Vertical Mayurasana
Vertical Mayurasana

Teacher Intensive

July 25 – Aug 19, 2016

Richard offers month-long teacher intensives through the Yoga Workshop. The purpose of the course is to begin an exploration of the internal principles and forms of Ashtanga Yoga at a level that will deepen one’s practice and make teaching a natural outcome of practice. Always returning to our own personal experience, we will explore the practices and philosophies of yoga, their contexts, purposes, patterns and limitations. Examining the tradition from multiple viewpoints should give depth and sophistication to the interconnected processes of yoga. The course will flow through the many and often contradictory philosophies of yoga into therapeutics, into asana practice, on to Sanskrit and pranayama, back into meditation, on into the biomechanics of posture and movement and into the hands-on world of relating to others.

This intensive is not a “certification” course, since such certification in the Ashtanga Vinyasa style is granted only in Mysore India by K. Pattabhi Jois’ grandson, Sharath Rangaswamy. Yet recognizing that most teachers and students will not find the traditional standards accessible, this course will provide a rich context for whatever level of practice participants are able to do. The philosophical and contemplative background of the tradition and its intelligent application to real world bodies and circumstances will be emphasized, and a certificate of completion credited with 200 hours is given to students who participate in all aspects of the training.


Students must apply for acceptance. For acceptance into the training students need to have:

  • A solid grounding in the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.
  • Completed Intermediate Series or an equivalent intensity of asana experience.
  • A minimum of five to ten years of practice.
  • An appreciation of subtlety, and a sense of humor.


This cost is $3,500. Tuition includes all required materials.


Applications are evaluated from a broad perspective and we try to select a group with balanced interests and proficiencies: yoga, practice, philosophical, life experience, etc. So please be clear and specific about your interests, strengths, limitations, and other information you feel is important when completing the application.

NOTE: This year's course is full and we are currently notifying applicants of their status. If you have applied you may expect to hear from us by February 15th. If you have not applied, but still wish to, we will consider your application only for the waiting list.

Register for the wait list

The solvent of pure awareness dissolves samskaras.
Richard Freeman


  • Applications will be evaluated in the order in which they are received.
  • Due to the volume of applications we receive and the fact that there are limited spots available in the month-long Intensive, the response to your application can take time. Richard likes to review each application personally and we also try to balance the group so that we have different interests, strengths and backgrounds represented. We will try to let you know as to your status within a timely manner.
  • Please keep in mind that it is not unusual for students to apply to this intensive numerous times before being admitted, yet somehow it always seems to work out that people find themselves in what feels to them like the “right” intensive. So if you don't get in this time, we will welcome your application in the future.
  • The course is limited to 42 students, and will be filled by accepted students in the order they have applied. (In other words, all else being equal, an application received earlier is accepted first).
  • Applications received after the course is filled will be evaluated and responded to if there is an opening in the course
  • If you are not accepted outright, but are asked to be on the waiting list, please know that it is not unusual for those on the waiting list to wind up in the course as accepted students sometimes must drop out and space becomes available.
  • If you are accepted, a $350 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold your space in the course.


  • There are one partial and two full scholarships available.
  • To apply for a scholarship, applicants must complete the application, and also attach an essay requesting financial aid. The essay should explain why the applicant qualifies for aid and why it is important to take the course this year. Scholarship requests MUST be received with the original application.
  • Applicants applying for financial aid must be willing to give proof of financial aid need.

Course Description

We will have a comparative look at important schools of Indian thought and how they influence each other. Among those we will study are Classical Samkhya, Yoga Samkhya, Vedanta (advaita and opposing schools), Buddhism (including the Madhyamika, or Middle Path School), Hatha/Tantra, and Bhakti. We will also examine contemporary trends of thought in both the West and the East, which might influence our yoga practice. In the spirit of yoga we will seek to be at home, entangled in and yet free of philosophy. We hope to awaken an intelligence which understands not only the doctrines of each school, but their hidden presuppositions and interdependencies as well.


We will detail the inner and outer techniques of Vinyasa, traditional Ashtanga sequences, and the subtle alignment and precision which tie the poses together into meditative experience. Asana will be treated as the context and base for meditation, the practical ground for making our yogic inquiry genuine and relevant to real life.


The basic techniques of pranayama will be explored and practiced so that they are appropriate and beneficial to the individual. The bandhas will be used as natural, integrated responses to the movement of internal breath. Particular attention will be given to the subtleties of inhaling, exhaling and how they affect the mind and the body.

Sanskrit and Chanting

An introduction to the correct pronunciation of this polished language will be introduced so that we can tune in, resonate and taste its aesthetic pleasures. We will learn, memorize and chant portions of traditional texts.

Anatomy and Kinesiology

We will explore and review anatomy and kinesiology that will enable us to understand what is happening bio-mechanically in each posture and movement. Two afternoons of the training will include hands-on experience at an anatomy lab.


We will learn how to address difficulties and injuries which we or students might encounter in yoga practice. Included will be the use of simple props. We will also learn to recognize imbalances in alignment or attitude that lead to injury.


We will be introduced to traditional Buddhist Shamatha-Vipassana Meditation. One afternoon per week will be reserved for group meditation instruction and practice. A non-residential weekend retreat will deepen the practice. Attention will be given to how this practice fits or not with the methods of the Yoga Sutra and the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice.

Teaching Skills

We will learn safe and beneficial hands-on adjustment techniques and will address how to be an effective teacher, based on practicing and putting humor and compassion into action.

Course Schedule


Monday, July 25
  • 7:30am: registration
  • 8 – 10am: asana practice
  • 10:15am – 12:45pm: chanting and philosophy

For the remainder of the course

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays:
  • 8 – 10am: asana practice
  • 10:15am – 12:45pm: chanting and philosophy
  • 2 – 4pm: applied anatomy
  • 8 – 10am: asana practice
  • 10:15am – 12:45pm: assisting and teaching techniques
  • 2 - 4pm: detailing the asana
Saturdays and Sundays

On Saturdays and Sundays there are public classes at the Yoga Workshop. Intensive participants are given a special rate on public classes during the intensive.

Meditation (Boulder Shambhala Center)

  • 4 – 5:30pm: sitting meditation
  • Aug 12 – 13
  • 9:30am – 5:00pm: weekend of sitting meditation

Cadaver Lab

Tuesdays, Aug 2 and Aug 9
  • 1:30 – 5:30pm: (split groups)