LIVE Online
Yoga & Politics
– Holding the Essence of Yoga Teacher Training

Join Firdose Moonda, E-RYT 500 for this 12 hour, live online training to discuss the knowledge of yoga history and politics and question source materials, values and beliefs.

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Yoga & Politics – Holding the Essence of Yoga Teacher Training | Online


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Training Description

The personal, and the physical, are political.

That is not a statement to run away from, but one to embrace especially if you are interested in learning more about yourself, the world you live in and the interconnectedness of the two.

Just the fact that you’re reading this, on a device of some sort, thanks to an internet connection, puts you in a position of privilege many are denied. Does that mean you need feel guilty? Not necessarily. But an acknowledgement of our own positions are the first steps to going deeper into the layers of understanding of the self that a practice like yoga calls us to. By knowing ourselves, we learn to know each other and the communities and societies we live in; we engage with our own politics and those of the world around us and we become embodied in action.

While modern yoga has been positioned as an escape from the day to day tedium, the news cycle, and even our own thoughts, the practice – like everything – has always been intertwined with politics. In this 12-hour, LIVE online training led by Firdose Moonda, E-RYT 500, we will look at how yoga has evolved as a culture, through societies, time periods and continents. Over six weeks, we will consider what we think we know about the history of yoga; whether statements such as “yoga is for everyone,” have ever held true and how we can work towards making them a reality and examine ways to be respectful and responsible practitioners. Keep an open mind and let’s dive in.

You will take away:

  • Knowledge of yoga history and politics
  • Freedom and confidence to question and be questioned
  • The ability to think critically and analytically about source materials and beliefs

Training Details

This LIVE online 12-hour training will discuss the knowledge of yoga history and politics and create an environment where you can be curious and inquisitive about source materials, values and beliefs.

Course Overview

Session 1: Systems of Separation
A historical look back at the society in which yoga philosophy emerged. We will discuss the caste system, and the role of women and ask who theorized yogic ideas and who the intended audience was.

Session 2: The Intersection of Yoga and Religion
There is a perception that yoga and Hinduism are linked but what about other religious movements such as Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity? Is it possible to be spiritual but not religious?

Session 3: Colonization and Yoga
With liberation as one of the stated aims of yoga, we will look at how the philosophies were used in the fight for Indian independence, as well as other global freedom struggles, like the Civil Rights and Anti-Apartheid movements.

Session 4: Yoga Moves West
How did yoga cross oceans, with who and for whom? We investigate the seeds of what we know as transnational yoga today, complete with changing demographics and styles of practice.

Session 5: Cultural Appropriation and Appreciation and Hindu Nationalism
Recent years have seen growing conversations around who owns yoga and this is a deep dive into this topic. It will consider the meanings of appropriation and the harms it my cause and the converse reappropriation of yoga in India by the current government.

Session 6: What Does Yoga’s Political Future Look Like
As an evolving culture, yoga has and will change over time. In a world that is becoming more polarised and right-wing, what will yoga look like? And what could the effects of increasing advances in medical science, AI, and other technologies be on yoga?

This training has six, 2hr live sessions running every other week. Each session will begin with about an hour of lecture, followed by an interactive discussion to prompt deeper inquiry.

LIVE Sessions Schedule (8-10am PST | 9-11am MST | 11am - 1pm EST):

  • Tuesday, February 13th: Session 1: Systems of Separation
  • Tuesday, February 27th: Session 2: The Intersection of Yoga and Religion
  • Tuesday, March 12th: Session 3: Colonization and Yoga
  • Tuesday, March 26th: Session 4: Yoga Moves West
  • Tuesday, April 9th: Session 5: Cultural Appropriation and Appreciation and Hindu Nationalism
  • Tuesday, April 23rd: Session 6: What Does Yoga’s Political Future Look Like

We created this live format to help support our teachers with a more interactive format with discussions along the way. You can either attend the bi-weekly sessions live or you can watch the recordings to stay on top of the information as it progresses - recordings will remain available throughout the duration of the live training (but removed afterwards - you will have 45 days after Session 6 goes live to watch all the videos and pass the exam). Think of this as an online university course to guide and help motivate you to stay on top of your learning.

This yoga teacher training will count as 12 ‘in-person/contact’ hours towards your 500-hour/1000-hour Yoga Medicine certification. Directly following the last live session of the yoga teacher training you will be invited to take an online exam to receive your certificate of completion and training hours. These online training hours will also be recognized as 12 continuing education hours (CEUs) by Yoga Alliance.

For teachers dedicated to a higher standard of learning looking to deepen their knowledge.

The Yoga & Politics Teacher Training is a 12-hour advanced online training for everyone who is interested in yoga, on and off the mat. For practitioners, this course will provide deeper insight into the history and social context of the practice they engage in. For teachers, the material may be particularly helpful when referencing yoga philosophy and textual sources in classes and will offer ways to make sessions more inclusive, accessible and relevant to a modern audience.

Lindsay Roselle

500-Hour Yoga Medicine Teacher

“I'm continually impressed with the quality of Yoga Medicine programming, the dedication to real, usable education, and the hearts of the group of people that show up to each training. Each YM training has served me perfectly at that moment in my life, and I just want to express my gratitude again to you Tiffany and your team for your tireless commitment to creating exceptional experiences.”

Sophie Tashkovski

500-Hour Yoga Medicine Teacher

“There is no doubt that I have become a better teacher with each training I attend. YM trainings have fine tuned my understanding of anatomy, and helped me better understand how to help individual clients feel best in their bodies. I’ve also learned about my own body and how to treat it with kindness. YM trainings have changed my Yoga perspective-when I started as a Yoga student, I thought you had to push yourself at all costs to achieve a pose. Now I accept where I am on any given day and know that it might be different the next day.”

Firdose Moonda

E-RYT 500

Firdose is a South African of Indian descent, a yoga teacher, practitioner and researcher passionate about issues of decolonisation and social justice. She is currently undertaking doctoral work titled Yoga, Politics and Possibilities for Social Justice at the University of Cape Town. She holds a Masters degree on the Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and she is a registered E-RYT 500 teacher with Yoga Alliance. She also works as the Southern African correspondent for ESPN, where she reports on cricket in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and beyond, and she is the women’s editor-at-large at On the Whistle, an African football podcast.
Her teaching style is steeped in historical knowledge, cultural experience, socio political curiosity and practical application. In her classes you can expect historical and philosophical discourse zoning in on particular periods in yoga’s storied development, anatomically intelligent postural practice which is also reflective of asana as it evolved over time and culturally relevant information on practices from the subcontinent which have evolved through a Western lens. She draws on a wide variety of sources including academic wisdom, teaching experience, and her own lived experience as a person of mixed heritage. She is both an African and an Indian and recognizes the shared suffering through colonization. Her work is centered on amplifying both Africa and India’s attempts to seek liberation – of their resources, their cultures and their bodies.
IG: @firdosemoonda
Twitter: @FirdoseM

Frequently Asked Questions


This yoga teacher training is designed for yoga teachers, physicians, healthcare providers and those who are interested in learning more about this invaluable curriculum. If you have a consistent yoga practice and a desire to learn more, then we would love to have you join!

If you are new to Yoga Medicine and would like to join the 500-hour program, then please complete the online application. Upon successful completion of this online training, the 12 hours would automatically be applied towards your 500-hour. Details on the 500-hour program can be found here.

After registering for this training, you will receive a confirmation email with more details on general information, training materials needed, and instructions on how to access your online training.

Immediately after your payment is processed, you will receive access to this live online training portal and materials. For this reason, refund requests are only accepted before February 13th (when this training goes live).

We appreciate your understanding.

Got additional questions? Contact us here.

Our Promise

We believe bridging the gap between yoga and medical systems is a crucial therapeutic adjunct to modern healthcare. That’s why all of our offerings strive to reach the same goal: to empower teachers and students through deeper yoga education.

We train our teachers to understand the body and the full spectrum of therapeutic yoga modalities so they can build a personalized practice to suit the individual across any yoga style, state of wellness, level, body shape, gender, anatomical differences, age, or capacity. With our credentials, students and healthcare facilities can trust that their yoga teacher is trained with a depth of knowledge in the fusion of research, science & traditional practices as well as a range of applied and highly specialized therapeutic experience!

Apply This Training Towards a 500-Hour Certification

If you are enrolled in Yoga Medicine’s 500-hour or 1000-hour program, then this training counts as 12 ‘in-person/contact’ hours towards your certification, as well as continuing education hours with Yoga Alliance!

If you are a yoga teacher interested in pursuing continued education with Yoga Medicine, then you have the option to apply to our 500-hour program (in which case, these teacher training hours will automatically apply towards your 500-hour certification process).

To learn more about our 500-hour certification program, click here.

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