Heart of Yoga Retreat & Teacher Training

Experience abundance, nurturing simplicity, and Mark Whitwell's most thorough teachings during two weeks in Fiji's primordial haven. We encourage participants to stay for the full two weeks, but if you can only come for one week, don’t worry! One week provides deep rejuvenation as a retreat and can be used toward your Teacher Training certification to be completed anywhere in the world with Mark. 

  • Come for one week: Mon 30th July – Mon 6th Aug OR Mon 7th – Sun 12th Aug

  • Or the full two weeks: Mon 30th July – Sun 12th Aug

“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

This is not your average teacher training: 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 exquisite surroundings 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 Mark's expert guidance, 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; 
  • Two weeks with a Master Teacher in a tropical paradise!
  • Delicious, fresh meals prepared with love from local ingredients;
  • 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 can arise in 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.

Reserve your spot today by making a deposit:

Deposit secures your spot. 
Early Bird due by June 15th, 2018. 
Standard Rate due in full by July 10th, 2018.
Returning students receive special alumni rates: 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 again, 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!

Please note our accomodation is at the ocean-side Heart of Yoga ashram and is very basic dormitory-style accommodation (more info below). For participants wanting a more luxurious resort-style accommodation, please get in touch and we can help you book this independently at the nearby Garden Island Resort (info below as well), or you are welcome to make your own arrangements. Transport between locations is included.

Pricing & Accommodation options per person*

Ashram (dormitory-style) - SOLD OUT!

  • One Week $1999
  • Two Weeks $3599

Course Only (no accommodation)

  • One Week $1699
  • Two Weeks $2899

* Prices are in US dollars per person and are all-inclusive of your transfer from Taveuni airport (where you fly into from Nadi or Suva, Fiji), three meals a day, accommodation (if this option is selected), transportation during the training, and full tuition. Optional extra adventures e.g. snorkelling may involve slight extra cost.

Feel free to contact retreat coordinator with questions or registration enquiries:

Name *

The Ashram - SOLD OUT!


Most participants choose to live for the duration of the course at the Heart of Yoga Ashram. This special and beloved property is perched above the ocean, allowing for swims anytime, including at a secluded little private beach. The land here is the 'Mother': powerful, sacred, and nurturing, filled with palpable energy. Surrounded by papaya trees and off the grid, this really is the heart of Fiji simplicity and beauty.

Living is communal, and be aware that accommodation is very simple: sleeping is mixed dormitory-style, in two buildings with broad verandas allowing plenty of room for everyone's personal practice. Bathroom facilities are shared; power is limited; there is no Wifi (digital detox time! But don't worry, you can also buy a local data simcard); showers are cold water; beds are "marae-style" (mattresses on the floor). 

The view is completely stunning, the community always warm-hearted and nurturing, and there is ample space for your personal practice, but this is not resort-style accommodation. 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 may prefer to stay at one of the lovely resorts on the island (transport between locations if you choose this option is included in the cost). Get in touch as we're happy to help you book this.


Garden Island Resort

We can also help you book independently at Garden Island Resort, located a few minutes away from the ashram. 

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

***UPDATE*** We are currently organising a traditional Fijian sailing vaka (double-hulled sailing vessel) as an optional, adventurous way to make the journey with Mark from Suva to Taveuni. This is likely to leave Suva on the Friday or Saturday prior to the training. If you are interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, please contact voyage coordinator Rosalind at rosalind.atkinson@gmail.com.