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Naomi Worth

PhD 2022


  • University of Virginia, ABD Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies (in progress). Dissertation Title: "Illusory Body: The Tibetan Yoga of Blazing the Inner Heat among Contemporary Monastics in South India."
    • Dissertation Advisors: David Germano and Kurtis Schaeffer
  • M.A., University of Virginia, Religious Studies, Buddhism and Hinduism
  • B.Sc., Tulane University, Psychology, Minors in Business and Spanish, Cum Laude ​


Book Chapter

  • "Tibetan Yoga." In The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation. Edited by Suzanne Newcombe and Karen O'Brien-Kop. London, UK: Routledge. Forthcoming.                      

 Edited Volume

  • "The Healing Power of Tibetan Yoga: Experience Narratives Among Contemporary Monastic Practitioners in Bylakuppe." In Buddhism & Healing in Modern Asia. Edited by C. Pierce Salguero, Susannah Deane, and Justin Stein. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Journal Articles (non refereed)

  • “A New Way of Seeing: Contemplation and Art.” Art, Contemplation and Wellness Journal, no. 1. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016.
  • "Dreaming in Early Advaita Vedānta." Nāmarūpa Journal, Issue 20, Spring 2015: 60-69.


  • American Institute for Indian Studies, Junior Research Fellow. Ten-month fully-funded fieldwork in India, 2019.
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship. Nine-month fully-funded fieldwork in India, 2018.
  • Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS). Academic year fellowship to study Tibetan, University of Virginia, 2014.
  • Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS). Intermediate Colloquial Tibetan Summer Language Intensive, Rangjung Yeshe Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2013.

Conference Presentations

  • "Longchenpa's Dualism: The Mind-Body Connection in Dzokchen Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy." The International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS), Paris, France, 2019.
  • "The Sparkle Sneeze Revisited: Religious Experiences among Tibetan Yoga Practitioners Collected Using Ethnography at Namdroling Monastery." The American Institute of Indian Studies Conference, New Delhi, India, 2019.
  • "Modern Tibetan Yoga Practice: Blazing the Inner Fire in South India." Yogascapes Conference, Kyoto University, Japan, 2018.
  • "Desired Bodies and Renunciation: Female Tibetan Buddhist Ascetics in South India." American Asian Studies (AAS) Conference, New Delhi, India, 2018. 
  • "A Sparkle Sneeze as a Sign of Accomplishment: Tibetan Buddhist Religious Experiences and the Academic Study of Religious Experience." Fulbright Conference, New Delhi, India, 2018.
  • "Or Try This: Meditation Techniques in Chapter One of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra." International Conference on Yoga, Krakow, Poland, 2016.
  • "Mind With and Without a Body: Tibetan Perspectives on Death and the Subtle Body." Graduate Student Conference on Religious Studies: "Death and Dying." Indiana University, Indiana, USA, 2016.
  • "Self-Narrative, Autobiographical Self, No Self: Theories of Consciousness from Buddhism, Social Psychology, and Neuroscience." Northern California Consciousness Conference, UC Davis, California, USA, 2016
  • "Divine Creation: How Seeing Oneself as a Deity Provokes Access to the Subtle Energetic Body." Southeastern Conference on the Study of Religion, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, 2015.

Invited Talks

  •  "Tibetan Yoga," SOAS at the University of London, 2019.

Teaching Experience and Pedagogy Training

  • Lecturer, Religious Studies Department of the University of Virginia, "Hindu Tantra," Spring 2020.
  • Tomorrow's Professor Today, Professor Training Program, University of Virginia, 2017-2020.                 
  • Lecturer, Religious Studies Department of the University of Virginia, "Theory and Practice of Yoga in India and Tibet," Summer 2019.
  • Workshop Organizer and Leader, "Breaking the Silence: Inclusively and Community Building to Improve Student Engagement," UVA, Fall 2019.
  • PhD+ Graduate Liaison for Religious Studies to Support Pedagogy, 2019.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Religious Studies department of the University of Virginia UVA. "Intro to Tibetan Buddhism"; "Theory and Practice of Yoga"; "Classical Islam"; "Buddhist Meditation and the Modern World," 2014-2017.
  • Lecturer, Kinesiology department, Curry School, University of Virginia. "Yoga" (3 semesters), 2013-2015
  • Yoga Teacher, UVA Hospital, UVA’s Contemplative Sciences Center, 10+ years. 

Research and Service Positions

  • Researcher for UVA's Contemplative Sciences Center. Creator of a Knowledge Map on "yoga" for KMAPS project in the Contemplative University, 2019.
  • Religious Studies Graduate Student Association, Committee Member, UVA, 2019.
  • Field Methods in Anthropology Working Group, Contributor, UVA, 2019.
  • Summer Research Institute on "Intersubjectivity and Connectivity," Junior Fellow, Mind & Life Institute, 2017.
  • Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, Coordinator, UVA, 2017.
  • Body and Spirit Workshop, Contributor, UVA, 2017.
  • Contemplative Council Member, Contemplative Sciences Center, UVA, 2014-2017.
  • Conference on Buddhist Meditation, Director and Head of Fundraising, UVA, 2014.
  • Journal for the International Association of Tibetan Studies, Assistant Editor, 2013.
  • UVA's Buddhist Studies Group. Various positions held: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, General Member, 2012-2017.
  • Conference on Buddhist Literature, Organizer, UVA, 2012.