France Yoli Maya Yeh Joseph

Himalaya and Middle East Instructor

B.A. Philosophy & Religion, Friends World College, Long Island University

M.A. Comparative Religious Ethics, Meadville Lombard Theological School

Yoli began her adventures in India and Nepal in 1997 as a sophomore student in LIU’s experiential college, Friends World.  In the four-year program she lived in India for two years and Japan for one.  She pursued her interests in comparing Native religio-philosophical traditions around the globe through her adventures in India and Nepal, particularly in the former Buddhist kingdom of Sikkim.

The same interests kept her in India for ten years engaged in research, meditation practice, and language study.  Yoli completed her Master’s degree in 2007 studying in a consortium of theological schools at the University of Chicago.  Sharing her passions Yoli  led academic study inquiries for Global College (former Friends World) since 2001 in the areas of Religion, Yoga, Tibetology, Global Studies, and Ethnic Studies especially Indigenous and ethnic Tribal traditions.

Yoli’s time in Jordan has fulfilled a life-long interest in Comparative Religion and Culture and a deep focus in Islam, Sufism and Islamic Text.  She developed yoga therapy programs focused on building the health and stress-management skills of local Bedouin women and communities in Aqaba.  This project is part of a larger initiative to include Bedouin women in the developing tourism industry of Jordan and specifically the incredible tourist destination of Wadi Rum, while honoring cultural practices.

Yoli completed her Yoga Therapist certification in 1999 and has created innovative mind-body programming for all ages and abilities in schools, yoga studios, orphanages, summer camps and workshops in India, Nepal, Jordan and America.  She is also a certified Massage Therapist, Doula (natural childbirth assistant) and a Wilderness First Responder.

India, Nepal, Jordan and other countries in the Middle East remain magical places for Yoli, steeped in both tradition and innovations of modernity.  In her twelve years in India she has studied Tibetan, Nepali, Bengali and Hindi Languages as well as Hebrew and Arabic.  At age thirty-three, she is also a performer of circus, a percussionist since the third grade, a rescue diver, sailing and windsurfing instructor and teacher of Circus Yoga, a blend of circus and yogic fun.