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The Culture & Practice of the Yama

In this six-week online course, you'll learn the historical and cultural roots of the yama, how to embody them in your practice and relationships, and the subtle ways they help you live a conscious, liberated life.


Although yoga infuses our lives with meaning, the depth and nuance of its ancient philosophy often get lost in modern settings. Join Rina Deshpande, Ed.M., MS.T., RYT-500—teacher, writer, artist, and poet—for an immersion into the richness of the yama, ethical practices outlined in the Yoga Sutra as the first of the eight-limb path of classical yoga. In this six-week online course, you will learn the historical and cultural roots of the yama, how to embody them in your practice and relationships, and the subtle ways they help you live a conscious, liberated life.

What You’ll Learn

  • A brief historical timeline of Yoga and the Sutras, and how the yama fit into this
  • How to build a culturally informed practice through awareness and context
  • How to improve your pronunciation of Sanskrit, if you choose to use it
  • The deep meanings hidden in each of the 5 yama
  • How to apply the yama to your practice and daily life

You’ll access lectures that illuminate the rich, subtle meanings of each yama through cultural context, selected Sutras, and memorable storytelling.
Holistic practices (asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, and meditation) to embody the yama, pronunciation guides for key terms, and self-study assignments help you reflect on what you’ve learned and invite the imprint of the yama into your own life.

This course also qualifies for 20 non-contact continuing education hours with Yoga Alliance.

Rina Deshpande

Meet Your Instructor

Rina Deshpande, Ed.M., MS.T., RYT-500, is an Indian-American yoga teacher, writer, artist, and researcher. While teaching in NYC as a public school teacher and as a founding assistant professor of practice for academic teachers at Relay Graduate School of Education, she completed her 500-hour certification at ISHTA Yoga, and continued to learn from family and yoga lectures in India and America. In 2015, Rina earned her master’s degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused on mindfulness and yoga as practices of self-regulation.

For over 15 years, Rina finds herself committed to practicing and teaching Yoga in studios, schools, and organizations across the globe, bringing light to Indian cultural meaning and history, its scientific benefits, and its inspiration of life enjoyment and empowerment. Find her writing at Yoga JournalSelf  magazine, the Huffington Post, Sonima.com, Learning & the Brain, and @RinaThePoet on Instagram, where she shares her whimsical handwritten and hand-illustrated yoga poetry. Learn more and connect with Rina at @rinathepoet and Rinadeshpande.com.

Join Outside+ for just $99 to gain free access to this course.

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