Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968. He has spent nearly nine years in Asia studying various traditions which he incorporates into the Ashtanga yoga pracice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Richard’s background includes studying Sufism in Iran, Zen and Vipassana Buddhist practice, Bhakti and traditional Hatha yoga in India. Starting in 1974 he also began an in-depth study of Iyengar yoga, which eventually led him to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Richard is an avid student of both Western and Eastern philosophy, as well as Sanskrit. His ability to juxtapose various viewpoints, without losing the depth and integrity of each, has helped him develop a unique, metaphorical teaching style. Richard is the founder of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado which is his teaching home base. He has numerous practice DVD’s and CD’s, is the author of “The Mirror of Yoga” and travels throughout the world teaching courses, workshops and trainings.
Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971 while earning a degree in psychology. It was not until the early 80’s, when she moved to Boulder, CO and started studying yoga with Richard Freeman, that yoga became a central thread in her life. Before that, yoga had provided a means of relieving stress and honing a sense of focus and well being. In 1988, Mary traveled to India to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and began to see the overlay of yoga with her interests in food, cooking, movement, anatomy and art. Mary has authored three cookbooks and co-authored a book which explores yoga, meditation and finding one’s personal dharma as a means of attaining lasting meaning and happiness. (“What Are You Hungry For? Women, Food and Spirituality.”) As the Yoga Workshop’s director, Mary has attended all of Richard’s teacher trainings and feels she’s just beginning to understand the subject at hand. She brings a deep respect to her teaching for the healing and calming effects of yoga. Her classes are engaging and fun, focusing on thye flow of breath, steady movement and the feeling of completeness that can be cultivated through a lasting practice.
Ty is the current director of the Yoga Workshop. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Virginia. He discovered the Ashtanga method while in graduate school, and has sustained an unbroken practice ever since. His passion as a teacher is to expose the contemplative depth of the practice, so that others can experience the brilliance of yoga for themselves. In 2015, Mary and Richard asked him to assume care of their beloved studio, and to pass on the teachings that he learned from them. He is honored to continue the thread of the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition at the Yoga Workshop.
Shayan began her study of Ashtanga Yoga with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois in Mysore, India in 2006. Since then, she has maintained a daily practice under the guidance of Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor. She has over ten years of experience in healthcare as an acupuncturist in private and hospital settings, and has also worked with hospitals on developing yoga therapy programs for patients and employees. Her practice deepened as she worked through a series of personal health crises, and she has since dedicated herself to deeper studies of yoga and Sanskrit with a variety of teachers. Shayan has particularly enjoyed teaching beginners and people struggling with health concerns, where she strives to share the wisdom of yoga that can be experienced by all. She now devotes herself to writing poetry, directing the Yoga Workshop with her husband Ty, and reveling in the relentless practice of motherhood.
Michal Lebowitsch Dayan attended her first yoga classes as a teenager while living in Israel. While attending film school in New York at NYU, she was fortunate to continue her yoga studies with Swami Buaji. In 1999, after working as a producer in the film and television industry, getting married and having a child, she missed her practice so much that she schlepped her family all the way from Israel to Boulder to begin studying with Richard. Since then Michal has completed two of Richard’s Teacher Training’s and has also studied with various Iyengar influenced teachers including Aadil Palkhivala. Michal’s interest is in cultivating the mindfulness that flows naturally from a focused and continuous asana practice. Her teaching style is authentic, precise and strong, bringing together a clear understanding of the details of postural alignment with the uninterrupted flow and tapas of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. This clear manner of engaging her students is an invitation for them to quiet the mind, continually returning to the present experience.
Ashley discovered Ashtanga at the young age of 20. As a Colorado native, she had the good fortune of learning Ashtanga in Crestone from Annie Pace. She came to Boulder in 2009 to study with Mary and Richard, and completed their Summer Intensive the same year. In the interim, she has studied with several senior teachers, including Saraswati in Mysore, Rolf Naujokat in Goa, and Maty Ezraty in Santa Monica. Ashley is a licensed massage therapist working in both Thai and Western modalities and holds advanced certification in Vibrational Medicine. She comes to the practice with a strong sense of gratitude, discipline and inquiry.
Angie’s Yoga recipe requires one part creative and thoughtful planning, two parts intelligent alignment for safe sustainable movement, and three parts breath synchronized vigorous practice to steady the mind & calm the nervous system. Expect something different every time in her short-form classes! Angie has studied with a multitude of exceptional teachers: Carrie Owerko, Alison West, and she was blessed in 2016 to study with Sharath Jois in Mysore, India. However, out of all the places and people, her time at the Yoga Workshop under the direction of Ty Landrum, and her studies with Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor have shifted her practice the most. This is truly an 8-limbed path. It is an ethical, postural, breathing, meditative practice. Or as Mary Taylor puts it: “when in doubt, just be kind.” It is with tremendous gratitude that she meets you on the mat, atha yoga-anuśāsanam,now let us begin the study of yoga.
The practices and teachings of yoga have always seemed familiar to Aleah, and she is endlessly delighted by the indescribable richness that continues to unfold along the path. She has maintained a consistent personal practice since about 2003, when she began attending yoga classes as a teenager in Salt Lake City, Utah. After completing a BS in civil engineering at Rice University (including several months studying in New Zealand and conducting research in India), she lived from 2009- 2011 as a water and sanitation Peace Corps volunteer in a remote indigenous community in the mountains of Panama, practicing yoga every night in her small bamboo hut. Aleah has been based in Boulder since 2012, teaching yoga, working as a water resources engineer, and completing a PhD in civil engineering at the University of Colorado in 2018, with research involving numerical modeling of ice sheet dynamics and subglacial hydrology, including fieldwork on the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Aleah has been fortunate to practice yoga in all sorts of places and study with several influential teachers along the way. When she eventually found her way to a Mysore class at the Yoga Workshop in 2016, it felt like coming home. Her teaching aims to cultivate clarity and full embodiment, that sense of underlying calm that is always accessible – if you can remember to look, and explore what is possible in a human lifetime.
In 2012, Megan graduated from the University of Colorado where she received a degree in psychology and philosophy. Following graduation, Megan worked for several years in neuroscience research at CU studying the neural mechanisms of pain and variations of the placebo effect. During college Megan began to deepen her studies in yoga, recognizing inherent similarities between the scientific approach to studying the brain and the yogic contemplative study of the mind.
Megan completed Richard and Mary’s Teacher Intensive in the summer of 2016. As a teacher, Megan offers a grounding, meditative practice focused on discovering internal alignment and a feeling of presence. Her concise cueing offers a direct and simple method for experiencing the depth that Ashtanga has to offer.
Gerry Wiener studied meditation under Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche from 1971 to 1987. After Trungpa Rinpoche passed away, he continued his study of meditation under Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche up to the present day. In order to further his studies, Gerry has participated in the translation of a number of Tibetan Buddhist texts including The Life of Marpa the Translator, The Ketaka Jewel: A Commentary on the Prajna Chapter Making the Words and Meaning Easy to Understand, and The Excellent Path to Enlightenment. In addition to practicing sitting meditation, Gerry has studied Ashtanga yoga under Richard Freeman and Tai Chi in the tradition of Professor Cheng Man-Ch’ing. Gerry’s main focus in teaching meditation is to share the joy of meditation with others.
Adjuncts and Itinerants
Olivia began her relationship with yoga whilst attending law school at the University of New South Wales in Australia. First a climber and then a yogi she began yoga as part of her curiosity with the art of movement. She naturally gravitated to yoga and has been dedicated to practicing ever since. She thus decided to abandon her legal career and dedicate her time to something she believed would benefit society more than another lawyer! Olivia has had an in depth study of the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition having first done a traditional apprenticeship in Australia for several years and then furthered her studies when she moved to Boulder in 2006. In the 4 years that she has been in Boulder she has complete two teacher intensives with Richard Freeman. Her teachings draw from the knowledge of her own experience as a teacher and as a practitioner making yoga both accessible and non-intimidating to her students. She also has interest in cultivating the mindfulness that flows from a focused and continuous asana practice. Her teaching style comprises of intuitive hands-on adjustments, energetic alignment and bringing an internal awareness to the self. Olivia feels blessed to have had so many wonderful teachers and hope that she too can cultivate that appreciation of yoga with her students.