Advanced Studies

Apprentice Program at Rushing Water Yoga January 2019- March 2020
Description of the Program

The apprenticeship program is meant to provide Iyengar Yoga students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of yoga, prepare to teach or to deepen their teaching skills. The program is run by Paul Cheek. Paul is an Intermediate Junior I certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor, and is therefore allowed to take on apprentices and mentor students to become certified Iyengar Yoga teachers.

An integral part of the program is the monthly meeting. This meeting will include time to ask questions on what was observed in classes, practice teaching with feedback, homework assignments discussions on asana, pranayama, yoga philosophy, anatomy, and what it means to be an effective teacher. The Iyengar Yoga assessment process will also be discussed.

Also, the apprenticeship includes two one-on-one meetings with Paul to meet the individual needs of each apprentice.

In this program, apprentices will have the opportunity to observe classes taught by Paul. This gives the apprentice a chance to understand class sequencing, adjustments, prop usage, working with injuries and other aspects of running a successful class. Apprentices will also have the opportunity to teach poses within the classes. Paul will observe and give feedback on the teaching. As apprentices progress in the program, they will be allowed to assist in class as well. Apprentices will observe classes including gentle classes.


Iyengar Yoga students wishing to deepen their practice or train to become Iyengar Yoga teachers can apply for the Apprentice Program.


  • At least two years of Iyengar Yoga instruction
  • Commitment to the Iyengar Yoga method
  • Regular weekly study with Paul in the year prior to application or with another certified Iyengar teacher. If the applicant has not studied with Paul, the applicant’s teacher will need to provide a recommendation.
Program Dates and Cost

The apprentice program will be offered January 2018 – March 2019. July and August will be off months. The cost of the program is $1,000. This does not include the cost of weekly classes with Paul or attendance at workshops.


Apprentices are expected to:

  • Make the commitment to the 150 hour program. A longer apprenticeship can be arranged.
  • Study on a weekly basis with Paul. Consistent weekly attendance is expected. If the apprentice is not in the Portland area, other options can be discussed.
  • Observe a weekly class taught by Paul. Consistent attendance at this class is expected. Arrangements for specific classes to be observed will be made once accepted into the program. If the apprentice is not in the Portland area, other options can be discussed.
  • Attend a monthly apprenticeship meeting. The meeting length will be 3 hours. These meeting will most likely take place on Saturday afternoons, although if all apprentices can meet on a weekday, then this is a possibility. Dates to be scheduled, once the group is set.
  • Join IYANW – the Iyengar Yoga Association of the Northwest.
  • Have a copy of :
    Light on Yoga, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, The Tree of Yoga and Light on Pranayama all by BKS Iyengar
    Yoga, A Gem for Women, Yoga in Action: Preliminary Course, Yoga in Action: Intermediate Course all by Geeta
  • Two other copies of the Yoga Sutras.
    Suggested copies:
    The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sri Swami Satichidananda
    The Essence of Yoga, Bouanchaud
  • Attend one workshop with a senior Iyengar Yoga teacher during the course of the apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship and Certification

If the apprentice desires to become a certified teacher, the apprentice needs to formally ask Paul to be their mentoring teacher. However, it is not expected that all apprentices have certification as their goal.

A second recommending teacher is required when pursuing certified status. Paul will discuss with the apprentice the choices available for the second recommending teacher. Apprenticeship in this program will provide the 30 hours needed to apply for Introductory I assessment and meet the 150 hour requirement for application for Introductory II certification. The 150 hours will be structured as follows:

Activity                                                      Hours
Weekly class attendance with paul          55
Weekly observation of class                      55
Monthly apprentice meetings                   36
One-on-one meetings with paul                 4
Total                                                            150

Opportunities to make up missed hours (due to travel, illness, etc.) will be offered. Apprentices will be expected to study and practice on their own in addition to these hours. Apprentices will be expected to maintain a log of their attendance at classes and meetings to document the hours. Hours in class do not count towards apprenticeship until the program starts.

The path to certification is more than a 150 hours process, and if on the certification path, the apprentice will be asked to continue to study with Paul and attend certification study group meetings until they have passed both the Introductory I and Introductory II tests. There will be an additional cost after March 2019 to continue to attend monthly meetings.

Please contact Paul with any questions at

Application: (PDF)