Back in the day, to be a yoga master you had to move to India, give up all your worldly possessions, and stand on your head for at least two hours a day. It’s nice that things have gotten simpler. Starting in September, Tai Sophia — the Baltimore-area “integrative health” academic institution — will offer a Master’s of Science in Yoga Therapy. Kinda makes me want to go back to school.
Okay, but of course an academic yoga master has to do a lot more than just meditate. Students in the program will get rigorous training in anatomy and physiology, as well as other biomedical systems. They’ll study the many ways that yoga can be used as therapy. And, of course, they’ll do yoga.
As an increasing number of health insurance plans offer partial reimbursement for yoga therapy under the umbrella of “wellness care,” these new American yoga masters, with their complex understanding of how the human body functions, are going to be in demand. And as far as I’ve been able to tell, Tai Sophia’s program will be the only one of its kind in the United States. (There are quite a few in India, and the Hindu University of America in Orlando offers a Master’s in yoga philosophy — but that’s a different thing.) The first batch of students will start at Tai Sophia this fall.