The History, Literature, and Philosophy of Yoga (800-Hour Course)

“The finest and most comprehensive distance-learning course on Yoga in the world”

SUBJECT: This 800-hour distance-learning course on the history, philosophy, and literature of Yoga was written and designed by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., over a period of two years (3,000 hours!). The course is based on his widely read book The Yoga Tradition (2d revised edition, copyright 2001 or 3d revised edition 2009), which is used as a textbook in many Yoga teacher training programs. Since the late 1960s, he has produced a steady flow of writings, which have been acknowledged by leading thinkers for their high quality and dedication to making authentic Yoga accessible to Westerners. If you have enjoyed Georg Feuerstein’s various writings, you are bound to also enjoy this course and find it helpful. To view sample pages of our Study Guide, please click here.

PURPOSE: The course was designed (a) to deepen and broaden your knowledge of Yoga and (b) to assist your personal spiritual practice and inner growth at the same time. It will stimulate your thinking about Yoga and the Big Questions and also help you clarify your spiritual goals and/or motivate your daily spiritual practice. To this end, the homework also includes a number of simple practical assignments.

DESIGN: First of all, this being a distance-learning course, you can sit in the comfort of your own home to work through this 800-hour adventure. You will receive from us a typeset and illustrated 988-page manual (the size of 4 or 5 books; printed on recycled paper)—more than any other distance-learning program on Yoga known to us has to offer. If you choose to do the homework assignments, you are required to submit a total of eight questionnaires and two essays. All submissions are to be made by email, and your tutor will respond in the same way.

CURRICULUM: The curriculum for the distance learning course closely follows the contents of Georg Feuerstein’s The Yoga Tradition (2d revised edition, copyright 2001 or 3d revised edition 2009, 510 pages) but is both more extensive and in depth.

The 988-page Study Guide provided by TYS includes many additional essays and translations of Sanskrit texts in full or in part in order to round out the discussion of particular topics.

COURSE MATERIALS: In addition to the 988-page Study Guide that TYS will provide, you need to separately acquire only the following three additional items, which are all authored by Georg Feuerstein:

1. The Yoga Tradition, 2d edition (Hohm Press). Please make sure it is the second edition or a later edition!
2. Lost Teachings of Yoga tape or CD set (Sounds True)
3. Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy (Shambhala)

TIME FRAME: We have allowed up to three full years to complete this 800-hour course, but you are entitled to apply for an extension of up to one year. Judging from the feedback we received from our students, the course is challenging, but can be completed within a two-year period. To avoid pressure, some students opt not to do the homework assignments at all! Our suggestion is: Make the course a real Yoga experience and enjoy it, without worrying about the deadline.

HOMEWORK: Each of the 22 segments has homework assignments, but only 10 of them (8 questionnaires and 2 essays) need to be submitted to Traditional Yoga Studies. There also are many practical assignments (e.g., meditation, reflection, self-observation, service). Thus our distance-learning course involves body, emotions, and intellect, and also facilitates the important process of integration on the spiritual path.

FOREIGN STUDENTS: The course contains technical material and involves homework, including writing two essays, which means that students need to have competence in English. Our tutoring does not include help with the English language. We ask overseas students to please carefully appraise their level of linguistic competence before signing up, as no refunds will be possible.

CERTIFICATE: From our perspective, the spiritual insights gained from studying the course are more important, but most students rightly also would like to have a certificate for their efforts. So, yes, successful graduates (who have completed all homework assignments satisfactorily) will receive a TYS certificate of completion.

ACADEMIC CREDIT: We do not offer this option at the moment. Several of our early students, however, took the course for credit with Sonoma State University, California, and earned a whopping 18 academic credits for their course work, which indicates the high standard of TYS’s distance-learning course. We are currently exploring alternatives within Canada where we are now located.

COST: The basic fee for the distance learning course is $1,250 plus shipping for a binder containing the course information or $950.00 for the digital download version of the course (pdf), and the full amount is due when signing up for the program. Please note that dollar amounts are in Canadian currency.

SCHOLARSHIPS: We occasionally offer scholarships. Please contact us if you wish to be placed on a notification list.

PAYMENT METHOD: The course must be paid up front by either credit card, or by Personal Check (please contact us for details)

TAX AND CUSTOMS DUTY: Canadian residents are subject to GST/HST and/or PST on our educational materials. For foreign shipments, we will appropriately mark the customs declaration as “educational materials” and insure the package for the material value of the contents. Non-Canadian students may nevertheless have to pay a customs fee at their end.

REFUND POLICY: NO refunds will be made.


Who signs up for the course?
To date, well over 100 students have taken the course, and the first cadre of students graduated at the end of 2005. They come from all walks of life—from stay-at-home parents with a passionate interest in Yoga spirituality to Yoga teachers to university professors. Many people acquire the course simply as a useful resource, without wishing to submit homework. But those who choose to do the homework assignments are likely to benefit from the course not merely intellectually but also spiritually. You can read some of their positive comments by clicking here. For an academician’s appraisal, click here.

I am primarily interested in the practical side of Yoga. Will the course be beneficial for me?
We are often asked this question. The course does seek to transmit the depth of yogic wisdom and therefore calls for a fair amount of mental labor. HOWEVER, it includes practical assignments, mainly by way of numerous “For Reflection” questions, and many of our students have told us that these have made the course come alive for them and boosted their spiritual practice. If you are looking for an easy course, this one is not for you! You definitely are expected to work. BUT if you really want to know more about Yoga and also be challenged in your practice, you will not be disappointed.

Does this course qualify for continuing education credits with the Yoga Alliance?
You need to contact the Yoga Alliance directly. However, several of our students have been granted this option by them.

Do you offer workshops or retreats?
Our students are located all over the world, and for many it would be entirely impractical to travel long distances to attend a seminar or retreat. We believe that our well-designed course materials and tutoring are completely adequate to help you complete the course successfully.

What if I cannot complete the course in three years?
We discourage extensions but a one-year extension beyond the initial three years is possible, providing a continuation fee of $125 is paid. Students who do not file for an extension with TYS will be considered withdrawals, and TYS will assume no further educational or financial obligation in this case. We will not necessarily remind students that they need to file for an extension.

When can I start the course?
We enroll new students all year round.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: The terms stated herein do not constitute a binding agreement until we have accepted your application and received your payment for the distance-learning course.

Dated: March, 2011

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