I’m Dr. Samantha Harden- a yoga practitioner and teacher and tenured professor. For years I struggled to balance my spiritual and academic parts. Inspired to be my most authentic self, I've started to shift, to move. I bridge my love of science, yoga, and community...and so does my lab.
Join me on my podcast or in virtual lab meetings where I capture thoughts, conversations, and recommendations for yoga and academia—where they intersect and where they really just haven’t... yet. Through this discourse I hope that we can, together, create higher vibrations in higher education (#HVHE).
I am Dr. Harden. I am Samantha. I am Samma. I am,
"I am homesick for an academic culture that incorporates yoga principles off the mat and in the lab, classroom, and infrastructure.
I want to equip you with practices and tools to find a sanctuary in your work no matter what building, policies, or people surround you…so that you can flourish anywhere and everywhere you are."
-Samantha Harden, PhD, 500 RYT
This website shares my mission, expertise, and offerings. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. We're glad you're here.
How we do it:
Through these affiliations:
Reflections on My Approach
"Dr. Harden helps to uncover the human element behind the never-ending task-lists and looming deadlines in academia/research and reminds us to take care of ourselves for truly great outcomes."
"Dr. Harden was incredibly influential in my career development and in what I choose to pursue! Working together opened my eyes to the qualitative side of research. The work I accomplished with her opened so many doors for me and allowed me to learn from not only here but many others and I would not be in my position today without her initial guidance!"
"Samantha is an incredible yogic practitioner and teacher. What she is capable of because of her care for others, deep knowledge of the physical mechanics of the human form, and ability to convey with grace and humility."
“Being human is a part of this life experience. Stumbling. Holding the heart of the people you hurt. Apologizing. Learning. This is just what it looks like to grow, to strengthen, to become a better person.” —Thais Sky
As I embark on a journey to apply the ancient spiritual and cultural practices of the seven major chakras within the body as they relate to academia, I acknowledge my education, my privilege, and my blind spots. I attempt to be as transparent as possible with my training and processes throughout.
I write this section with sincerity. I also write it knowing that the universe does not contain enough words, time, and reflection to really be transparent about “who” I am. I am a metamorphosing blob and hope to always stay that way. What I write today may no longer apply tomorrow, and for that, I am sorry—and for that, I am grateful.
First, I acknowledge that yoga is an ancient sacred practice—much of which was either colonized or translated from India. I say much of which because there are also data pointing to asanas and meditative practices in ancient Egypt. Suffice to say, this information came from populations indigenous to the East, and throughout colonization and the development of a global economy, these practices have been appropriated or appreciated. The extent to which each has been done is based on the context, content, and observer.
Second, there is always more to learn. Indeed, if any of our offerings spark a practice in you, I encourage you to find various other teachers and mentors and, of course, engage in self-study (see resource section for some starting points).
Third, this work is about struggles within and surrounding the academic institution as it currently stands. I only speak from my own lens. Though I discuss finances as an ongoing power and scarcity imbalance, I would point you to the resource section to hear from others more knowledgeable about political, financial, racial, and access issues through their experience and expertise.
Fourth, my book will give an overview of my religious, spiritual, and yoga training experiences for context.
As with all: Take what you like and leave the rest.