Do log in and leave a comment.


Lucia Cockcroft, editor



This sounds really good -

This sounds really good - anything that can help introduce some quality control into yoga is a good I thing I think.


However, I do have concerns that this could become the norm and an expected way that people would become a yoga teacher. I think that there is a lot to be said for spending time in an ashram environment, absorbing the atmosphere and being totally immersed for the duration of the course. The degree idea, surely treats becoming a yoga teacher the same as becoming a massage therapist, or a plumber or geograpy student etc .... which although there is nothing wrong with this, I wonder how rounded the students knowlege will really be at the end of the course.


I also wonder how it treats students with a particular leaning to style, be that Sivinananda, Ashtanga etc, or perhaps like the BWY, they go down the generic "hatha" route.


I am be very interested to see how this develops -



I have high hopes for this

I have high hopes for this course - there are some pretty good courses out there, many of which do not follow the ashram approach. The ashram is great for many, but not work for everyone.


I would like to think that a degree not only offers the student a fantastic opportunity to go into great depth with yoga philosophy, but also treats anatomy and physiology with the same amount of detail.


As someone that has been considering for sometime about doing some sort of teacher training - think this is definately worth looking at.




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