Bula Fiji!

Welcome to the Heart of Yoga Teacher Training

Congratulations on taking a step into authentic Yoga practice, as it has come through from the Great Tradition.

Yoga is participation in that which is great: the power of this cosmos unfolding as radiance, the power that brought you here in the first place and currently sustains you. 

The heart of Yoga is intimacy with body, breath, and relationship, and in this matter nothing can replace sincere enquiry and dialogue between two actual people in friendship and respect. 

As you prepare to attend the training, please take the time to study the recommended texts and, if you don’t already, begin a simple personal practice, as can be found on the iPromise and Yoga Promise apps. 

Questions will inevitably arise in engagement with the texts and the practice: bring this active enquiry with you to the training to get the most out of our time together. 

Please have a look at the welcome materials in preparation for our time together in the beautiful, nurturing environment of Taveuni Island.

Our programs manager will be in touch with further information and logistics.  

I look forward to connecting in person.
See you soon.

Much Love,
Mark and the Heart of Yoga Team


FINAL PAYMENT INFORMATION

Please note final payment for early bird is due by June 15th, 2018. Standard rate final payment is due in full by July 10th, 2018. 


GETTING THERE

Breaking news! Together with our dear Fijian friends we are organising a TRADITIONAL FIJIAN SAILING VAKA (double-hulled vessel) to SAIL with Mark from the Fijian capital of Suva to Taveuni, via the remote Koro Island. This is going to be a historic yogic ocean pilgrimage honouring indigenous culture and Fiji's incredible ocean-going history.

Departs Suva Thursday 26th (with 24 hour weather window) and arrives Sunday approx 1600, salty and utterly blessed. Costs: FJ$400 plus $110 for membership in the sailing trust and 'uniform' (approx. US$250). Please contact coordinator rosalind.atkinson@gmail.com if you feel drawn to make this voyage. (One way only.)

FLYING:

You can fly internationally into Nadi airport on the west of the main island of Fiji, or into Suva on the east. Fiji Airways often has affordable international flights.

From these places you can choose to fly to Taveuni with either Fiji Airways or Northern Air (much cheaper, but their flight schedule is irregular, check it here: https://ars.northernair.com.fj/Booking/FlightSchedules/)

FERRY

If you're feeling more time-rich and adventurous, you can also arrive in Taveuni via ferry. It takes approx 12-16 hours. Goundar Shipping Ltd. offers a daily schedule to Taveuni as well as other nearby islands. To check out their schedule and rates please consult their website: Goundar Shipping Ltd. There is also a new ferry service also, Miller Shipping, going from Suva to Taveuni and back. It leaves at 4am at either end. Fare is $71 FJD one way. More info under 'ferries' in the link below.

More info: http://www.pure-taveuni.com/gettinghere.html


PRE-REQUISITE READING

  1. "The Heart of Yoga, Developing A Personal Practice" – T.K.V. Desikachar - CLICK HERE TO ORDER
  2. "Yoga of Heart, The Healing Power of Intimate Connection" – Mark Whitwell - CLICK HERE TO ORDER
  3. "The Promise of Love, Sex and Intimacy" – Mark Whitwell - CLICK HERE TO ORDER
  4. OR "The Promise: You can have what you really want" – Mark Whitwell - CLICK HERE TO ORDER (n.b. these are two editions of the same text)
  5. Heart of Yoga Training Manual – This will be emailed. Please print, read, and bring with you.  You will complete the assignments in the manual during the course. A printed copy is good to have during the daily classes for reference and note taking.

TIMETABLE

Monday 30th July: 9am Welcome Circle

Approximate Daily Schedule (please note this is to give you a rough idea: our actual timetable will be discussed and worked out collectively around daylight hours, meal locations, etc.)

Morning self-practice, swim, etc.
8am Breakfast at accommodations
9am Gather, morning session
1pm–2.30pm Lunch and exploration/swim/free time
2.30pm–5.30pm Afternoon session
6pm Dinner together
7pm Evening self-practice time / free time

Note that our different areas of study (sequencing, mantra, the Yoga Sutras, subtle anatomy, poses and counterposes, yantra, meditation, practicum, etc.) are woven seamlessly together throughout the training, arising naturally in the engaged flow of two-directional, experiential education, rather than in rigid units of info dump. 


TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

When you arrive in Fiji, you will receive a Declaration form that you will need to present at Customs. If your arrival and departure dates mean you are in Fiji for more than 14 days, it is very important that you choose LEISURE PURPOSES, as they will not grant you a permit for educational purposes for more than two weeks. Be aware that when asked "what will you be doing," if you say "Yoga teacher training," this will be classed as education and you may face problems at customs. Better to say "holiday" or "relaxing break doing yoga," both of which will be true! As a holiday visitor you will receive a four-month visa.

Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months longer than your stay!


CUSTOMS

You can click here for more information about what you are/are not allowed to bring into Fiji: https://www.frcs.org.fj/our-services/customs/visiting-fiji/arriving-in-fiji/


RECOMMENDATIONS

We recommend bringing the following items with you:

  • Printed copy of the Heart of Yoga Training Manual
  • Your yoga mat
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight / solar light
  • A beach towel (those staying at the ashram may like to bring two towels, one for the beach and one for the shower)
  • A light sweater and light rain jacket may be a good idea as rain may come and goes periodically
  • A mosquito net if you can if you're staying at the ashram — we have several but not for everyone
  • If you like snorkelling, bring your gear
  • Power outlets are 240 Volts AC50Hz with three power points. Solar chargers and adaptors are recommended!
  • If you enjoy nuts, trail mix, granola bars, particular teas, or any other non-perishable foods, you can usually bring them through Fiji Customs at the airport without any issues, just make sure you declare them on your arrival form (see the above link to check the Customs website). Keep in mind we will be on a small island with a simple agricultural way of life, so if you thrive on particular snacks, bring them with you! We will always keep you well-fed on delicious local food but you may like to bring your customary favourites.

CURRENCY

The local currency is Fijian dollars.  There are currency exchanges at the airports in Nadi and Suva. Bring Fijian cash if you want to buy anything from the local craftswomen, the local market and/or any additional taxi services you may desire. There is a grocery store nearby that accepts credit cards, and an ATM in the town.  These are both a 15-20 minute drive from the ashram, and walking distance from Garden Island Resort.


INTERNET

For those wanting Internet access, please bear in mind it's slow!
Fiji time :)

  • If you must be on your computer, then you can buy a data stick or pocket wifi.  These can range anywhere from about FDJ$70 to FJD$300 without a data plan, which start at an additional FJD$35.
  • If you have an un-locked smart phone, you can purchase a Data SIM card for as low as FJD$35 for 500MB (valid for one week).  If you are coming from the USA, you can “unlock” your phone by simply calling your service provider and telling them you are going overseas and need to use your phone.  It can take a few days to process, but is free and easy to unlock it. 
  • We have used both a pocket wifi and a smart phone data plan and found that the Internet on the smart phone is more consistent. PLUS, the FJD$75 data plan on the smart phone comes with 2GB of data, 45 minutes of international talk time and is valid for one month. (Please note this is as of 2017: prices and plans may have changed.)

·      Also, Garden Island Resort (a 15-20 minute drive away) and Taveuni Dive Resort (a 5-10 minute walk from the ashram) have high-speed wifi for a fee. Guests of these resorts have wifi incuded for free.


SPECIAL EVENTS

We have a few optional organized events while you are here:

Snorkel/Dive Trip to Somosomo Straight:

Cost for snorkeling is FJ$85 if you go out in a boat with Divers, and FJ$125 if you go with just snorkelers. Price is per person and includes all government taxes, mask, fins, snorkels, wet suits, water, juice, and light snacks on the boat.

We snorkel on the world Famous Rainbow Reef, and normally do two different snorkeling sites. A one-hour snorkel, quick surface interval on the boat with snacks, then relocate to our second site, a second snorkel then back in to the marina. The entire experience will take about 4 hours. This is organised with Taveuni Dive Resort.

Bouma Falls:

½ day: approx. FJ$58 per person  (including park entrance fee)

Tavoro Waterfalls is part of Bouma Heritage Park and is at the top of the list of things to do on Taveuni. The entire experience will take about five hours and be offered midway through the training on Saturday 4th August or Sunday 5th August. To get to the falls, we will take a one-hour shuttle to the opposite side of the island, and stop in at the Tavoro Visitor Center to pay the entrance fee.

The trail begins from there and starts out with an easy 10-minute walk to the first and most famous waterfall of Fiji, Bouma Falls.  Then the trail continues up a series of switchbacks (this is the hard part but only takes 20mins!) past great views of Qamea and Matagi and Laucala to the second falls. The third falls is an adventurous further hike for the fit and enthusiastic. Along the way, we will see many of the birds and life of the Fiji forest, some of which can be found nowhere else in Fiji, and can cool off by swimming in any of the incredibly clear volcanic pools beneath the falls at each level. 

Water Slide: Free

This natural water slide is a local secret!  It’s only a very short drive and walk from the ashram, and is a fun post-lunch trip that will be scheduled when the weather is nice and the river is at its best level. You must be adventurous to go down the water slide!  But all can enjoy soaking in the cool, pristine river water and watch the “sliders” from the bottom. The experience will take about one to two hours and be offered during a lunch break.

Taveuni Women’s Empowerment Support Group:

Free to browse — cash needed if you'd like to buy of the crafts on offer.

This is a local group of woman artisans who sell their crafts to an international market with the support of non-profit groups. They are currently focusing on hand-woven yoga mats, reusable shopping bags, yoga mat bags, jewelry and traditional crafts, as well honey, sauces and jams.

We are proud to support our local community and have been honored to see this group grow over the years to become a viable resource for the women of Taveuni.

The group will set up their items in the yoga shala and be open to browse during a lunch break.


CONTACT INFORMATION

  • Garden Island Resort: Address: PO Box 1, Waiyevo, Taveuni, Fiji. Phone: +679-888-0286
  • Rosalind (coordinator): +64277159538

  • Wani (our dear friend and fabulous shuttle driver who will be picking you up at the Taveuni airport): +679-948-1149

  • There will be an on-the-ground coordinator during the program