Women’s Yoga Retreat in Puerto Rico

I have found the perfect venue for the 2023 annual women’s retreat in the Caribbean! The venue is a beautiful boutique hotel called Dreamcatcher in Puerto Rico, which is only a 3-hour and 45-minute flight from New York City and the hotel is only a 10-minute drive from San Juan airport. We will be taking over the whole hotel which makes for a richer and more fun experience. The hotel is located 200 steps from the beach. I have also rented a gorgeous yoga studio so there is no need to bring your own props unless you are attached to them. The prices below include accommodation, 3 meals per day (except one night where we can explore some local flavor), taxes, and 3 hours of yoga each day. It is a BYOB situation for those that would like to partake in a drink or two. San Juan is also at your fingertips if you would like to explore, shop, dine, or drink. I am excited about branching out to this new location and I hope you are as well. Maureen is taking care of the logistics and can answer any questions that you may have. I hope that you have had a great summer and to see you on the beach in Puerto Rico!  ❤️ Love, Colleen

YOGA SHANTI GOLD: Janu Sirsasana

Iyengar says that if you understand Janu Sirsasana (one-legged seated forward bend) that you will understand the essence of all of the forward bends.  What are the elements that make up this important pose? Where does it belong in sequences? We will break it down and make you fall even more in love with this crescent shaped, asymmetrical closed twist and forward bend.  Come and open up the treasure chest of Janu Sirsasana.

Participate in this discussion by submitting your questions relating to the topic above by midnight on Saturday, April 30th to sagharbor@yogashanti.com with “Gold Question” in the subject line of the email.

200Hr Yoga Teacher Training (Spring 2023)

This program is now OPEN for enrollment. We will be accepting applications until December 20th, 2022 for online or in-person participation. The application process is as follows: Step 1) Register on our Union page and pay tuition. Please select to “Register for Zoom Session” even if you intend to participate in some (or all) of the sessions in person. Step 2) Complete this application form. Step 3) Once your tuition has been paid and your application form has been reviewed we will confirm official acceptance within 48 hours. Please contact us with any questions.

Yoga Shanti’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training is an opportunity to open a doorway into self-awareness of body, mind, and spirit! This hybrid training includes 3.5 months of direct study with Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee, with the option to participate entirely online, in-person, or a combination of both! This carefully curated program is designed to immerse you in the study of yoga, enriching and strengthening your personal practice, and preparing you to teach a set of safe Shanti-style sequences. The curriculum will include cultivating a daily home practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation with a focus on alignment, flow, and inquiry of the subtle. You will develop teaching skills including sequencing, seeing and understanding bodies, and manual adjusting. Your study will also include anatomy and philosophy. Plenty of individual attention and mentorship will be available for each student. This training has the potential to transform your life, and we hope that you will join us on this ever-unfolding journey.

Read Graduate Testimonials Frequently Asked Questions

Program Structure

The training comprises nine long-weekend immersions roughly every 2 weekends (see exact dates below). The group also meets for compulsory one-hour mentorship meetings on Tuesdays. Students are required to attend all sessions live for a minimum of 80% real-time participation. The entire program will also be recorded and available for on-demand replay so that students can bring themselves up to speed if there is an occasional scheduling conflict. These replays are also an invaluable resource for students during the entire program, allowing for the review of content during home study.

8 Weekend Sessions Over 3.5 Months:

  • February 3-5 and 17-19
  • March 3-5, 17-19
  • March 31 – April 2
  • April 14-16 and 28-30
  • May 19-21

Fridays: 6:00-8:00pm (EST)
Saturdays: 9:15am-5:00pm (EST)
Sundays: 9:15am-4:30pm (EST)

Weekly 1-hour Mentorship Calls:
Tuesdays, with the option of 12:30pm or 7:00pm (EST)

Required Weekly Yoga Classes:
Students are also required to take at least one additional public Yoga Shanti class each week. This can be taken live or on-demand any time within the same week.

Reading List

  • Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
  • Yoga for Life by Colleen Saidman
  • When Love Comes to Light by Richard Freeman
  • The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama by Richard Rosen
  • The Mirror of Yoga: Awakening the Intelligence of Body and Mind by Richard Freeman
  • Also required: Subscription to Gaia Yoga Foundations for the duration of training.

Suggested Props for Home Practice

  • A Yoga Mat
  • 2 Yoga Bricks (foam or cork)
  • 3 Blankets
  • 1 Yoga belt or strap
  • 1 Sandbag (fill with 5 lb fish tank pebbles)

Technical Requirements

  • A reliable internet connection and computer/smart-phone with camera.
  • A location in your home that you can set up as a yoga practice space.
  • A setup so that instructors can review your practice virtually. Your space should be well lit so that you are clearly visible on screen. It is important that instructors are able to see your full practice space.
  • The WhatsApp mobile application
  • The Zoom application

Tuition

Tuition for this program is $3160 (for online, in-person or hybrid participation) and includes a 30-class yoga pass to use during the course of the program. Several monthly payment plans are available during the registration process. Graduates of previous Yoga Shanti Teacher Trainings can participate in this training at a reduced tuition of $1960. Please email your graduation certificate to training@yogashanti.com to access this discount code.

Payment Plan Options

Various payment plans are available for a $45 admin fee and are outlined below. The initial installment is payable when you register and the follow-up payments occur automatically on the same day monthly thereafter. Note: Because tuition must be paid in full by the end of the program the longer-term plans become unavailable as the program start date draws nearer.

  • 3 monthly installments of $1315
  • 4 monthly installments of $987
  • 5 monthly installments of $789
  • 6 monthly installments of $567
  • 3 monthly installments of $1100 (previous grads only)
  • 5 monthly installments of $660 (previous grads only)
    Previous graduates should email training@yogashanti.com for a discount code.

Diversity Scholarship

Yoga Shanti is dedicated to making yoga accessible to as many people as possible and to increasing diversity in the yoga community. As part of our commitment to this endeavor, we have established The Yoga Shanti Diversity Scholarship to encourage and assist people from under-represented groups to join our training program. The scholarship application deadline for this training is midnight on January 3rd, 2022.

Enrollment Process

We will be accepting student registrations up until December 20th, 2022 for this program. The application process is as follows: Step 1) Register on our Union page and pay tuition. Please select to “Register for Zoom Session” even if you intend to participate in some (or all) of the sessions in person. Step 2) Complete this application form. Step 3) Once your tuition has been paid and your application form has been reviewed we will confirm official acceptance within 48 hours. Please contact us with any questions.

Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Students may withdraw from the training up until end-of-day on December 20th, 2022 for any reason for a refund of any tuition paid, less a completely non-refundable $300 administrative deposit. After December 20th, 2022 no refunds will be given but the funds may be used towards another training should we schedule another within one year from the student’s original application date. Students on payment plans who withdraw are required to complete their tuition payments on the original schedule in order to be eligible to participate in another training within one year. In the event that we do not schedule another training, the entire sum will be non-refundable. In the event that a student is refused continuation of the program at any time for any reason, there will be no refunds made and the student will be charged any remaining tuition balance.

YOGA SHANTI GOLD: Jalandhara Bandha

  1. What is Jalandhara Bandha?
  2. What is the architecture?
  3. What is the action?
  4. How do we prepare for it?
  5. Why bother?
These are some of the questions that will guide our inquiry into Jalandhara Banha. Join us for this upcoming Gold session where together we illuminate and experience the power and subtlety of the valve at the base of the throat.

Participate in this discussion by submitting your questions relating to the topic above by midnight on Saturday, March 19th to sagharbor@yogashanti.com with “Gold Question” in the subject line of the email.

YOGA SHANTI GOLD: Peak Pose Sequencing (An Exploration for Teachers and Students)

1. How and why do you pick a peak pose?
2. What are you trying to learn from the peak pose?
3. What alignment points will set you up for accessibility to the peak pose and why?
4. What are the basic elements of the pose and which of those elements cause difficulty or lack of understanding?
5. What other poses are similar in shape and in action?
These are some of the questions that will guide our inquiry into “peak pose sequencing”. Join us as we play with different ways to break the yoga sequencing code by playing with the pieces of the asana puzzle. We will be architect, builder, interior designer, and occupant.

Participate in this discussion by submitting your questions relating to the topic above by midnight on Saturday, February 19th to sagharbor@yogashanti.com with “Gold Question” in the subject line of the email.

Yoga Shanti Gift Cards

Activate an unlimited yoga gift card you have received

Purchase a Gift Card for Someone

Select any of the passes below to send as a gift to someone you love. You can choose to have the recipient notified by email immediately or at a select future date of your choice. Please review the information below to familiarize yourself with the simple steps necessary to send a Yoga Shanti gift card.
If you need help, please email us with your phone number and we will contact you to guide you through the process.

Step 1. Choose a Gift

Select a gift below to add to your cart. You will need to create your own Union account during this process if you do not have one already, even if you are just buying a gift for someone else. (To gift any of our monthly subscriptions, please contact us by email.)

1 In-Person Class: $35

5 In-Person Classes: $165

10 In-Person Classes: $310

One Month of Unlimited In-Person & Online Yoga: $299

Two Months of Unlimited In-Person & Online Yoga: $598

1 Livestream Class: $15

10 Livestream Classes: $140

One Month of Unlimited Online Yoga: $170

Two Months of Unlimited Online Yoga: $340

GIFT: 200HR Yoga Teacher Training: $2360

$100 Yoga Shanti Gift Card

$200 Yoga Shanti Gift Card

$600 Yoga Shanti Gift Card

$1000 Yoga Shanti Gift Card

Step 2. Check the “Add gift options” Checkbox

Once you select to add any of the above passes to your cart, (and have logged into Union), you will be presented with a screen that looks similar to the image below. At this stage, be sure to select the checkbox next to “Add gift options” (outlined in the aqua box) so that you can enter your gift recipient’s details in the next step.

Step 3. Enter Gift Recipient’s Details

As you progress to the checkout, you will be asked to enter the full name and email address of your gift recipient, as well as a short personal note, and to select the date on which the gift notification should be emailed to them. If you do not select a future date they will be notified immediately. The screen will look similar to the image below.

Optional: Purchase Multiple Gifts at the Same Time!

If you added multiple passes to your cart, then the screen will show gift options for each individual pass so that you can choose to gift passes to several people.

Optional: Physical Gift Card Request

Once you have completed the steps above, if you chose to send the gift to your recipient immediately they will have already received a notification of their gift direct email from Union. If you chose a future date and would like to give the recipient a physical Yoga Shanti gift card, please use the form below to request we send one out in the First class mail within 48 hours to you or directly to the recipient. You will need to have your Union order receipt number from your gift purchase handy when you complete this form (found on your email receipt):

YOGA SHANTI GOLD: Ganesh, Bhujapidansana, Mayurasana, and Kapalabati Breath

Ganesh: The Remover of Obstacles. Bhujapidansana and mayurasana will serve as our asana obstacles in this session. We will use them as a way to understand how our perspective and attitude about these arm balances can get in the way of our play and experimentation.  Finding our path back to an open mind and our natural curiosity is our class topic for this Shanti Gold session. Kapalabati will be our breath focus to help clear the Nadis, providing an easy breath in the midst of challenge.

Participate in this discussion by submitting your questions by midnight on August 13th to sagharbor@yogashanti.com with “Gold Question” in the subject line of the email.

Hopeful Notes and Music for the End Times

In these turbulent times, I’ve found refuge on my yoga mat, and I’ve found real joy in listening to music, making daily space for deep listening sessions to soothe my troubled soul. I hope you all have been doing the same because it’s incredibly helpful. One artist whose music I’ve played a lot lately is the visionary Alice Coltrane, especially her beautiful piece entitled “Turiya and Ramakrishna” — Turiya being the 4th state of consciousness beyond time, thought, love and will, the superconscious which is indescribable, the one true, pure self. Such expansive, gorgeous, blue sky ideas… I hope you can give this music a deep listen as I have, not only because it’s so appropriate to the times, but you might enjoy it. In the spirit of Alice Coltrane and her gorgeous music, I’ve entitled my dharma talk:

Hopeful Notes and Music for the End Times

“Helped are those who love the entire cosmos rather than their own tiny country, city or farm, for to them will be shown the unbroken web of life and the meaning of infinity.” — Alice Walker

“We are caught in an inseparable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” — Martin Luther King

Truer words could not have been spoken by our beloved freedom fighter and novelist respectively, words that clearly illustrate something I’ve grappled with lately, and perhaps you have too: the collapse of the space between the personal and the collective as we confront together the epic tsunami of current events. We are living through extraordinary times, one might even say radical times, the word radical, here, perfectly defined for us by activist Angela Davis as meaning simply “grasping things at the root.” As yogis we can relate to this idea of the root, and the transformation that is possible from harnessing our ground. She goes on to urgently say, “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” I have thought of this call to action often when for the past 90 days, a rapid succession of interlocking catastrophic global and national events has held us captive and sheltered in place. And like so many of you, I too have been gripped by reactions of disbelief, denial, terror, anger, horror, sadness and utter despair. Where was my blue sky, I wondered? Had you told me in February that we would soon be in the throes of a ferocious pandemic that is disproportionately killing people of color—my heartbreak, shutdowns/lockdowns/and social distance, a great recession where 1 in 6 black Americans is out of work, a destabilizing crisis in leadership, multiple murderous lynchings of innocent black people in plain sight, a great and diverse outpouring of public rage and pain on our streets and a fervent demand for justice and reform of the tenacious racial inequities that permeate every single aspect of our lived experiences in America, if you had told me in February that all these things would come to pass by spring, I would not have believed you. How could I? The streets are echoing the sentiments of Ms. Davis when she says: “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such a great reckoning unfolding before us here today. I never thought I would see the day…

“Neither love nor terror makes one blind; indifference makes one blind.” — James Baldwin

“Our lives begin to end the day that we become silent about things that matter. ” — MLK

“Your silence will not protect you.” — Audre Lorde

We have all learned in our studies that yoga means UNION, a linking of the the individual consciousness to the universal consciousness. We have learned that traditional yoga seeks a state of tranquil withdrawal from the world, a non-attachment, a letting go of the fruits of our actions. I hope you will join me along with the growing chorus of voices that also insist that in today’s world, it is also entirely possible and even preferable to cultivate the fundamental tenets of yoga, that is: serenity, non-judgement, peace of mind, while also being of and in the world, while also being of service to the world. Not just by the yoga that we practice on our mats, but by the yoga that we embody in our experiences, the yogic values that we embody in our lives: compassion, freedom, equanimity, a release from suffering, from illusion, from the fluctuations of the mind, spaciousness. Author and yoga teacher Roseanne Harvey says that there is “no fundamental disconnect between the deeper roots of meditative yoga and political involvement. On the contrary: the focus on compassion, truth and justice is essential for the practice to remain relevant.”

Just yesterday Rodney Yee taught us a master class on some of these related principles: He urged us to organize our bodies on the mat to be centered; to efficiently align our skeletal structure with our breath to harness our personal power; to practice asana to feel our bodies; to augment the peace within ourselves; to extend these actions from the internal to the external, from the individual to the collective, to reach for connectivity. To self. To cosmos. To community. Yoga is connectivity he told us. Organize. Center. Align. Augment. Feel. See. Listen. Connect. In her teachings, Angela Davis says, “It is in collectives that we find the reserves of hope and optimism.” And Martin Luther King asks of us this fundamental thing; “Life’s most persistent question is: what are you doing for others?” We have power on our mats and in the world. We have influence. We have tools. We have voice. Our calling as yogis, as humans, is to share these skills and empower others too. Yoga is an agent of change, not just of the individual, but of the universal within us and the collective without. Sanskrit scholar Manorama teaches us that the pulse of our heartbeat is the pulsation of the entire world.

I’d like to share a beautiful poem with you by Audre Lorde:

When I dare to be powerful, to use my
Strength in the service
of my vision, then it
becomes less and less
important whether I am
afraid.

I invite you all to not be afraid, to use your strength in the service of your vision, to be an agent of positive change in America today.

Let us gather our hands in prayer in front of our hearts and let us close by contemplating the music of the spheres, the sound of the heavens within us, OM.

Lead us from untruth to truth.
Lead us from darkness to light.
Lead us from death to immortality.

Blue skies, at last.

Namaste.