Course Syllabus

Bellingham Yoga School

RYS-200 Yoga Teacher Training & In Depth Studies Program

Luke Baugh E-RYT 200 (director/primary instructor)

Richelle Ricard (advisor/anatomy instructor)


  1. Overview

    1. Course Purpose

    2. Sanskrit

    3. Readings

    4. Practicum

    5. Special Needs or Considerations

    6. Typical Daily Schedule (evening program)

  2. Instructors

    1. Luke E. Baugh eRYT 200

    2. Richelle Ricard, LMT

  3. Curriculum

    1. Module 1 | Foundations

    2. Module 2 | Exploration

    3. Module 3 | Assimilation

  4. Pricing & Applying

  5. Location

  6. Contact us

1. Overview

1. Course Purpose

The coursework in our 200 hour teacher training program is centered around classical yoga theory and practice. Ashtanga Yoga as outlined by the sage Patanjali in his yoga sutras are the theoretical foundation. The Hatha Yoga practices of the great T. Krishnamacharya will be the backbone of our asana and pranayama sequences. We will utilize contemporary business, ethics, and epistemology to make ancient material come alive, so that it can effectively transform our world for the better in the hands of the people who are on the earth today. 

We live in a community where there are so many yoga teachers, but it seems that the ancient wisdom of the sages of the art is being ignored or converted into a commodity. Unlike many other yoga trainings, this one is unique in its scope. We are not trying to dig a wide channel, but a deep one. We will begin by analyzing the roots of yoga theory in the archaic philosophy of Samkhya. From there we will follow chronologically as well as methodologically through the lineage of yoga through medieval texts such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Siva Samhita. We will look deeply at the words of the great sages that carried the lineage of yoga through its darkest and brightest times up to the present day. With each passing day we will peer into the insights granted by historical as well as contemporary masters of yoga, so that we will be fully empowered to approach yoga practice and teaching with a strong foundation of theory and research. The content is challenging and rich, but the rewards are equally wonderful when you discover the incredible truths that lie beneath the surface film of the greatest system of realization in the world.

2. Sanskrit

Sanskrit is a beautiful and melodic language all on it’s own, and it absolutely comes to life and sings when it is coupled with vinyasa yoga practice.  Each day we will chant in sanskrit.  Each day we will memorize names of postures in their original format. We will honor the language of Sanskrit, and call asana by their sanskrit names for the purposes of accuracy as well as to get in touch with and show honor to the many generations of yogis that gave us this knowledge. We will use their language, not ours.

3. Readings

As the intellectual aspect of the training is undeniably a part of our endeavor, we seek to fill each day with reflections on a piece of literature related to our pursuit of yoga.  There are certain aspects of yoga which are spawned from Hindu thought, Indian thought, and so-called “Eastern Philosophy”, we are going to go there.  We will unearth the meaning behind these religious and philosophical texts in a scholarly, and non-dogmatic way.  It will be important to pursue these works with an objective mind, and a deep commitment to critical analysis as they may or may not apply to “your” yoga.  Nonetheless, we owe mother India nothing if not a nodding glance at her fundamental precepts, these “cousin” philosophies of yoga.

4. Practicum

There is nothing like a yoga training to alter your life’s direction or train of thought.  In these smaller, more personal trainings, you will have an opportunity to pursue things deeper and with a more dynamic twist.  You must be willing to practice all kinds of yoga, and you must work to be comfortable with your body. Unfortunately, some of the instructors in the training may be inexperienced, and thus, many of the sequences we will be experimenting will be untested and imperfect. There is a risk there that is invariable. This training is designed to ensure that you will be able to teach, practice, adjust, and instruct people in an ancient and deeply meaningful art; that process can be a difficult one, and we will undertake it together, embracing the positives and negatives that come from the experience.

Each and every person must invest their heart and soul into the training to reap the benefits of the material, and there is no aspect of the training where this is more important than in the physical practice.  You will be tired, you will be sleepy, and you will be practicing more yoga than is humanly reasonable or possible. At times we will chant sutras again and again, we will have to ask difficult questions and offer difficult but sincere feedback to our peers and teachers. You must take in stride this massive amount of yoga, and digest it as best you can.  

Each of us will be bringing something unique to this practice, and there will be many opportunities to learn and share. Be ready to practice, be ready to share, be ready to question, be ready to be critical.  No one wants to know what you think more than the people around you.  You will never (unless you take another training) be in a place where you are surrounded by so many people who are excited and passionate about the exact same things as you are, about a subject as meaningful as this one.  This training is note a time to be reserved, it is not a time to hold back...  It is designed to be challenging, and there is a lot of material that seems to be forcefully being jammed into you. While you can always step away if needed, it’s vital to take the commitment seriously to 200 hours of study. It is a time to dive deeply into the yogic arts and practice. 

Share what you know, and grow! 

5. Special Needs or Considerations

Yoga is for all people.  What sense would it make for us to exclude people with special needs?  We want to know your special need if it is relevant to yoga teaching.  For example, if you are deaf, you have knowledge that we can utilize to bring yoga to the deaf community!  If you have children and need to leave class early to pick them up, please share this with us that we can learn to bring yoga to children (perhaps you can make up your absence by allowing these children to participate in a training and be a “guinea pig”).  It is your choice what you share with the class, but if there is ANY reason that brings you hesitation about this training, whatever it may be, please do not hesitate to bring that forward.  If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable in this training, please IMMEDIATELY seek the counsel of your primary e-RYT’s.  If you have some kind of condition that would cause trouble during your training, do not worry, just please make sure that your primary e-RYT(s) are aware of what this situation is.  You are surrounded by friends, we all want you to be safe, careful, and comfortable.  If you have any disability, no matter what that is, please please please do this training.  Whatever it is about you that makes you different and unique, that is what makes you relevant to this training.

6. Typical Daily Schedule

5:30pm-6pm: Yoga Sutra & Mantra Chanting

6pm-6:30pm: Q&A 

6:30pm-7pm: Discussion of required readings

7pm-8:30pm: Asana lesson, adjustments, and variations

8:30pm-9pm: Scheduled practicum and student teaching

9pm-9:30pm: Chanting and discussion of session 

2. Instructors

1. Luke Baugh is your primary eRYT for this training. Luke has been practicing yoga daily since 2002 and teaching since 2005, the year he met certified Ashtanga teacher and devout student of Sri K Pattabhi Jois, David Garrigues. David was the co-director of the Ashtanga Yoga School in Seattle, where, in 2007, Luke completed their rigorous 200 hour in-depth teacher training.  In 2008 the Ashtanga Yoga School of Seattle disbanded under the news that co-director, and certified teacher Catherine "Satya" Tisseront was terminally ill with cancer. 

With the blessing of his teacher, Luke left Seattle and AYS, and with the help of another AYS student, became the first student of AYS to start a yoga school in this tradition. Luke’s school was called “Exist Yoga”, but was eventually given to his students there and now functions as a co-op as Ashtanga Yoga Lewiston.

After all of these years the relationship between Luke and his teacher, David, remains one of sacred guidance, openness, and change. As a devout student of David, Luke travels annually to practice with his teacher, and "check in" with new insights, and questions that invariably develop along the path.

Luke is currently an accredited E-RYT 200 through the Yoga Alliance. In addition to teaching yoga in Bellingham, Luke was advised by his teacher to pursue education in order to better understand society and bring yoga to the world. Therefore, under the advice of his teacher, Luke became a college student a short time after taking up study of yoga at AYS. After studying sociology, anthropology, and psychology, he eventually attained a graduate degree in business with a focus on developing and sustaining local yoga schools and contributing to the greater good by utilizing contemporary economic means to distribute and propagate yogic methods to the general public.  

Luke has been trained and/or influenced notably by the following teachers and studios: Catherine Tisseront (Satya Garrigues), James Butkevich, Manju Jois, Kevin Kimple, Noah Williams, Kimberly Flynn, Rich McGowan, Anne Finstad, and Tim Miller. Luke is very proud to have had the privilege of teaching yoga for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America as well as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and feels it is a testament to the universality of Ashtanga Yoga and what he refers to as "The Garrigues Method" in honor of his teachers ability to insightfully bring yoga to those who are in need of a teachers assistance. 

Luke has taught for multiple yoga studios, his own studios (Exist Yoga, LC Yoga Center, and now Ashtanga Yoga Bellingham) as well as numerous institutional teaching engagements including Gonzaga University, Western Washington University, Lewis Clark State College, and Regence Blue Shield. He currently practices Ashtanga Yoga asana in an improvised way in order to reap the highest level of possible benefit in his aging and imperfect body. He invites you to join him in the endeavor to research the science of yoga and how it can improve the condition of individual and collective human existence. 

2. Richelle Ricard, LMT: Richelle has been studying, practicing and teaching in the fields of sports medicine, bodywork, movement and yoga since 1994. She is passionate about translating otherwise dry, monotonous material into engaging and curiosity-piquing presentations. She wants you to be able to immediately apply functional information to your practice and to your teaching. She hopes that having a fundamental understanding of the "how and why" we move the way we do will inspire you to be thoughtful and precise in your asana practice, and that it will help keep you and your students healthy and safe for the duration.

Richelle has developed a rigorous study of the functional anatomy of the human body as it pertains specifically to asana practice. Emphasis is placed on immediately applicable principles of movement and individual differences to help support both new and experienced teachers in teaching safe alignment and sequencing. 

3. Curriculum

  1. Module One | Foundations | Philosophical  and Theoretical Foundations | 15 sessions

    1. Required Reading

      1. Yoga; The Certainty of Freedom (Yoga Sutra Workbook) - Vyaas Houston 

      2. Samkhya Yoga Karika - Isvara Krsna (any translation)

      3. The Upanishads - (any translation)

      4. The Bhagavad Gita - (any translation)

    2. Optional Reading List (depending on Individual areas of focus)

      1. The Myths and Gods of India by Alain Danielou

      2. Functional Anatomy of Yoga by David Keil

      3. The Science of Yoga by I.K Taimni –or- another translation of the Yoga Sutras

    3. Lesson Plans (60 contact hours with primary E-RYTs)

      1. Philosophy & Theory

        1. Vedanta 

        2. Samkhya

        3. Ashtanga

      2. Classical Postures 

        1. Surya Namaskara

        2. Standing Asana

        3. Closing Asana

      3. Anatomy

        1. 10 hours w/ Richelle Ricard (learning materials included)

  2. Module Two | Exploration | Classical Texts | 15 sessions

    1. Required Reading List

      1. The Siva Samhita - any copy

      2. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika - any copy

      3. Yoga Mala by Sri K Pattabhi Jois

    2. Optional Reading/Study Material List

      1. David Garrigues Asana Kitchen Videos

      2. David Garrigues Primary Series Video

      3. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satchidananda 

      4. Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar

    3. Lesson Plans (60 contact hours with primary E-RYTs)

      1. All Primary Series Asana

      2. Yoga Sutras Chapters 1- 2  

        1. Chanting

        2. Discussion 

      3. Adjustments for classical postures

      4. Classical Asana Texts discussion

  3. Module Three | Assimilation | Modern Masters & Contemporary Systems | 15 sessions

    1. Required Reading List

      1. Brand You by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee

      2. Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health by BKS Iyengar 

    2. Optional Reading List

      1. Yoga Makaranda by T Krishnamacharya (optional)

      2. The Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikachar (optional)

      3. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

      4. Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy by Gregor Maehle

      5. A Blue Fire by James Hillman

      6. The Macrobiotic Way by Michio Kushi

      7. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

      8. viii)The Essential Rumi by Jalal Al-Adin Rumi and Coleman Barks

    3. Lesson Plans (60 contact hours with primary E-RYTs)

      1. Business and Ethics

      2. Variations and physical inability 

        1. Use with props

        2. Beginners classes on Wednesday nights (open to public)

        3. Advanced backbends and 2nd series of Ashtanga

        4. Lineage, Parampara, and responsibility

Note: Other homework and study materials will be provided in class

4. Pricing & Applying

  1. Full Tuition: $1600

  2. 5 Week Long Individual Modules: $600 each

Notes: A $400 deposit holds your space for the training. Full payment of the balance due (typically $1100) is expected on the first day of training (exceptions can be made if discussed ahead of time) or by making monthly payments through the system in the booking button (above). Other payment plans and options are available. Credit Card or Check accepted. To pay with check, send check to: Bellingham Yoga School, 336 36th Street, Suite #191, Bellingham WA 98225.

To apply for the training include deposit and a statement of purpose (typically a paragraph or two) outlining your intentions with yoga (do you want to be a teacher or just want to learn more yoga) and a little background about who you are. 

Internships involving work/trade with a 50% tuition waiver/scholarship are available for students with sufficient financial need. Please apply to the training and mention that you would like to be considered for the tuition waiver, and why. Tuition waivers are available for individual modules as well as for the full training, but not for individual drop in sessions. 

Students may take individual modules at different times, but all three modules must be completed successfully in order to complete the requirements of the RYS-200. Graduates of the program are eligible for Yoga Alliance registry at the 200 level.

All space in trainings is on a first come, first serve basis. Students attending individual modules must pay in full at the time of their application (we will not process your payment if you are not accepted). 

5. Location

All course sessions, contact hours, and curriculum will be held at Bellingham Yoga School, located at 1412 Cornwall Avenue in downtown Bellingham, WA.

6. Contact | 360-325-9989 |

Our mailing address and to pay by check is: 

Bellingham Yoga School

336 36th Street, Suite #191, Bellingham, WA 98225. 


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