Richard Schachtel – Director

Richard Schachtel

Richard Schachtel

Richard is one of the most influential yoga teachers in the Northwestern United States.

Originally certified in 1974 as a Sivananda Yoga Teacher, Richard has been studying Iyengar Yoga since 1976 and was one of the first group of Americans to be certified as an Iyengar Yoga teacher in 1984. Today Richard enjoys teaching all levels of students- beginners to advanced, and those with special needs. He conducts a number type of yoga teacher training courses and supervises an apprenticeship program. Many of Seattle area’s yoga teachers, as well as students from around the US, Canada, and Abroad, have received their teacher training with Richard.

Richard has taught yoga in Seattle for 41 years and is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Richard has studied 21 times in India with B.K.S., Geeta and Prashant Iyengar at their renowned Institute in Poona India where he has received training in Asana (yoga postures), Pranayama (breath control), Medical Therapeutic Yoga (working with students with injuries or medical conditions), and Yoga Philosophy.

Richard has given guest Iyengar yoga workshops in Washington DC, Chicago, Alaska, Idaho, Texas, and Honolulu Hawaii. He and has taught in Australia and India. Richard has been on the teaching staff at several of the National Iyengar Yoga Conventions.

Richard has worked for fifteen years as an Assessor for the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Association of the United States to determine which teachers are qualified to earn the Iyengar yoga teaching credential. He operates one of only 41 authorized Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Programs in the US, and is the only authorized Iyengar Yoga teacher trainer in the Seattle area.

Richard first trained in India with B.K.S. Iyengar in 1980 and his 22nd India yoga study trip Richard is planned for winter of 2016. He continues to enjoy deepening his practice and sharing his many years of experience. Richard founded the Center in 1980 and continues to serve as its Director. He is Seattle’s most Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher.


Student Comments

[Richard's training was] clearly taught with a desire to share all of [his] previous learnings and experiences with students. The studio reflects a professionalism, and I felt confident that I was learning in a very effective way. My only disappointment was that I couldn't take the entire course [4-Week Summer Immersion]. However, in my short week of practice, I was exposed to enough information to keep me learning and practicing until next summer. I liked the recommended reading suggested before the course began. I use the books regularly to help me. I [also] liked the number of sessions each day and seeing the studio operations, other classes, other students.


Indonesia


I loved [the training]. Very inspiring! Overall, the training ... exceeded my expectations. It was rigorous and required discipline. I liked that. I [also] liked that Richard individualized his instruction and could pick out the areas I needed to work on immediately. So, although I was in a class with other individuals I still got personalized isstruction. I've been teaching an adult beginning class for one year and trying to find my way. Letting my students dictate the formate too much. This Intensive helped get me back on track and gave me a direction - how and what to teach. Richard is extremely knowledgeable and pointed out areas I could improve in my own practice.


Boise, Idaho


Richard is an excellent instructor who really helped me deepen my yoga practice. Perhaps more than the actual instruction "about teaching," I learned more about teaching from having him teach yoga to students. Observing him and watching him in action was enormously helpful. His passion for Iyengar yoga is infectious. Thank you for a transformative four weeks!


Freeport, Maine


[Richard's] demonstrations were great. He explained everything to detail — that was my favorite part. And he also noticed our own areas where we needed improvement. I believe everyone was quite surprised about that. [In response to "What did you like about the training?"] First of all, I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I liked the way Richard explained little details about the poses — that was very helpful. I'm glad that the yoga center is in Seattle. Now I have someplace close by to go with a great and quite knowlegeable teacher like Richard. The part that I loved/feared the most, but got a lot our of, was when Richard asked a student to teach an asana to a group (4-6) of pretend beginners. Whether you were just observing, or one of the pretend beginners, or teaching the asana, you benefited. From all these different angles, you learn what they did right and wrong. I loved how this class made you think in clear and precise words, training you to look at a beginner as a whole picture, then seeing the details. It's one thing listening to Richard teaching a class, but quite another for you to put the asana into words yourself. Conveying what you want them to do can be a very stressful and thrilling all a the same time. Richard was very patient and very helpful in pointing out our weak and strong points in teaching an asana.


Palo Cedro, California


Richard is an excellent teacher. I've taken lots of yoga classes from lots of teachers -- he is worth the effort required.


Richard Schachtel was a wonderful guide to yoga. He teaches with the care that is needed for each student to get the most out of the technique and has the remarkable ability to keep the stiff and the limber comfortable in the same class. The Iyengar emphasis on alignment and precision led directly to the kind of body awareness I'd only sometimes achieved in the same postures before. I was able to move my body another step each day, building on the learning of the previous day's class. Highly recommended.


Richard was a great instructor. His focus on technique made it easy to progress into more advanced poses later on in the course. I appreciate that he pushed the class to its full potential every day, knowing our limits.


Richard's commitment to the practice of yoga is an inspiration, and I especially appreciated the eagerness and patience with which he prodded us neophytes into body wakefulness each morning despite the fact that 7:00 a.m. is NOT my brightest hour! But by the end of class, I always felt fully charged. His gentle and demanding (unrelenting!?) teaching style pushed and pulled me through several passages in my body. What a gift!