Ojai, California

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

Yoga is your 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 required reading and, if you don't have one already, begin a simple personal daily practice, as can be found on the iPromise and Yoga Promise apps.

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

I look forward to seeing you in person.

Much love,
Mark and the Heart of Yoga Team


For those who have just made deposit, please note final payment can be made here: https://www.heartofyoga.com/final-payment-ojai. Thank you!


  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 (note: these are two editions of the same text: either is fine)
  5. Heart of Yoga Training Manual – Please print, read and bring this with you.  You will complete the assignments in the manual during the course, plus a printed copy can be useful for reference and note taking.


  • 8:00am – 9:00am – Breakfast at the Pepper Tree (included for guests at Pepper Tree  & Spirit House)
  • 9:00am – 1:00pm : Morning Session
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm : Lunch at The Pepper Tree Main House
  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm : Free Time*
  • 3:30pm – 7:30pm : Afternoon Session
  • 7:30pm – 8:30pm : Dinner

* During Free Time, you will have the opportunity to explore the Pepper Tree Retreat grounds or may be asked to work with a partner to further your yoga studies. 


The evenings in Ojai can become chilly as the temperature drops can into the 50s. During the day, however, you can expect a variety of weather including warm sunshine with temperatures in the high 70s to 90s. Layers of clothes are always recommended:



Classes will be held in the Pepper Tree Event Pavilion.  It is a beautiful, hexagonal wooden building with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. It can be chilly in the mornings up there, but we endeavor to keep it warm with space heaters and blankets. We also have yoga mats, bolsters, and chairs if required.


Pepper Tree Retreat: 


1130 McAndrew Rd, Ojai, California, 93023

(877) 355-5986

– Please contact Pepper tree if you are arriving after 6pm.


Spirit House – Ojai Ashram:  


1408 McAndrew Road, Ojai, California, 93023

(805) 883-8839 

– Please contact Julia if you are arriving after 3pm. 

Directions: You will travel through the town and out, until you reach Reeves Road.  There is a pizza parlour on the corner with red umbrellas named “Boccalis.”  Turn left there and follow signs to McAndrew Road by turning left again. Follow the road past the Pepper Tree Retreat and a long line of trashcans.  Turn right onto the lane just past the trashcans and follow the road to the left.  Spirit House is the second driveway surrounded by a horizontal redwood fence. Text Julia when you arrive, and try to come no later than 3 pm unless you contact her beforehand. 


During this course, we would like to take you on a small excursion to the Ojai Hot Springs. This ancient sacred site of the local Chumash Indians was known for its incredible healing waters. It was recently closed to the public and has now been completely restored. The pool is being allowed for our private use: http://ojaihotsprings.com/


We recommend bringing the following items with you:

  • Printed copies of the Heart of Yoga Training Manual
  • Your yoga mat
  • Warm clothes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight
  • Swimwear for the hot springs
  • If you enjoy nuts, trail mix, granola bars, particular teas or any other non-perishable foods, you can bring them with you


If you travel from outside the U.S., your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:



You can click here for more information about what you are/are not allowed to bring into the US: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/kbyg/customs-duty-info


The local currency is U.S. dollars. 


  • Amy (on-the-ground coordinator): +480-399-9720