Online learning offers convenience and flexibility, but nothing compares to the live experience of a training program in a facility like Heartwood. Our RYS-200 immersion program is a 14-day session allowing students an opportunity to dive deeply into yoga and receive their certification in a progressive, immersion format in a striking facility where hands on learning and interaction creates a dynamic, embodied training experience. Unlike some distance retreats that offer vacation-style retreat experiences with some coursework woven into the day, Heartwood's immersion courses, while inspirational and soul nurturing, are designed to establish a strong foundation for teaching yoga. We understand the importance of progressive learning to support your goals and dreams and the time spent with us is allocated entirely to making you the best yoga teacher you can be as we establish roots in classical yoga tradition, built awareness and dive into practicums to build confidence and competency. That said, the Heartwood grounds, staff, and comprehensive program make Heartwood feel like a magical world away, right in Florida.
Heartwood Yoga Institute is one of only 68 yoga schools internationally that are accredited to certify Yoga Therapists. This program has an emphasis on yoga as a therapeutic practice.
Graduates become RYT-200 certified upon graduation when they join Yoga Alliance.
Bonus Material! Students pick from one of three online training courses free with training:
Students can do the prerecorded content at their convenience but are also invited to attend an interactive zoom session where practice, lecture and interaction reinforces your understanding of the subject.
We have two online components to this class which help students learn most effectively. An anatomy course and a course for getting your yoga business started after graduation.
Want to learn more? We are happy to give prospective students a tour or talk on the phone or on zoom if you have any questions and to explore if we are the best fit for you and your goals. Please see the home page of this site to set up an appointment.
Yoga teacher training
Learn more about Yoga Certification and how Heartwood covers all core competencies.
Please be advised: The first date noted is arrival day, Saturday, which includes orientation and a few hours of instruction, beginning at 6pm. The last Friday noted is graduation at 6pm. Students can leave or stay for the in-person Chair Training.
We begin each day gathering with our coffee or tea for Sangha or spiritual studies. This is followed by a practice to assure students are exposed to varied methodology of yoga to expand the understanding of the most popular yoga styles today. Some of the classes may be yin or restorative, while others are flow or kundalini. After practice we have lectures, films, anatomy, meditation, pranayama, teaching practice, etc. We are careful to pace the day to keep everyone's energy up and since the Heartwood grounds are a very inspirational place, we often move out of the yoga center to have a discussion around our fire pit, practice in our open-air yoga pavilion or under the shade of trees near the medicine wheel or hold conversations in the meditation gazebo. Heartwood's meditation garden won a national award and was featured in Country Garden Magazine too, providing another inspirational environment to visit or practice.
In addition to a classical yoga education, this program includes a creative art project, gong meditations, journaling, a personal photo shoot, business of yoga, and other lovely activities to open minds and hearts to a new way of looking at life, while also preparing the student for teaching others. Be prepared for 12 wonderful days of yoga, yoga, yoga. You will work hard but enjoy every minute.
We believe that the only way to be a great yoga teacher is to be, first and foremost, a true yogi. So, this program is as much for you and your personal development as it is for your future students and career goals. Yoga at Heartwood is deeply transformational and, thanks to the fact that one lesson or discussion stacks upon another, invites participants to form a deep relationship with yoga. Unlike some drawn out programs where down time between meetings, to much of a focus on memorizing sequences, or missed sessions pause the process, we find the immersion program produces some truly amazing, dynamic teachers, thanks to the momentum and single focus of the studies during our time together.
During these programs, a vegetarian lunch and dinner together is served on the grounds of Heartwood. We dine family style (vegan and gluten- options available), and students have access to self-serve continental breakfast food, allowing everyone to eat according to their body clock and so we can break bread together to connect as a tribe. Snacks are available all day, including fruit, vegan muffins, nuts, or healthy treats. Coffee and tea is available all day. No one goes hungry at Heartwood because we understand that to get the most out of your training, fueling up with healthy fare is important.
We often have participants with years of yoga experience, and others who are new to yoga but craving to learn more. We believe every yoga teacher needs a solid foundation in yoga and so, regardless of experience, we start at the beginning with everyone, building upon core concepts and establishing roots in classical yoga education. No matter where you begin, you will leave the program with a profoundly expanded understanding of yoga. All levels are welcome, and you will find that your experience in asana (the physical practice of yoga) is only a small part of what you learn in YTT, and pretty much everyone is a beginner in the journey of the deeper dimensions of yoga.
No worries if you feel out of shape or have issues that make asana challenging. We've had students with all levels participate successfully. Considering the entire staff at Heartwood are yoga therapists we provide modifications, advice and support so everyone can handle the physical requirements. (We've had older students, students with Parkinson's and other issues who have successfully completed the course.)
Yoga Alliance does require some kind of evaluation to establish competency, so we do have activities we engage in for evaluation and to build confidence and competency. But no worries, we don't do formal, graded, written tests. Students participate in practicum teaching to receive feedback to help ready them to teach yoga and we do some low-pressure appraisal of knowledge (a nice way of saying "testing") to be sure everyone is processing and retaining the information that is important for a yoga teacher to know to teach safely. Our tests are not so much designed as testing for the students, but testing to be sure we taught the material in a way that students can understand. If people are confused, we want to know so we can review the material again. No one has ever failed the testing portions of the Heartwood program.
If flying in, both the Sarasota or Tampa Airport are approximately a 45 minutes drive. We do one complimentary pick up from each on arrival day, so don't make flight arrangements until learning about our scheduled pick-up if you wish to take advantage of the free shuttle. Otherwise, uber is readily available. Tampa is a much larger airport and you will want to add wait times to your schedule.
The immersion programs include a comprehensive manual (so save room in your luggage to get a big notebook home) some yoga gifts and supplies used during the training, a yoga journal, all food and snacks, a photo shoot to jump start your career, online lifetime access to the material to reinforce your education, and airport pick up if needed. Not included: personal flights or travel expenses and required books (approximately $60.00 on Amazon). The book list is sent with the welcome e-mail. Students also receive a free bonus certification course to take online at their convenience, with a choice of Chair Yoga certification or Ayurveda. Online live zoom sessions are available but not required for those who want feedback and practicum practice after taking the online course.
You will be amazed at how much you learn and understand in this progressive program. But it is true that retaining all that information is easier for some than others. For this reason our entire program is also offered online with powerful prerecorded sessions to make the concepts easy to understand and apply. All of our graduates are offered lifetime access to this material to reinforce your education and provide a resource to support your career after you have had the empowering live experience, and you can even join us for our online zoom sessions to revisit lessons later if this is helpful or inspirational to you. The online content includes anatomy, postures, alignment & modifications, Sanskrit, philosophy, sound healing, meditation, pranayama, business of yoga and more which you can access when or if you ever wish to revisit the teachings.
When a person decides to commit 200 hours to study a subject (even one they love) it requires an investment of time, energy and money. We are honored when people trust us with their yoga education and do our best to provide an inspirational, authentic yoga experience that sets a foundation for future learning, teaching and personal development. The Heartwood 12 day RYS-200 immersion yoga certification is recognized worldwide through Yoga Alliance and our reputation is something we are deeply proud of. You can check Heartwood Yoga Institute on the Yoga Alliance Website to see over 300 five-star reviews from people who have graduated from our program and gone on to forge careers (Link below).
As a yoga training facility (rather than a studio) our staff trains almost 200 teachers a season, so the program has been refined and continues to evolve, raising educational standards as well as creating a truly inspirational facility for learning. It is our belief that yoga introduced well is an experience that lasts a lifetime. We keep programs small (averaging 10-16) so each student is recognized as an individual, has opportunity to contribute to conversations and sharing, and the tribe can connect on a deeply personal level.
Best of all, students graduate feeling both competent and confident with a deep understanding of yoga and a skill set that can be applied to their lives and improving the lives of others.
We go out of our way to make our students feel respected, safe, and a part of a dynamic learning collective. We believe everyone has something special to contribute to the learning environment, be it the wisdom of experience or some great questions that help us all dig deeper into a subject. Our student guidelines are defined to uphold the integrity of the school and keep the atmosphere positive, productive and progressive! Our hope is that by offering comprehensive information here, students will know up front if we will be a good fit for them and their goals and expectations. Check our guidelines to understand your educational commitment, learn about tuition payment plans and more. Check the bottom of the page to learn about financing options too.
Worried about retaining all the information offered in a 12 day immersion format? Heartwood provides all our graduates with an online training program that revisits all the core material you learn with us in person, providing a valuable ongoing resource to deepen your understanding and to support your education beyond your time with us. Check out this video introduction of the bonus material available to every graduate.
Advanced yoga training should be guided by seasoned teachers with qualifications and experience you can count on. The Heartwood core instructors are all ERYT-500 yoga teachers, Reiki Masters, C-IAYT yoga therapists and LMT's with specialty training in energy work, such as cranio sacral therapy and Thai massage. Other guest teachers whose expertise enhances the learning experience are invited to join us for special contributions. You can read over 300 reviews from graduates from our program on the Yoga Alliance Website as well (link below). Heartwood Yoga Institute has been a member of IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapy) since 2012. We are one of only 80 internationally IAYT accredited yoga therapy training schools.
We start on arrival day with an orientation at 6pm where we get acquainted, go over the syllabus, assign dorms to those staying with us and tour the Heartwood facility. Students should arrive between 3pm and 6pm. We begin the formal training the next morning at 8:30 am.
No lodging is available before the scheduled arrival day, (please refer to our housing options for a link to nearby hotels for those who need a night's accommodation due to the travel arrangements they have made.) Students who do not arrive by 6:00pm for the orientation on arrival day would need to get a hotel room for the first night if their travel arrangements did not make it possible to arrive by 6:00 pm, as we are not available to greet or take care of late guests once the session begins. We cannot disturb students in any of our housing options after 9pm.
We offer a free airport pickups on the scheduled arrival day at 4:30 pm from the Tampa Airport or Sarasota Airport. If you come earlier, you will need to wait at the airport or rent a car or Uber to come to Heartwood instead of waiting for our free service. The Tampa airport is a one hour drive, and the Sarasota airport is a 38 minute drive unless traffic extends the trip. Our free return airport transfer will leave the day after training at 8:00 am. Flights leaving at 11:00am or later will be fine with this arrangement. Otherwise, students making earlier flight arrangements will need to take an Uber or catch a ride with one of their tribe members (and often, after spending a few weeks together and forming trusting friendships, this is the case.)
Checkout of Heartwood Housing is at 10:00 am.
We strive to make your visit as convenient as possible, but as a small, private educational facility attending to only 7-12 students a session (rather than a large resort or hotel) we must adhere to the procedures explained here and our services for rides etc.. are limited.