“I’d not really considered the importance of doing a YTT that is ‘non-dogmatic’ before I applied, but having completed this training I see that having the opportunity to absorb history and information about the many paths of yoga without the inference that there is a wrong or right one to choose, or that one is ‘better’ than the other, is fundamental to the process of self-exploration that true yoga offers. The setting is beautiful. The teachers are deeply knowledgeable and so wonderfully willing to share their passion for the subject and their decades of experience.
My own practice transformed as a result of the experience, as a hard-core ashtangi who often pushed my body beyond its limits, I am now softer and more compassionate towards myself and as a result towards others. Some of the other students who came with soft gentle practices have discovered strength and endurance they didn’t know was inside them. I have emerged from this experience with a deeper understanding of yoga, myself, others, and some friends I will treasure for many years to come.”
— Jennifer Crowther
“The teacher training with Heather Elton and Emil Wendell surpassed my expectations. And I tend to expect a lot. The quality of all the classes and teachers was of a very high standard and I just kept learning during each and every class for four weeks day in and day out. Heather has created a beautiful and well-structured program for a full yoga experience and I feel well equipped for the job of being a teacher now. For me personally it was an amazing journey. The meditation, pranayama and philosophy in the mornings with Emil were beautiful and I can still hear his words. The asana practice in the mornings was filled with joy and strength. And then we still had the anatomy classes with Chris Kummer, the adjustments, satsang with John Weddepohl, kirtan with Rachel and John. The experiences never ended and it was wonderful to share it in the group that we were in. Thank you Heather for creating this platform and bringing all these wonderful teachers and yogis together.”
— Josta Van der Kolk
“Thank you for organizing this training and bringing together so many inspiring and knowledgeable teachers. Your openness and honesty really contributed to inspire such qualities in all of us in the group and to bring us together. I’m usually a very reserved and shy person and I’ve never felt as open to a group as in this training. Your emphasis on integrating the philosophy into the teaching, even into an asana class has changed my way of teaching and I try to integrate something from ‘beyond the asana’ into each class… and I often get questions about it! Emil’s philosophy classes gave me a better insight into what hatha yoga is and why pranayama is so important.”
— Sophie Fabre
Pranayama & Meditation : The mornings up in the Buddha shala were magical. I think it is imperative that people realise that this is the entire point of their asana practise …to be able to sit in stillness. To learn from a master like Emil was fantastic. This was what I came for.
Philosophy: Completely outstanding. Such wisdom, and more importantly, imparted with clarity and precision. With any kind of philosophy there is the danger of confusion and this was never the case with the people who taught us. What’s more, the manner was encouraging and gentle and we felt completely as ease asking even inane questions. I’ve read lots of books on all kinds of yoga philosophy and concepts had begun to sink in but there was cloudiness. Learning with people like Emil and John, was a different ball game entirely. Listening to them was a real treat for me. I was very grateful for the opportunity. I can’t say that the clouds have lifted entirely…but there is a bit more sunshine.
Anatomy: Time flew in these 3.5 hour workshops. It’s fascinating …our bodies. I read whatever I can get my hands on, but just as with the above, the knowledge from books is half knowledge. I learnt lots …and it was fun …and he is a delightful person. Thoroughly enjoyed myself and found many ways to incorporate his teachings in the morning asana sessions.
Yoga asana: I wasn’t sure how my body, with so many past injuries …mostly from many years of riding neurotic racehorses and then more recently my wrist …would handle daily Astanga vinyasa ….but it did pretty well, which has not been the case in the past and I began to really enjoy myself. Maybe this was because my body is in better shape than before or maybe the wisdom that comes with age didn’t allow my ego to take over this time out …but definitely it was also because the teachers, all of them, armed us with knowledge. I learnt in the first few days how to protect myself from injury and this was to a large part because of Heather. I felt immediately that I could trust her judgment and it was obvious that our safety was important. She was quick to pounce on our weaknesses and constantly be at us to improve bad habits, which was exactly what I was looking for and I appreciated it. I learnt tons in our sessions together …asana or otherwise and am grateful for that. The adjustment sessions were amazing …I had no idea that one could learn so much from just adjusting another.
On the whole, the entire program was excellent… Quite frankly, I don’t know how Heather does it. I think I speak for us all when I voice my admiration for the way she managed everything.
I enjoyed the ‘different teacher format’…in fact, this was one of the attractions for me when I read up on the course initially. It was lovely meeting all these inspiring and intelligent people.
I loved our talking circles and the yoga quotes we read daily …small but wonderful touches. I think these had a huge impact on everyone and got us all much closer to each other. Tomorrow I am going away for the long Easter weekend to meet my parents …my favourite one from your quotes comes to mind : ‘If you think you are enlightened, go spend a weekend with your parents’ Ram Dass …that one made me smile for a long while.”
— Shirin Metha
“My life has changed drastically since I followed the teacher training. You really inspired me to follow the yogic path and to be honest and true to myself and the world around me. I am changing from a ‘copy-paste’ teacher into a yoga teacher that dares to teach from the heart, honest, just like you :)”
— Zoe Mansfield
“I stumbled, in my dizzying YTT research last November, upon a website unlike any of the others I’d seen so far. Many other websites which advertise credited trainings in India are, in my opinion, laced with fluffy images and descriptions that left me feeling less than satisfied with an ultimate choice. Her website really latched onto me, and I found myself revisiting the detailed description of the training, over and over again.
Heather’s strong, defined and masterful practice is the groundwork needed in something as intimate and personal as a Teacher Training. While some would find her nature of honesty and directness to be harsh, I found it to be sincere and appropriate. As a yoga teacher she holds the space with integrity, leaving behind what we California yogis know as the “mindless-banter-purple-light-seeking-yada-yada…” that comforts without fostering growth. Her unwavering guidance helped us to shed the layers into the raw and honest beings we came to see within ourselves. Her conviction to living yogically is honorable, and took my practice to the next level both on and off the mat. To me she was the teacher I had paid to be trained under, and that I had intended to find in the first place.
Emil, the teaching counterpart to Heather, brings us into light with a fluid and delicate meditation and pranayama practice each day. He lays the ground work for the “shift” in your own awareness. A vessel of knowledge in theory, history, and psychology. He shines a light onto realms of living, understanding, breathing, and being a true yogi. Gentile in soul and speech, he is delicate with his words, yet convicted in his teahings. A truly special man of this time.”
— Ashley Mulligan