UofSA Standalone Courses

Foundations in Yoga


One Semester

Course Tuition:

Limited Financial Assistance/Scholarships are available

General Admission Requirements:

Prospective students contact the admissions office for admission requirements.

This program does not require internship or externship.

Course Description

Ishan Shivanand

The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means ‘to yoke or join together’. The practice of yoga is about uniting the mind, body and spirit and finding oneness with oneself. Yoga brings together three important aspects of life: physical fitness, mental awareness, and spiritual development. Yoga was developed over many centuries in ancient India by sages. The first known record of yoga dates back to around 5000 BCE in the Indus Valley Civilization in India.

There are many different types of yoga depending on the needs of the practitioner. The most popular in Western countries are Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga which are both aimed at improving flexibility and strength in the body through postures (asanas).

Objective of the Program

  • To provide an introduction to Yoga and lay a foundation in Yogic Practices.
  • To introduce basic wellness principles and practices of Yoga to common people
  • To bring peace and harmony in the society at large by introducing the Yogic way of life

Course Outline

1. Introduction to Yoga

1.1. Yoga: Etymology, definitions, aim and objectives.
1.2. Yoga: Nature, scope and misconceptions.
1.3. Yoga: Its origin and development through ages (Vedic, Classical,Post Classical, Modern, and Contemporary periods)
1.4. Different Schools of Yoga (Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, Patanjali & Hatha)
1.5. Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali
1.6. Introduction to Hatha Yoga Practices
1.7. Pranayama and its importance
1.8. Role of Yogic relaxation & meditation methods in Health and wellbeing

2. General guide lines for Yoga Practitioners

2.1. Environment: Yoga Practicing Room / Hall / open space, Air flow, Temperature conditions, Sounds & music, Aroma, Yoga mat,Dress code,

2.2. Group Practices vs Individual Practices, Online vs Offline, Physical Activity vs Rest / Sleep

2.3. Diet: Concept and Principles of diet for a yoga practitioners healthy being

2.4. Special Instructions for Women, Special needs, Senior citizens, Health issues, Rehabilitation.

3. Yoga Practical

3.1. Prayer: Concept & Meaning
3.2. Preparatory Practices: (Micro Circulation Practices) Neck, Shoulder, Trunk, Knee, Ankle & Wrist Movements
3.3. Surya Namaskara: (Sun Salutations)
3.4. Yogasanas: Standing Asanas: Tadasana, Ardha Chakrasana, Padahastasana, Kati Chakrasana, Trikonasana, Veerabhadrasana
3.5. Meditation Asanas: Sukhasana, Vajrasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana
Sitting Asanas: Bhadrasana, Sashankasana, Ustrasana, Janu Sirshasana, Purvottanasana, Bhunamasana,Vakrasana,
3.6. Supine Asanas: Uttana Padasana, Pavanamuktasana, Sethubandhasana, Markatasana, Jhatara Parivarthasana
Prone Asanas: Bhujangasana, Salabhasana, Ardha Dandasana
Relaxation Asanas: Savasana, Makrasana, Mastyakreedasana
3.7. Significance of Hasta Mudras and their role in pranayama and meditation practices (Chin, Chinmaya, Brahma, Adi, Jnana and Nasika)
3.8. Preparatory Pranayama Practices: Sectional breathing (abdominal, thoracic, clavicular & Yogic Breathing)
3.9. Pranayama: Concept of Prana-Ayama, Puraka, Rechaka & Kumbhaka
3.10. Bhramari, Anuloma-Viloma / Nadi Shodana, Sheetali, Sheetkari
3.11. Relaxation Methods: 61 points, Yoga Nidra
3.12. Preparations and Practical guidelines for Meditation: Pranava Dhyana, Swasanusandhana (So-Ham)