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Advanced Yoga Studies Program in Charlotte, NC (Photo Credit Wanda Koch)

Advanced Yoga Studies Program
Two Formats and chances to study
Next weekend and Wednesday formats begin in August, 2020!!

The Enlighten Advanced Yoga studies Program provides students with a STRONG FOUNDATION in the science of yoga for anyone looking to enhance their knowledge of yoga and personal practice.  We value the rich tradition of yoga and will discuss ways to merge this ancient practice with modern times.  From day 1, you will have a chance to step onto your mat in a safe and supportive environment allowing you to gain confidence and feel empowered as you begin your journey toward becoming a teacher and forever a student with a love for this beautiful practice!!

The Program has been carefully designed to teach you how to build safe, intelligent and creative sequences for practitioners of all kinds.  We will support and encourage each one of you to find your voice and unique style.

Our philosophy is based on tradition. The subject of yoga is exhilarating and life affirming, and is worthy of a lifetime of learning. Our goal is to leave you established with a foundation, preparing you for the yogini and yogi’s deeper inner journey. Our comprehensive program aims to deepen your understanding of why yoga works, and prepare you for a journey into the ancient technology and its modern application: the science of yoga as a lifestyle, a world view and potentially a profession. At the completion of this course you will be established in practice and understand the techniques of yoga and it’s methodology. You will learn classic yogic practices such as: energetics of asanas, self inquiry, breathing techniques, meditation as well as deep dive into anatomy. We will study the yogic philosophy of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita, and learn safe hands-on adjustments of yoga postures. Shari Goldstein, Hilary Kossack, Johnna Smith and Enlighten Yoga present a roster of teachers who dedicate their lives to the physical, mental, and spiritual practices of Yoga.

Completion of this course and successful testing of material is compliant with Yoga Alliance RYT 200 hour standards.

Each session will be allotted for practical experience on your mat ~ discussing the postures; teaching and cueing the postures and their alignment; modifications for different practitioners; safe assisting and adjusting; yoga philosophy; anatomy; pranayama and mantra as it applies to the topic of the weekend.

Our goal is to plant seeds (bija) to help introduce this ancient practice so you can grow along with your own personal path in whatever direction this might take you.

**** Enlighten Yoga Advanced Yoga Studies Application ****


Enlighten Yoga is a unique studio that strives to employ principles that effortlessly blend the physical with the spiritual, allowing students to pace their individual practice according to personal needs. Beginners and advanced students alike benefit from the program through challenging asana classes embedded with knowledge, devotion and universally understood spiritual principles.  Modifications are offered for beginners and advanced practitioners are encouraged to shine in their practice without limitations.

Some readings and practical assignments are assigned throughout to support the curriculum of each lecture and practice. You are expected to complete work outside of scheduled sessions in the areas of some required reading and assignments, asana practice at the studio, teaching, observing and assisting.

What sets our Program apart is both the format – meeting on Tuesday nights and then Saturday and Sunday, or on Wednesdays for the alternative program, as well as the inclusion and support of a group of teachers who specialize in the topics which they will teach.  Learning from more than one teacher offers you different ways of looking at topics and will provide you with more opportunity to develop your own voice.

While most teacher training programs are offered over a short period of 4 months, our weekend Program is  offered over a slightly longer period of time, not only providing students with access to the studio for this longer period, but giving students the chance to better digest the materials offered.

Students will be expected to practice, observe and work on writing their class as part of the Program.


Please read our cancellation policy

  • $3,000 for all nine weekends –  $2,800 Early Bird Pricing (if paid in full by date specified).
  • $300 non-refundable deposit should be included with your application.  Remainder ($2,700) is due no later than the first day of the Program (unless Early Bird ($2,500)).
  • Reading list sent to applicant upon approval of application (students are responsible for obtaining their own required reading materials).
  • Unlimited free yoga at Enlighten Yoga for those enrolled for the duration of the program (this does not include specialty/master classes, playshops or workshops.  Students will be asked to practice at the studio at least 3 times a week and to observe and assist other teachers in a variety of classes.
  • Free personal session with one of the lead teachers is included, to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time.
  • Free use of studio space when it is open (reservation of studio use is required).

Program will meet on Tuesdays 5:30-9:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays 8:00 am -5:30 pm

Early bird pricing must be paid in full no later than July 1, 2020 

2020-2021 dates are as follows (all weekends listed below as Saturday – Sunday include training on the Tuesday night prior to that weekend, unless noted otherwise):

Friday, August 21 – Sunday, August 23**
Saturday, September 19 – Sunday, September 20
Saturday, October 3 – Sunday, October 4
Saturday, October 24 – Sunday, October 25
Saturday, November 14 – Sunday, November 15
Saturday, December 5 – Sunday, December 6
Saturday, January 9, 2020 – Sunday, January 10
Saturday, January 30 – Sunday, January 31
Saturday, February 20 – Sunday, February 21

Students studying in the weekend program are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

Attend all training sessions. If a student cannot attend a session for any reason, one of the teachers can be available to make up the hours. Also note that the make up hours will be an additional charge.
Practice a minimum of 3 times per week at the studio.
Observe a minimum of 10 classes over the course of the course of the Program.
Certain reading and other homework assignments will be given throughout the program.


For some practitioners, when studying yoga, the intensive or weekend format is not feasible given life’s many demands. Enlighten Yoga offers the only Alternative Yoga Studies Program in Charlotte!!!!

Starting the third week in August 2020, we will meet every Wednesday from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm for 30 weeks. There will be a two week break in training December 17, 2020 – January 5, 2020 and the last session of the training will be April 21, 2020 (we will not meet on March 31 or April 7 too accommodate Easter/Spring Break) Early bird pricing for this Program is July 1!

In addition to these Wednesday meetings, the following weekends will apply as hours toward the program:

First meeting will take place on Friday, August 23, 2019 at which time both training groups will meet together!
Anatomy weekend, October 24-25, 2019

Students studying in this daytime program are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

Attend all training sessions. If a student cannot attend a session for any reason, one of the teachers can be available to make up the hours. Also note that the make up hours will be at an additional charge.
Practice a minimum of 3 times per week at the studio.
Observe a minimum of 10 classes over the course of the Program.
Certain reading and other homework assignments will be given throughout the program.
Pricing is the same as the regular teacher training program.

2020 Alternative Program begins the third week of August!!!!

Feel free to contact shari@enlightenyogaclt.com with any questions about this program or call the studio at 704-543-8000.

*Both programs have a minimum of 8 people (otherwise program will be cancelled) and a maximum of 16 of people.


(E-RYT 500) Shari worked as a New York corporate lawyer, prior to which she worked in the fitness industry for many years. She finally tried to soften her competitive mindset in 2002 when she expanded her yoga practice to yoga studies.  Shari completed her RYT-200 at Enlighten Yoga, and in 2011, she became the owner of Enlighten Yoga, where she studied for a few years with Andrey Lappa (becoming Level II certified in Universal Yoga).

Shari’s focus has been on anatomy, alignment, sequencing and mindfulness practices, with a special emphasis on working with athletes.  She has studied anatomy extensively, with both Leslie Kaminoff and Tiffany Cruikshank, as well as others.  Shari has also had the good fortune to work with Cora Wen and Desiree Rumbaugh, both of whom focus on alignment and anatomy.  Shari teaches an inventive style of Vinyasa yoga with a greater sense of physical and energetic anatomy and alignment.

Shari oversees and is one of the core teachers of the Enlighten Yoga RYS 200 and RYS 300 and she feels very strongly about the importance of continuing education.  She continues her studies and has participated in trainings with the Himalayan Institute, Blue Mountain Center of Meditation (meditation practices), yoga philosophy with Jeffrey Long, Traditional Yoga Studies (Georg Feuerstein), Yoga Philosophy with Greg Nardi, as well as others, Doug Keller, David Keil, Kino MacGregor, Peter Sterios,  Llama Phuntsok, and Sage Rountree.

Shari has worked with many athletes during most of her teaching career and has developed a specialty training in Yoga for Athletic Recovery. She works with all ages and sports, including a number of college and progressional football players, high school baseball players, college lacrosse players, triathletes, college and professional basketball players, pole vaulters, jockeys, and swimmers, to name a few. Shari offers a Yoga for Athletic Recovery Teacher Training to teach other yoga teachers ways to safely and effectively teach to this population of practitioners.

(RYT 500) Hilary began her yoga journey in 2001 after taking her first Bikram yoga class. The challenge and structure of the practice was monumental in the healing process of the loss of her mother. In 2003 she attended the nine week teacher training with Bikram and Rajhasree Choudhury in Los Angeles, Ca. She has been sharing her love of yoga in the classroom ever since. Hilary has also had the privelege of training with David Swenson, Shiva Rea and Andrey Lappa. She loves to see her students grow and blossom through vinyasa krama and repetition of movement.

(E-RYT 500) From Charlotte, North Carolina, Johnna is a Level 1  Certified ParaYoga® Instructor through founder, YogaRupa Rod Stryker. She is also a Certified Baptiste Teacher®. Her studies and passion has, ongoing for the last 10 years,  taken her to India to practice with the late, legendary Guru Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, and his grandson R. Sharath, of Mysore. Currently, Johnna is studying Ayurveda, the sister healing science to Yoga, with her teacher Dr. Marc Halpern from the California College of Ayurveda.

Johnna teaches locally and internationally, connecting people to the powerful and sweet teachings of Tantra, Ashtanga and Power Yoga. “Our divine birthright is Joy.” She roots this ancient message within her workshops, master classes and co-lead advanced yoga studies.

Her mission is to awaken the world to the yogic teachings, to awaken each dormant heart, and inspire everyone.


The curriculum for our Advanced Yoga Studies Program, is in line with Yoga Alliance standards.  A significant portion of the training covers techniques, training and practice of a variety of yoga tools/techniques including asanas, pranayama, kriyas, mudras, mantra, and meditation, together with teaching methodology.  Our program is also very detailed with anatomy and physiology, as well as subtle/energetic body discussions offered throughout the course of the Program.  Each meeting  includes yoga philosophy and ethics, as well as sanskrit.  Students will be offered plenty of opportunity for practicum ~ teaching, assisting, observing, as well as giving and receiving feedback.  Students will gain a strong understanding of sequencing and will write their own class which they will teach to the group.  Please see below for a more detailed list of topics covered throughout the Program:

The importance of tradition and its role in modern times; the role of a teacher; overview of lineages and pathways.
Importance of certain texts (Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagavad Gita).
Discussion of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, including, but not limited to, a number of sutras in the first and second chapters (padas), the 8-limb path, kleshas, karma, dharma, the two pillars of a yoga practice.
Discussion of the elements and gunas.
Anatomy and physiology will cover functional movement, as well as anatomical teachings of the foot, lower and upper leg, the pelvic girdle, the spine, the shoulder complex (including the nervous and fascial systems).  Asana focus will relate to the anatomical discussion.
Discussion of energetic/subtly body  (nadis, marmas, mayakoshas, vayus and chakras); how these qualities are reflected in the postures and how postures can be sequenced to achieve certain energetic effects.
The art of assisting and adjusting; understanding different body types; alignment as it relates to the individual.
Teaching of poses and the art of sequencing.
Study of pranayamas, mudras, bandhas and cleansing techniques (kriyas).
Introduction to Ayurveda, the “sister science” to yoga and how to create balance for the yoga practitioner based on one’s individual makeup.
Other topics explored include ~ Ashtanga Vinyasa; an introduction to Restorative Yoga and Yin Yoga – the importance of these styles and how they are relevant to today’s yoga; yoga nidra, Hot 26 n 2; Prenatal Yoga; yoga for the beginner; deep stretch.
The business of yoga.