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Lighten Up Online 200 Hour Yoga Studies Program ~ Intensive Program
Enlighten Yoga’s
Institute of Teaching and Continuing Education
RYS 200 and RYS 300

Johnna Smith, Hilary Kossack and Shari Goldstein, September 1, 2020 (photo credit Wanda Koch)


Dear prospective student,

The LIGHTEN UP 200 HOUR ONLINE YOGA STUDIES PROGRAM provides students with a STRONG FOUNDATION in the study and practice of yoga for anyone looking to enhance his/her knowledge of yoga and personal practice and/or to become an exceptional yoga teacher.  Our Program is one of the most comprehensive programs out there!

The subject of yoga is exhilarating and life affirming, and is worthy of a lifetime of learning.  Our goal is to deepen your understanding of why yoga works, by studying the traditional practices and philosophy through modern applications.  We will analyze the science of yoga as a lifestyle, a world view and as a profession.

What sets our Program apart is it allows you the schedule flexibility of an online study, while maintaining the high standards and in-depth/comprehensive content of our in-person trainings.  As part of our Program, we will offer live, virtual sessions to foster a sense of community among students and teachers.

Completion of this course and course requirements is compliant with Yoga Alliance RYT 200 hour standards.

With love,
Johnna, Hilary and Shari


  • The Lighten Up Online 200 Hour Yoga Studies Program incorporates all of the same requirements, the same curriculum, and the same standards as our in-person Program ~ the only difference is that you can attend in the privacy of your own home.
  • Our yoga classes are based on a vinyasa style of teaching.  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 a forever student with a love for this beautiful practice.
  • The Lighten Up Online Yoga Studies Program is structured to be completed in 12 consecutive weeks.  During this 12 week period, you are able to study the modules at your convenience to suit your schedule, allowing you to pace your work and permitting more time for practice and review.
  • We offer daily live streamed  practices.  If you miss a live streamed class, recordings will be available which can be used for practice or observing.
  • You will have access to our classes specifically sequenced for the Program, in addition to access to all live streamed virtual classes taught by Enlighten Yoga teachers.
  • You will not only have unlimited access to our lectures, classes and any other information shared for the duration of your study, but this unlimited access will continue for a period of 60 days following your expected date of completion (12 weeks form your commencement date).
  • We have been training teachers since 2004, including online trainings. You will have the benefit of having more than one teacher.  which will afford you different perspectives of topics and will provide you with more opportunities to develop your own voice.
  • Combined, we have more than 50 years of experience with a diverse wealth of knowledge (our bios are included below).  We compliment each other based on our diverse yoga studies and our various teaching strengths, and each of us continues to study and delve deeper into our fields of focus.   While we are diverse in our yoga studies and areas of focus, we are consistent in the teaching techniques and methodologies and in creating a space and community built on common respect.  We hold true to the rich tradition and history of this practice, while practicing in a modern world.
    • The Lighten Up 200 Hour Online Yoga Studies Program offers content above and beyond that which is required by Yoga Alliance ~
      • Discussing numerous topics covering the history of yoga and yoga philosophy.
      • Analyzing postures from both an anatomical and subtle body perspective.  We teach the postures, breaking them down, not only for your personal practice, but also with regard to cueing, modifications and effective teaching methodologies.
      • Studying the body structure and function ~ both from a traditional teaching perspective and also from a functional, integrative view.
      • Providing a number of lectures regarding other techniques ~ pranayama, mudras, bandhas, mantra, visualization (including practices of these techniques).
      • Deep dive into the subtle body.
      • Discussions of meditation and mindfulness practices, including sense withdrawal and single-pointed focus (including practices).
  • The Lighten Up 200 Hour Online Yoga Studies 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.
  • At the completion of this Program, you will be well established in your yoga practice and have a strong understanding of the techniques of yoga and its methodology.  You will be well versed to teach ~ all who have completed our Program who have desired to teach have gone on to do so.  You will have the requisite number of hours and information to be able to apply to Yoga Alliance for the RYT 200 certification.


  • The Lighten Up 200 Hour Online Yoga Studies Program is designed to be completed in a 12 consecutive week period.  The next Program will begin September 1, 2020, and thereafter start dates are as follows: January 4, 2021, and May 17, 2021.
  • The program encompasses 10 topics, which are subdivided into 12 Modules (one Module per week).  Each module is further divided into lectures.  All of these Modules are recorded and part of the training library made available to you.  You are expected to watch each Module at which there will be a benchmark quiz.
  • Our 10 Topics are as follows (with each topic encompassing a number of modules/lectures and practices):
    • Yoga history, philosophy and ethics (including Upanishads, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika).  Topics discussed will include, but are not limited to, the history and evolution of yoga, the role of a teacher, overview of lineages and pathways, kleshas, the 8-limb path, karma, dharma, the two pillars of a yoga practice, the faculties of the mind.
    • Anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.
    • Subtle body including discussion of the elements and gunas, mayakoshas, chakras, nadis and prana vayus.
    • Teaching techniques ~ asana/postures; ways to teach, cue and modify, as well as contraindications.  Included will be an introduction to other styles/systems of yoga practices ~ Ashtanga Vinyasa, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, 26n2,  deep stretch and yoga for beginners.
    • Sequencing/teaching methodology ~ how to create a sequence (including the whole environment for the class based on intention – tone, pace, cueing, class management, music and other factors and considerations).
    • Assisting and adjusting ~ how to assist with demonstration, words, as well as hands-on adjusting (understanding that in our current environment hands-on adjusting is not an option).
    • Additional tools and practices including pranayama, mudras, bandhas, drshti, mantra and visualization.
    • Subtler practices ~ including sense withdrawal, single-pointed focus, meditation and mindfulness techniques and yoga nidra.
    • Ayurveda ~ self-care and daily routines; how to create balance for the yoga practitioner based on one’s individual makeup.
    • Business and ethics of yoga ~ marketing, resumes, online teaching.
  • You are expected to practice a minimum of 5 times a week.  A live streamed virtual class will be offered every day.  These classes will be recorded and made part of the training library.  In the event that you are unable to participate in a live class, you will have access to a recorded version.
  • Once a week we will meet as a group virtually to discuss in more detail the topic that relates to that particular week (two weekly options for this meeting will be offered).  This meeting will offer you an opportunity for Q&A.
  • You will be expected to observe 8 classes.  Each observation will have a specific focus.
  • Each topic will have reading assignments.
  • As part of our sequencing, we will provide you with examples of class templates.  You will record yourself teaching one of these classes to one or more people.


The Path of the Yoga Sutras, Nicolai Bachman
The Yamas & Niyamas, Deborah Adele
Yoga Beyond Belief, Ganga White
Light on Pranayama, BKS Iyengar
Bhagavad Gita, Stephen Mitchell
The Heart of Yoga, TKV Desikachar
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sri Swami Satchidananda


Please read our cancellation policy

  • $3,000 ~ $500 (non-refundable) enrollment fee to reserve your spot.  Remainder ($2,500) is due no later than the first day of the training session. $2,800 Early Bird Pricing (if paid in full upon enrollment, no later than one month prior to start of Program)).
  • A payment plan will allow students to pay $250 weekly (after the initial $500 nonrefundable enrollment fee) during the course of the 12 week period.
  • Unlimited live streaming and recorded classes for the duration of the course.  Recordings and all other course materials will be available to you for an additional 60 days following your completion date.
  • A one hour one-on-one session with one of the lead teachers, to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time, during the second half of your training session.
  • Weekly live virtual group meetings.


Please note the following refund policy:

  • Cancel up to two (2) weeks prior: full refund (less the nonrefundable enrollment fee).
  • Cancel within two (2) week period prior to start of Program (but before two (2) days before start): 50% refund of refundable amount.
  • Cancel within two (2) days of start of Program: No refund.
  • Payment plans cannot be canceled once Program begins.



Johnna Smith (E-RYT 500) is a Level 1 Certified ParaYoga® Instructor 

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

Years of panic attacks and an inner searching for something led Johnna to the yoga mat. Beginning in 1995, with Ashtanga Yoga practices, she found more joy and less fear.

In 2001 Johnna realized that in this lifetime she wanted to wake up to her true purpose: sharing yoga, . Which requires a teacher. She began her lifelong studies of Para Yoga with Tantra Vidya Guru YogaRupa Rod Stryker and is a Level 1  Certified ParaYoga® Instructor . Devoted to yoga’s deeper teachings she, in 2004, began regularly traveling to Mysore, India studying with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and later Sri R. Sharath Jois. In 2016 Sri Sharath blessed her with Authorization Level 2. She is also a Certified Baptiste Teacher®. Johnna’s sister passion is Ayurveda, and is a certified Ayurveda Health Coach through both California College of Ayurveda and Shakti School.

Johnna wishes to share the teachings of yoga in a way that inspires people to develop a passionate love for the practice and life. She incorporates yoga practices, philosophy, devotional songs and daily lifestyle practices, so that the deeper aspects of the yoga tradition can connect us and bring us closer together.

Her mission is to awaken the world to the yogic teachings, to awaken each dormant heart, and inspire. “Connect to that untapped source deep within, find your fire and follow your heart. Be led to a life of joy and fulfillment.”

She humbly bows to her teachers: Sri YogaRupa, Baron Baptiste, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Sri R. Sharath Jois and Katie Silcox. “I feel so blessed to have these teachings in this lifetime, Thank you.”

Hilary Bifulco Kossack (RYT 500) Hilary Bifulco Kossack 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. The training, which was 500 hours sealed her dedication to asana and pranayama.She has been sharing her love of yoga in the classroom ever since.

In November 2006, Hilary was fortunate to experience her first continued education with Shiva Rea. The freedom and fluidity of movement within intelligent vinyasa krama was a whole fantastic new world. Hilary continued to seek out Shiva Rea’s workshops and eventually completed her vinyasa teacher training hours. Shortly after Hilary began to teach at Yoga Flex, a universal inspired studio. Here, she had the opportunity to train with Andrey Lappa. At this time she was also mentored by Shari and her top teachers taking her sequencing to a whole new level.

More recently Hilary has reconnected with the Ghosh lineage with two outstanding teachers and yoga historians, Ida Jo and Scott Lamps. Hilary did a year mentorship with Ghosh yoga to cultivate a deeper home practice with more emphasis on pranayama and meditation. She continues to self study as often as her life allows. Hilary has also had the privilege of learning from David Swenson, Desiree Rambaugh, Greg Nardi and Kino MacGregor. Hilary has co-lead teacher training at Enlighten Yoga for two years and loves to see her students grow, blossom and evolve in their personal yoga studies.

Shari Goldstein (E-RYT 500) worked as a New York corporate lawyer, prior to which she worked in the fitness industry for many years. In 2002, she expanded her yoga practice to yoga studies.  Shari completed her RYT-200 at Enlighten Yoga, and in 2010, 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 yoga philosophy, anatomy, alignment, sequencing and mindfulness practices, with a special emphasis on working with athletes.

Yoga Philosophy: Greg Nardi (Ashtanga Yoga Worldwide), Doug Keller, Yoga Philosophy with Jeffrey Long, Traditional Yoga Studies (Georg Feuerstein);

Anatomy: Tom Myers (Laboratory for Anatomical Enlightenment ~ Cadaver Dissection) and Structure and Function, Leslie Kaminoff (Complete Yoga Anatomy Training), Tiffany Cruikshank, David Keil among others.

Alignment: Cora Wen and Desiree Rumbaugh.

Sequencing: Andrey Lappa, Rocky Heron

Meditation/Mindfulness: Mindfulness Mastermind training, Yale University (Happiness), Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, Embodied Philosophy, Himalayan Institute, Yoga International, Llama Phunstock

Additional studies/workshops: Kino Macgregor, Peter Sterios, Sage Rountree, Eric Paskel

Shari teaches an inventive style of Vinyasa yoga with a greater sense of physical and energetic anatomy and alignment.

Shari has also 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.


What if I fail a quiz?

The quiz at the end of each topic will quiz you on key information discussed in the modules of that topic and you will be allowed to retake the quizzes as many times as needed.

What if I miss any of the live portions?

We require 100% attendance to graduate and receive a certificate of completion from the Program. You will be allowed to watch recorded meetings.  If you miss more than one live meeting, you will be allowed to join respective live meetings in the next training session.

What if I am unable to complete the program in a 12 consecutive week period?

You will have access to the Program’s online platform for a period of 60 days following what would have been your completion date.  You will also be invited to join live meetings of the next training session. Basically, you are given two additional months within which to complete the Program requirements.


I recently graduated from the program for a second time!  I was relatively new to yoga on my first go-around and I merely wanted to learn more about this practice that so intrigued me – and boy, did I!  Then, with a few more years of experience under my belt, I excitedly returned, both to dig much deeper on a personal level and also to begin teaching to others.  I am incredibly grateful for both trainings.  The fellowship developed between the trainees and the dedication from the teachers are paramount.  Shari, Hilary and Johnna have countless years of experience and vast knowledge. They’ve come together, each originally hailing from a different lineage of yoga, which provides a unique and immeasurable platform for the trainees.  Paula V

I was told this was the best teacher training program around and it did not disappoint! Johnna Smith was my lead teacher, she is the real deal. A true yogi that leads by example and someone I will follow for years to come! Shari’s knowledge of anatomy as it pertains to yoga was clearly presented and Hilary has a yoga flow like none other. These three ladies are professional, knowledgeable and super helpful. I highly recommend this program. Diane M

Words cannot remotely express the experience I had with teacher training! It was one of thee best decisions I  have ever made for myself! Shari Goldstein, Hilary Kossack and Johnna Smith are AMAZING yogis! The in-depth philosophy of yoga tied in with asana teaching brought my practice full circle. Before teacher training, I knew there was so much more to yoga than the postures. This training showed me how to search and find what yoga is to me brought me beyond just asana. It brought me inside, stilling my mind,… Forever grateful  and humbled. Jaime C

This Teacher Training program was an incredible journey. Shari, Hilary and Johnna combine their unique backgrounds in order to provide an in-depth look into the philosophy, history and practice of yoga. These extraordinary women have taught me SO much and have molded me into the confident and intelligent woman and teacher I am today. Whether you want to teach or merely deepen your practice, I HIGHLY recommend the Lighten Up Yoga Studies Program. You will learn so much about yourself and how to approach certain aspects of your life.   Carly B