I’m Dr. Samantha Harden- a yogi and 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 as I launch a podcast and book where I capture thoughts and conversations about yoga and academics—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,
How we do it:
Through these affiliations:
Premise & Disclaimers:
Yoga principles could be piercing academia, public health, and the healthcare system. The proportion of people in the West trying yoga for the first time, being yoga practitioners, and yoga teachers is increasing at an exponential rate. There is a parallel increase in the number of individuals with postgraduate education. Yet, the conversation about the union of yoga and academia is happening in yoga studio lobbies and over coffee dates, on podcasts, on Zoom dates.
In the fall of 2022, I return to work from sabbatical- academic rest. I am ready to share podcasts, resources, programs and... a book (soon!).
Are you an undergraduate student who wants to work in my lab? Complete this application (linked to the icon above and here).
I am an academic and yogi who shares experience, strength, and hope on how to integrate yoga principles into research, teaching, and outreach so that Higher Education is a healthier space and place for the people within it and the people it serves.
People enter the hallowed halls of higher education desperate to build self-worth and, ultimately, pursue the American dream. Equal numbers step on to the yoga mat to ground, place problems in their true perspective, and find a way to be of service in the world. The United States higher education system has been untapped in its ability to launch students, faculty, staff, administrators, and policy makers in acknowledging the inextricable links between socio-cultural expectations and values, education as a public good, spirituality, and health. My work stands on the shoulders of academic, feminist, and spiritual giants to humbly prompt you to go inside, do the work, and do academia differently.
If not now, then when? If not you, then who?
I have a PhD in behavioral psychology and am also a dissemination and implementation scientist. I have published over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, two book chapters, and received over $29 million in grant funding. I am in the process of launching my first book, hopefully of many, to transcend the way academics have always been done and bring goodness back into the heart of our scientific inquiry. None of these epiphanies could be accomplished without yoga, personal development program work, therapy and deep reflection on my own life’s journey.
Please email if you have ideas for partnership.
Download CV here
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.
“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