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project:OM Spotlight - Schooled in Yoga with Sarah Herrington

project:OM Spotlight - Getting Schooled in Yoga with Sarah Herrington | The Manduka Blog

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) will host project:OM’s Los Angeles marquee event, on May 13th, 2017.

Powering through poses and searching for inner peace is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Yoga. Manduka Ambassador, Program Adminstrator of Yoga Studies at LMU and instructor, Sarah Herrington, shares with us what it means to offer one of the only master’s degree programs in Yoga Studies in the world, and what project:OM means to her.


How did Yoga Studies come to LMU?

The Yoga Studies program at LMU was the brain (and heart!) child of Professor Christopher Chapple, who teaches in the Theology department at LMU in addition to overseeing the MA. The program began as continuing education courses in Yoga Philosophy before growing into a full 2 year Master of Arts in Yoga Studies degree along with other related yoga certificates in topics ranging from Yoga Therapy to Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change.


What does it mean to receive a Master's in Yoga Studies?

Master's students learn to read and write Sanskrit, in part so they can have direct relationships with Yogic texts. They dive deep into philosophy, come to understand more about yoga's history and tie all this to where we are in modern yoga. Students visit India together and investigate how different spiritual and religious traditions, from Buddhism to Jainism to Hinduism, have intersected with the practice. Those with MA’s would go on to teach yoga in undergraduate institutions, develop teacher trainings, are pursuing PhD work, and are bringing yoga and meditation into underserved communities.


Were there any hurdles in being the first ones to offer these courses?

From concept to the actual MA took a journey of over 10 years! Because much of the Western practice of yoga often centers around asana or poses, the physical practice, sometimes we have to reframe what "yoga" means to those less familiar to include the philosophical, linguistic and historical aspects.


project:OM Spotlight - Getting Schooled in Yoga with Sarah Herrington | The Manduka Blog

What made you want to become a part of Project:OM?

I'm so passionate about the multiple ways in which yoga can heal us: mind, body and spirit, and support our evolving lives. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, and to support this important fundraising and awareness work with one of my deep loves, the yoga practice, was a natural fit.


How can yoga benefit those that are battling breast cancer?

Yoga is a practice that helps us to be comfortable with our bodies and the present moment, even if what is happening is otherwise very uncomfortable. Yoga helps us to know how, and when, to fight skillfully and how/when to release and soften. It helps us deeply befriend ourselves and accept what could otherwise feel unacceptable. It helps us listen to our bodies and uncovers joy even, amazingly, in hard times.


Any advice for those who, like you, are affected by someone who is fighting breast cancer?

Sometimes it can feel horribly selfish to take care of ourselves when someone we love is suffering. But in order to really be there for someone we have to fill our own wells, too. Take time for rest, good food, yoga and movement- and maybe have a space like therapy, writing or friend-talks for processing your own feelings. And remember to tell those you love how much they mean to you.

project:OM Spotlight - Getting Schooled in Yoga with Sarah Herrington | The Manduka Blog
















Sign up for the Los Angeles marquee event at LMU here, and to learn more about Sarah, visit her website.

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