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 with “Gold Question” in the subject line of the email.

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 with “Gold Question” in the subject line of the email.

300Hr Advanced YTT: Online or In-Person

This program is OPEN for enrollment until August 20th, 2022 for online or in-person participation. Please “Register for Zoom Session” even if you intend to participate in some (or all) of the sessions in person. You must also complete the application form—you will find the link to this in your email receipt after you enroll and complete the tuition payment. Students who enroll by July 20th will have the cost of the listed required reading materials and the anatomy software covered, and receive a carefully-curated Yoga Shanti YTT gift box. Please contact us with any questions.

The Essence of Yoga: Ancient Wisdom for our Modern Times is a deep immersive experience that will move you beyond the fundamentals of yoga into the realm of subtlety and increased wonder. The program can be taken either entirely online, entirely in-person, or a combination of both! This advanced yoga teacher training gives you extensive access to Colleen, Rodney and the program Mentors. Individual attention and mentorship is a unique and supportive aspect of this training. The community that develops is significant, supportive, fun, and long-lasting! Colleen and Rodney will guide you in establishing and refining a strong foundation for a life-long study and teaching of yoga. The curriculum will include a deeper look into your daily home practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation. Your teaching skills including sequencing, alignment and seeing and understanding bodies will be honed. Anatomy, philosophy, and chanting are important components included in the curriculum. There will be special guest appearances from some of the most renowned yoga teachers of our time.

Read Graduate Testimonials Frequently Asked Questions

Upon acceptance into the program, you will receive a list of required and recommended readings and written assignments. You will have a one-on-one Zoom session to introduce you to our online platforms. This unique program will take place over the course of 3 months, beginning September 23rd, 2022 and ending January 22nd, 2023 (see the exact schedule of dates below). Most of the sessions take place over weekends. At least 80% of the program must be attended in real-time, but every session is recorded and available to watch on Replay for when missing a session or two is unavoidable—or for review in your own time. Replays are also available for 30 days after the program ends.


Our 300-Hour advanced teacher training covers the following topics:

  • Enhancing your own practice and understanding
  • How to confidently teach a class for the desired energetic outcome
  • Sequencing for emotions, advanced poses, the health of the spine and nervous system
  • The art of verbal instruction and demonstration
  • Pranayama and meditation
  • Experiential anatomy
  • Seeing and understanding bodies
  • Therapeutics
  • The relevancy of Eastern philosophy for the Western mind
  • Essential studies

Program Structure

The training begins with a 5-Day Intensive to dive deeply into our advanced studies, which is then followed by seven training weekends and ends with 3 days of final evaluations. Please note that students are required to participate live at least 80% of the time. (Please communicate with us beforehand if you anticipate missing more than 20% of the actual program dates.)

2022/23 Program Dates

  • Initial 5-Day Intensive:
    Friday, September 23rd – Tuesday, September 27th: 9:15am – 4:30pm (EST)
  • Weekly 1-hour Mentorship Calls:
    Tuesdays, with the option of 12:30pm or 7:00pm (EST)
  • 8 Weekend Sessions:
    October 7-9
    October 21-23
    November 4-6
    November 18-20
    December 2-4
    December 16-18
    January 6-9 (4 days)
    January 20-22 (Final evaluations)
  • Fridays: 6:00-8:00pm (EST)
    Saturdays: 9:15am-5:00pm (EST)
    Sundays: 9:15am-4:30pm (EST)
  • Additional Required Yoga Classes:
    Students are required to take one class every week with Colleen or Rodney during training. These classes can be taken live or on-demand any time within the same week.
    + Students must take 5 Beginner classes throughout the duration of training.
    + Students must complete 5 class observations throughout the duration of training.

Required Reading

  • When Love Comes to Light by Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor
  • Yoga FAQ by Richard Rosen
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Chip Hartranft
  • Yoga For Life by Colleen Saidman
  • Moving Toward Balance by Rodney Yee
  • The Muscles Premium application from the Visible Body anatomy series.

Recommended Reading

  • Yoga Body by Mark Singleton
  • Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Suzuki Roshi
  • The Book of Joy by Dalia Lama and Desmond Tutu
  • Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health by Iyengar

Required Props

  • 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)
  • A chair
  • A yoga bolster (the 3 blankets can substitute)

Technical Requirements

  • A reliable internet connection and computer/device with a camera and microphone.
  • The WhatsApp mobile application installed on your smartphone.
  • 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 if you are practicing from home. Your space should be very well lit so that you are clearly visible on screen. It is important that instructors are able to see your full practice space.


This teacher training is designed for students who have already completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training program. Serious practitioners looking to continue their personal studies in yoga are also welcome to apply. Admittance into the program is subject to approval on a case-by-case basis.


Tuition for this program is $3900 and includes a 25-class yoga pass for online or in-person classes with Yoga Shanti for the duration of training. Multiple monthly payment plans are available. Graduates of previous Yoga Shanti Teacher Trainings can participate in this training at a reduced tuition of $3300. (Please email for details.) Enrollment is limited to 64 students.

How to Enroll

We will be accepting enrollments until August 20th, 2022. Students who enroll by midnight on July 20th will receive the cost of the listed required reading materials covered, as well as the anatomy software application, and a carefully curated Yoga Shanti teacher trainee gift box. All students should please “Register for Zoom Session” on this registration page, even if they intend to participate in some (or all) of the sessions in person. You must also complete the application form — you will find the link to this form in your email receipt after you complete the tuition payment.

The Yoga Shanti 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 July 31st, 2022. Please forward this information to anyone you feel may benefit from this opportunity.

Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Students may withdraw from the training up until end-of-day on July 31st, 2022 for any reason for a refund of any tuition paid, less a completely non-refundable $300 administrative deposit. After July 31st, 2022 no refunds will be given but the funds may be used towards another training should we schedule another 300-hr training within 18 months from the student’s original registration date. (Another 300-hour training occurring within this time-frame is not guaranteed.) Students who are on payment plans who withdraw from the program for any reason are required to complete their tuition payments on the original schedule in order to be eligible to participate in another training within 18 months. 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 also be charged any remaining tuition balance.

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 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: Monthly on a Sunday!

Usually Every Third Sunday of the Month* you help select the topics for our Yoga Shanti Gold sessions; one philosophical pondering and a specific asana. Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee weave these into a 30-minute asana* practice followed by a 30-minute talk with Q & A session. Yoga Shanti Gold sessions take place over Zoom so that we can foster community with an up-close and personal vibe. Discourse will be generated by deeply harvested questions. Anyone can attend—there are no prerequisites besides a Beginner’s Mind and a desire to explore yoga and it’s core principles. Participants are not required to participate in the asana portion or discussions; sitting, observing, and listening are equally welcome!

*Occasionally Yoga Shanti Gold happens on a different Sunday of the month due to scheduling conflicts.

Tickets: $30
Livestream Pass Subscribers: FREE
Subscribers to any of our monthly Livestream passes get FREE access to our Gold session each month. An email will be sent to all Subscribers in the days leading up to the event (September 19th) with an Access Code to register for the event with a FREE ticket.
Important: You must be registered for this event even if you know you cannot attend in order to receive an email with a link to the Replay recording that will be sent out after the event.


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

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.