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2020 21st Street
Boulder, CO, 80302

Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor's home.


Teacher Intensives Course Details

Course Details


Students must apply for acceptance. For acceptance into the course, 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.


The course cost is $3,800. Tuition includes all required materials.


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


  • 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 monthlong Intensive, the response to your application can take time. We like to review each application personally. We will try to let you know your status in 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 forty-two 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 almost always becomes available.

  • If you are accepted, a $350 nonrefundable deposit will be required to hold your space in the course.


  • One partial and two full scholarships are available.

  • If you'd like to be considered for a scholarship, please note this, with an explanation of your needs, in the last question of your application.

  • Applicants applying for financial aid must be willing to give proof of financial aid need.

The solvent of pure awareness dissolves samskaras.
— Richard Freeman

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 that might influence our yoga practice. In the spirit of yoga, we will seek to be at home with, entangled in, and yet free of philosophy. We hope to awaken an intelligence that 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 Vinyasa sequences, and the subtle alignment and precision that tie the poses together into a 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. Bandha 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.


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


We will explore and review anatomy and kinesiology, which will enable us to understand what is happening biomechanically 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 that students or we 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 nonresidential weekend retreat will deepen the practice. Attention will be given to how this practice fits with the methods of the Yoga Sutra and the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice.


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



8 – 10:30am
asana & sitting practice

10:45am – 12:15pm
chanting & philosophy


2 – 4pm
applied anatomy


8 – 10:30am
asana & sitting practice

10:45am – 12:15pm
assisting & teaching techniques


2 – 4pm
detailing asana



4 – 5:30pm
sitting meditation


9:30am – 5:30pm
weekend of sitting meditation
(dates to be determined)

We will confirm dates for the sitting weekend by January 1, 2019. There are no other classes scheduled during the Intensive. 


July 30 & August 6

1:30 – 5:30pm
(split groups)

We will confirm dates for the lab by January 1, 2019. Other weekends there are no scheduled classes.


This traditional Tibetan sand mandala represents the celestial mansion of the Medicine Buddha. Monks painstakingly created it by laying millions of grains of sand over a period of days. After completion, mandalas are normally swept up and offered to the mythical serpent beings (nagas) residing in a nearby stream or river, symbolizing the impermanence of life; but the monks left this one intact as a good omen for the Menla Mountain Retreat (New York), where, together with Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, Richard and Mary teach a retreat every summer.