Workshop Descriptions

Richard has designed a robust curriculum that weaves anatomy, philosophy, student independence and meditation. The workshops offer an opportunity for discussion and a development of the yoga sangha (community).

Contact Richard you you’d like more information or wish to host any of these workshops.

Supporting the Perimeter: Practices for the Feet, Hands, Neck and Face

For yoga students who wish to further their practice by accessing their feet, hands, neck and face, this workshop is for you. A typical yoga practice focuses on a few major areas of the body—the knees, the hamstrings, or the spine for example.

This workshop includes “micro-asanas”—practices for the overworked and often ignored parts of our selves. These practices are a boon for anyone with repetitive stress syndrome, tension headaches, plantar fasciitis and anyone who wishes to deepen their yoga experience.

Reviving the Lower Back and Hips: Practices for Pain-Free Stability and Freedom of Movement

The connective tissues in our lower back and hips play a critical role in our posture. If they are balanced, they absorb the shocks of our daily lives. Unbalanced, they can cause pain and postural holding patterns that extend through the neck and shoulders.

Students will release the lumbar spine, sacrum and hips through a combination of long holds and fascial release movements. The practice also uses gravity as a tool to decompact the bones and discs, reversing its typical compressive role.

We will discover ways to apply these techniques day-to-day to ease discomfort and maintain a consistent vibrancy in the lower back and hips. This workshop is for all levels and no previous yoga experience is required.

One to One: Establishing a Private Client Practice

This lecture and Q&A workshop is a how-to for teachers looking to build a healthy client roster. The workshop is filled with tips, techniques and insights on instructing individuals.

Richard details everything from the initial interview: establishing expectations, cultivating a beneficial client relationship and organizing your schedule. He also explains how cues, prop usage and adjustments can change in the private client setting.

From Knowing to Balance: An Inversion Immersion

Inversions are a boon for the digestive, circulatory and lymphatic systems, but can be unnerving. The phrase “my world has turned upside-down” indicates disorientation and panic. Through understanding and a steady, systematic method, we can overcome this fear.

Fear has less of a hold on us as we come to know what we’re afraid of. In the case of inversions, we can reference our “core line,” the fascial connections that include our psoas and lungs. When we know our core line, we can then take it upside-down.
If you’ve never been upside-down, don’t fret! Richard’s method includes preliminary practices and assistance to help build strength and understanding. In the spirit of ahimsa (non-violence) and satya (honoring truth), students can work within their level of comfort.

Handstand, shoulderstand, forearm balance and headstand will be reviewed. Yoga teachers will take away some tips on sequencing an inversion practice.

Students should be familiar with yoga (at least six months of a regular yoga practice) and without recent shoulder or wrist injuries.

Yin Yoga Primer

Yin Yoga is revolutionary in its quiet stillness. As opposed to most styles of yoga, which deal with muscle flexibility and activity, a Yin style focuses on stimulating the “chi” in passive connective tissues, ligaments and cartilage.

A Yin yoga practice reverses the contractile effects of aging on the shoulders, spine and hips. Richard will present Yin Yoga theory as it relates to Yoga philosophy, meditation practice and your own anatomy. He will then guide you through a quiet Yin practice. The workshop will conclude with breathing practices to assist in harvesting your awareness.

Lotus Rising

Padmasana (Lotus position) is often used for meditation – the Buddha is often depicted in it. The Lotus leg position can also be developed in our asana practice. This advanced workshop is designed for students familiar with Padmasana and wish to explore postures that incorporate it. Students will be guided through forward bends, back bends, twists and arm balances in Lotus. Sequences for developing these postures will be given. This workshop also addresses Lotus in inversions. Students should be in good physical condition, experienced, and able to sit comfortably in Padmasana for five minutes without any pain.

Yoga Sutras: Lists and Integrations

Behind the practice lies the intention, and studying the Yoga Sutras is a wonderful way to put our yoga practices in context. The Yoga Sutras were an oral tradition finally written down by Patañjali around 500 BCE. A grammarian and yogi, Patañjali took some big concepts regarding enlightenment and distilled them into a simple and elegant set of “sutras”, or sentences. In this lecture, Richard will go through some basic Sanskrit theory and apply them to some key lists in the Sutras.

Patañjali’s framework is a great tool in discovering your layers of existence. The Sutras catalog the causes of pleasure and pain, types of true and false knowledge, and obstacles on the path of enlightenment. With all of this to overcome, what is a yogi to do? Patañjali has a coherent and useful plan.

This workshop is mostly lecture, but we will move through a few postures as a respite from sitting still and to demonstrate the intention of a few Sutras.

Day-Long Holiday Yoga Intensive

The end-of-year holidays are fun, but can take a toll: Schedules are disrupted, everyone has less time, the food is richer, and traveling can upset the body’s balance. Richard developed a two-part Post-Holiday workshop to remedy this alasya (lethargy) and styana (fogginess) and replace these with clarity and a calm lightness.

‘Purify Through Movement’ is 2 1/2 hours of strength building and active poses. This sequence fosters rajas (heat) with standing poses, arm work, and abdominal exercises. Students will discover the rooting action of the legs and how strong support boosts energy through the organic body.

‘Zero in on Stillness’ is designed to establish a detailed inner awareness of the body and mind. Students will be guided through myofascial release, pranayama (breathwork) and a complete Yin practice. This workshop harnesses the power of rajas and matures it into sattva (lightness).

The only prerequisites for the workshop are for students to be free of serious health concerns and to be familiar with yoga.

Straight From the Shoulder: Skillful means to build strength and stability in the shoulder girdle and arms.

This workshop explores ways to strengthen the upper body safely and develop a sense of security in the shoulders and arms. Part anatomy lesson, part practice, this workshop is a boon for yogis who have experienced rotator cuff or elbow injuries.

Richard reviews the muscular anatomy of the upper body. He then guides students through long holds and dynamic exercises. Using common poses, students gain insight into their shoulder and arm positions and develop strength. Students should be able to bear some weight on their hands, and their wrists should be free of recent injury.

The Many Sides of Triangle

Triangle pose, Utthita Trikonasana in Sanskrit, is a pose for all levels of yoga practitioners. It is a key pose to develop viveka (discriminating awareness) in an asana practice. This workshop investigates the energies underlying the pose, where the power of viveka is built.

Students will spend plenty of time in Triangle, switching from one side to the other in observation. We will explore options and modifications and analyze the pose, literally from head to toe. Students will then explore Triangle’s energetic movements in other standing poses, seated postures, inversions, and arm balances.

The repetition and exploration of one pose infuses the body with knowledge you can apply to any yoga practice, regardless of style. Embody the pose!

Guiding the Quiet Revolution: Yin Yoga Teacher Training

Yin Yoga is the art of insightful relaxation, personal acceptance and contemplative awareness. Those who have experienced it are rejuvenated and transformed. The practice consists of long relaxed holds with an emphasis on the connective tissue and joints of the hips, pelvis and lower spine. It allows students to focus deep within the body.

This specialized training examines:
-Yin Yoga philosophy
-anatomical considerations in pose selection
-prop and non-prop modifications
-the role of language to enhance the Yin experience
-Yin sequencing
-techniques on incorporating Yin into a general class

The training includes a manual for continued reference. Students will appreciate your addition of Yin Yoga to their practice, and this training will enhance your own Yoga sadhana.

Often, Yoga’s physical practice is marketed as “more, hotter, faster”, but more and more students are getting wise to this unattainable acceleration. Yin Yoga’s philosophy of stillness and independence counters this frenzied rush. Empower your students!

Synergy In Teaching: Hands-On Adjustments, Modifications & Cues

When teaching, it pays to be clear and succinct – coordinating verbal and physical cues resulting in intelligent instruction. This allows a student to experience a pose fully, at multiple levels and with courage. As teachers, and as students, we gain confidence through better understanding the actions and energies in the body and how they can be transferred from pose to pose through thoughtful sequencing.

This workshop highlights the exchanges between teacher and student focusing on several important actions in poses. We will discuss the main lines of energy in the pose, explore verbal and physical adjustments to accentuate the energy, and coordinate prop use and sequencing to highlight the actions.

Get Crackin!

In 2009, medical doctor Donald Unger ended a 50-year personal experiment – after cracking just his left knuckles at least twice a day for five decades, he concluded “there was no arthritis in either hand, and no apparent differences between the two hands.” (from Scientific American). This and many other studies indicate that cracking your joints on occasion doesn’t harm them at all. In fact, it enhances the range of motion in a joint by allowing all potential movement to occur.

We will pop as many joints as we can in the hands, feet, wrists, hips and neck. You might even get lucky and experience the elusive ‘firecracker pop’ all the way down the spine. In addition to joint cracking, we’ll be doing some abdominal work, deep breathing, and a few long holds.

This class is based on Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s Pawanmuktasana Series 1 through 3. The first is considered anti-rheumatic and the second is for the digestive tract. The third addresses energy blocks in the body. As for the cracking itself – there are different types of popping in the body. Richard will explain the different types, which ones are good, and how to tell. We’ll be focusing on what’s called defixation – the release of any vacuum in the joint caused by two sides of the joint fixed together.

The Resolute Bow: Yoking Strength and Ease in the Back Line

In many cultures, the bow is regarded as a show of respect or gratitude. It is also a means to draw one’s attention inward towards self-reflection.

However, though the gesture is an act of softening, it involves stretching the strongest fascial lines in the body. Developing open hamstrings, calves and spine takes sthira (strength) and commitment.

Students will be guided through a sequence that safely and effectively improves their forward folds. Through discerning action in the legs and hips, this workshop also address sacral stability techniques.

Strong leg engagement helps us find our support, physically and emotionally. The English language has idioms that express this: “To dig one’s heels in” and “land on your feet.” It’s with this firm ground we can then find ease in our system.

Nurturing the Organic Body

The abdomen contains your life force: it is the center of digestion, filtration, immune function and elimination. Habitual tension can result in fascial restrictions around these organs and congest the circulatory and immune system channels. For those with third chakra excess or deficiency, the core may be either too rigid or too weak to give proper support to the upper chakras.

‘Nurturing the organic body’ focuses on understanding and releasing holding patterns in the torso, wringing out organs and stimulating flow and communication in the organic body. This approach involves the wise use of arms and legs—the organs of action—to maximize release in the torso—the organs of reception.

Root Understanding: Pelvic Floor Vitality and Support

The first chakra, called muladhara (root support) is our primary source of stability. A healthy muladhara asserts our right to exist. The name implies its importance: With it we can support ourselves and feel supported. We also require grounding: emotionally through a solid sense of self, and physically through our legs. If the root is stable, the chakras above can be stabilized.

This therapeutic workshop is designed to decompress the organs in the lower abdomen, acknowledge and release tension around the hips, and improve the health of the pelvic floor. Students learn discerning actions in the legs, allowing the pelvic floor to “breathe”. This workshop strengthens the core fascial line, which is the body’s central support and balancing line.

We will also examine the role of mula bandha (root lock) and its wise use to provide blood and lymph flow to the uro-genital region. This flow and detoxing is a boon to those who are at risk for prostate, uterine and bladder dysfunctions, and promotes a vibrancy in these crucial organs.

Yoga for Runners and Cyclists

Since 2005, Richard has been helping runners and cyclists strengthen and stretch every muscle and decompress every joint from the hips down. Richard also guides students through the anatomy of the breath and introduces techniques to maximize athletic performance.

Richard addresses common running injuries and how to avoid them or support a recovery. You’ll receive a guide for a five-minute warm-up and cool-down plus a few simple tools to further your routine. The workshop is also ideal for cross-trainers and for any active individual. All levels welcome—no yoga experience required.

Bandha and Breath Demystified

You may have heard your teacher mention the importance of the breath and bandhas in class. But really, what is a bandha? And why the emphasis on breathwork if you’re using postures to stretch? Richard breaks down the anatomy and mechanics of breathing and bandhas. Discover how they interact with one another to transform your practice. Richard addresses the “how” and “why” so students start applying these tools. You’ll leave the workshop with a greater recognition and understanding of subtle energy. For yogis of all styles and experiences.

Developing a Home Practice

“Yoga truly becomes your own when you rely on the strength of your love and dedication primarily, and not on the structure of a class.” – Sarah Powers

Classes are great and books and DVD’s are helpful. You’d love to complement this with a personal practice. If you could use some useful advice on how to practice at home, this workshop is for you. Yoga at home flourishes with thoughtful and smart sequencing.

“Sequence Creation and Developing a Home Practice” is for students interested in exploring a home practice but don’t know where to start. Richard presents fresh ideas on building a practice around poses, intentions and abilities. He also addresses the main obstacles of a home practice and how to work with them. Bring paper and pen; we’ll be taking plenty of notes.

Discover inner guidance and make the practice yours.