Heart of Yoga Retreat & Teacher Training

This is not your average teacher training…

Experience abundance, nurturing simplicity, profound community, and Mark Whitwell's most thorough teachings during two weeks in Fiji's primordial haven. If anything, this is an ‘untraining,’ where we throw out of our systems all the thought systems and movement patterns that are not serving us, and come into harmony within and without.

“The only reason we choose to do yoga is for the pleasure — the literal pleasure — of our systems relaxing and filling with energy. It is not some struggle to enjoy a future result.” — Mark Whitwell

Mark teaches Yoga from the Great Tradition, as brought forth by the "teacher of the teachers," Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, rather than any 'style' of Yoga. You will therefore be able to apply these principles to any style or level of Yoga you wish to practice or teach, to make all Yoga individualized, effective, enjoyable, and safe.

In the simplicity and wildness of Taveuni, the 'Garden Island,' we will explore how Yoga is not just a physical workout, a collection of information, or a "spiritual" workout towards a future, better version of ourselves. It is each person's direct participation in the nurturing force of reality, as it is appearing as you, me, and everything else. Mark's teachings give us the practical tools that allow us to feel our own intrinsic joy, freedom, and authority, and share this.

With guidance from Mark and assistant teachers, you will receive:

  • Opportunity to deeply explore the practice of Asana, including appropriate inversions, twists, forward bends, and backbends, designed specifically for you and your students;

  • Experiential knowledge of Asana, Pranayama, Meditation and Life as a seamless process;

  • Krishnamacharya's Five Principles of Practice, restoring receptivity and sensitivity to asana (and life);

  • Exploration of Bandha in Asana and Pranayama;

  • Exploration of the Yoga Sutras, Vedic chanting, and how to incorporate mantra in practice;

  • Understanding of Vinyasa Krama, the art of appropriate sequencing;

  • Yoga philosophy, but in the deepest, practically embodied sense of "loving wisdom," rather than as dry theory;

  • The essential principle of "strength receiving" and how Yoga enables a person to feel and enjoy the union of all opposites;

  • Actually tasty, fresh meals prepared with love from mostly local ingredients, organic as much as possible;

  • Optional adventures to Taveuni's famous sacred waterfalls, Bouma Falls, to local snorkelling sites, and to the incredible local natural rock waterslide;

  • Sublime classical Indian sitar and sarod music from master musicians Joanna Mack and Bruce Hamm;

  • Understanding of the "social dynamic of disempowerment" that defines and limits most teaching situations, and knowledge of how to care and teach as a friend and equal;

  • Connection with other genuine practitioners from around the world who want something more than a cookie-cutter teacher training;

  • The skills through Yoga to get your life right for you, and to help others do the same;

  • Deep, profound relaxation, and the experience of feeling the intrinsic beauty of our own nature, as nature.

Money / Energy Exchange:

Deposit secures your spot.
Standard Rate due in full by September 1 2019.
Scholarships available for Fijians wanting to become Yoga teachers.

Please write to programs@heartofyoga.com for more information.

Who is this retreat / immersion for?

  • Anyone who has taken a workshop or class with Mark and feels drawn to go deeper into the teachings;

  • Anyone who wants their practice to be pleasurable, not about struggle towards future results;

  • Existing teachers who feel disillusioned or lost in the 'Yoga Industrial Complex,' and want to put the heart back in their teaching and practice;

  • Those just starting to practice, who intuit that Yoga is not about gymnastics, or about 'spiritual gymnastics';

  • Anyone looking for a practical technology from the Great Tradition to support them in their devotional or Yogic life in an empowered and authentic way;

  • Anyone wanting to understand the connection between practice on the mat, and relationships off the mat, and how to make it all our Yoga;

  • All those interested in the lineage of Krishnamacharya and the accuracy of practice that has been left out of so much modern Yoga.

  • Anyone wanting a sublime, relaxing, yogic retreat in a paradise island with beautiful music, food, people, and environment!

  • Those who cringe at the prospect of a assembly line training and want something wilder, more intimate, more integrated with the local culture and community, more spontaneous, less knowledge based and more experiential, and more community focused.

Please note that accommodation options and practice space are yet to be confirmed. You are welcome to register interest or even make a deposit to save a space and we can let you know when it’s all worked out.

Please contact retreat coordinator with questions or registration enquiries:

Name *




Garden Island Resort

This award-winning resort is well known for its excellent dive staff and world class diving location just 15 minutes from the White Wall and 25 exciting dive sites. We are a boutique resort offering excellent personalized service and luxurious comfort in each of our 30 rooms. All are equipped with the essential amenities to ensure your utmost comfort and are located right on the water’s edge giving you sunning views over the straits and to the nearby islands.

The waterfront location provides each room with water views and beautiful sunsets. The lush tropical garden offers bananas, papayas, pineapples, passion fruit, coconuts, and a variety of citrus fruits seasonally ready for our guests. The ocean front Spa offers pampering and relaxation provided by our well trained staff.

All rooms are equipped with the essential amenities to ensure your utmost comfort and are located right on the water’s edge giving you sunning views over the straits and to the nearby islands. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, and feature either a private patio or balcony. Each room is air conditioned, and is equipped with:

  • Private ensuite bathroom

  • Coffee/tea-making facilities

  • Mini-refrigerator

  • Flat-screen TV with DVD player

  • Internet access

  • Telephone


The land here is the 'Mother': powerful, sacred, and nurturing, filled with palpable energy. Surrounded by papaya trees and pineapple bushes, this really is the heart of Fiji simplicity and beauty.

Please be aware that life in Fiji is simple: food options, transport and cell reception are all less slick and efficient than you may be used to. There is one main road winding around the island of Taveuni, and much of it is unsealed. Power can be intermittent, as can cell reception.

Luxury comes in the form of the ocean spread before you, the warm Fijian air, the geckoes at night time chirping, and the papaya trees covered in cascades of fruit all around. If you're looking for a private room or bathroom, you’ll prefer to stay at the Garden Island Resort (transport for the short distance between here and practice hall is included via local taxis).