200 hour Yoga Instructor Certification Retreat
Currently being planned for early 2015

This Yoga Instructor Certification Retreat, or perhaps more accurately this Registered Yoga Teacher Training Course (RYTTC) is facilitated by White Crow Yoga of Nashville, Tennesee.

Taking place at The Sanctuary in Puerto Escondido Mexico, a mini-paradise on the beautiful coastlne of Oaxaca, this yoga instructor certification course is likely to bring transformation to the students who brave the waves of consciousness and possibly the waves of the surfers paradise Zicatela beach just 500 metres away.

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Why become a Yoga Instructor or Yoga Teacher?
Is there a difference?

According to Wiki-Answers.com "An instructor shows you how to do something. A teacher leads you down the path of understanding, opening doors along the way, and pointing you down new paths you never knew existed."

My personal thoughts on this, having completed only 300 hours of a 500 hour, 3 month Agama yoga teacher training in Thailand during 2008, as well as many other courses and retreats since, is that even completion of 3 month training is not enough to qualify someone as a yoga teacher. Life experiences and other training either before or after this retreat could however lead to being a yoga teacher.

Although successful completion of this course will enable you to register with the Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher, it will be up to you whether you describe yourself as yoga instructor or a yoga teacher to your future students. 


Pete Adams, Founder of The Sanctuary.

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What is the difference between a RYT and YTT?

White Crow Yoga is a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with the US Yoga Alliance, so when you complete this live 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program, you are eligible to submit your credentials to Yoga Alliance to become an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher). This is the gold standard in the yoga industry. Please note that only live yoga teacher trainings are eligible for RYT credentialing; it is against Yoga Alliance policy for any school to grant an RYT status for distance study programs. In addition to your RYT, ACE certified professionals will earn 2.7 CECs.

The White Crow Yoga YTT program is an RYT program. This means that when you complete our 200-hour live training, you can submit your graduation certificate to Yoga Alliance (YA), along with the YA fee, and they will grant you the designation of an RYT-200. Some schools offer a Yoga Teacher Training program that is not Yoga Alliance approved, which means you can’t register as an RYT with Yoga Alliance. As noted above, the RYT designation is a standard in the industry. Does it matter if you have this designation? For most of us, yes, it does, because many teaching jobs depend upon you having this credential. Also, our students are more educated than ever, and they may look for this credential in a teacher. White Crow Yoga opted to have thier program YA approved because they believe it offers graduates more teaching opportunities and it allows more Yogis to find their program. They also want to continue to grow as the YA standards emerge.

About White Crow Yoga

White Crow Yoga was founded by Mary Irby, and is owned by Mary and Alicia Trotter who are surrounded by several wonderful trainers. Mary earned her RYT-500 in India as a Yoga Therapist and holds a master’s degree in education. Alicia is an RYT and has years of experience as an RN.

The name “White Crow” holds 2 meanings: A white crow is unusual and therefore reminds us that we should always act and speak in a way that represents our true, unique and authentic selves. There is also a story behind the name and it is used in honor of Mary’s paternal great-grandmother, who was a Native American from the Crow tribe. In calling Mary to her side, her great-grandmother would call out several names before giving up on recalling the name “Mary” and she’d instead say, “You, Little White Crow…come here” since Mary had much lighter skin than her relatives!

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What will you learn and practice in this 200 hour RYT program?

Here’s a glimpse of the content:

  • History of Yoga and notable Yogis that have made important contributions to the field
  • An understanding of the 8 Limbs of Yoga and the 4 Paths of Yoga and how to follow these guidelines personally and professionally
  • Use of class themes, chanting, mudras, meditation, pranayama and other practices that make our yoga class a complete, transformational, spiritual experience
  • Methods of introducing life-changing Yoga concepts to your students in ways that make Yoga down-to-earth and non-threatening to their existing belief systems 
  • Living Yoga “off the mat” and how to teach your students to do the same
  • How to demonstrate to your students that Yoga complements goals they already likely pursue, such as compassion, joy and gratitude
  • How to create a non-competitive community among your Yoga students and keep student attraction and retention rates high
  • Yoga marketing and the business of Yoga
  • Benefits of each posture and how to keep your students safe/modifications 
  • Use of props and how to teach to different populations
  • When and how to offer hands-on touch, adjustments and corrections
  • Alignment and pose options, Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga
  • Modifications and cuing methods that will leave your students feeling successful and motivated to continue their practice with you
  • Class structure, formatting and sequencing, teaching multiple levels in the same class 
  • Cues to use and cues to avoid, Sanskrit terms and posture names

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Why choose this 200 hr RYT program?
What makes this program Unique?

Yoga Alliance guidelines must be met by all Registered Yoga Schools, which means that White Crow Yoga, like other schools, meet the requirements that dictate how many hours are spent teaching teaching methodology, techniques and training, yoga philosophy and lifestyle and anatomy and physiology, as well as how many hours spent on practicum.

So, how is this White Crow Yoga program different?

  1. Collaboration: This program wasn’t developed by one person, but is a collaboration of teachers with thousands of hours of education and practice. We’ve studied with many great instructors and we offer you the “best of the best” knowledge that we’ve gleaned from our gurus.
  2. Consistency: Every teacher has areas of training that resonate with him or her more strongly than other areas, but we are committed to comprehensive coverage of each learning objective. This means there is program consistency, so you’ll get the same training if you take it in Washington, Florida, or anywhere in between. We don’t vary the program based on our personal affinity for a particular topic. All subjects are thoroughly presented. In speaking with instructors and through our personal experiences as YTT students, we’ve learned that some programs brush over important topics. Our teachers avoid this by working from a well-planned curriculum that includes a timeline for each topic, assuring you receive an education that provides depth and breadth of knowledge. Having said this, for this particular training at The Sanctuary, with agreement between Mary Irby and Pete Adams, the dynamic Vinyasa Flow teachings have been removed from the program bringing more focus to the "background of stillness" from which duality is manifest.
  3. Transformative: We allow time and space in this program for true personal growth, which changes your relationship with yourself and everyone in your life. Learning to use our yogic tools changes the way we approach everything in life – from daily inconveniences to life-changing decisions and how we interact with and love both ourselves and others. We strive to make this the opportunity of a lifetime to slow down and reflect upon how Yoga touches your life and how you can improve your practice – not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally. 
  4. Multiplicity of Styles: You will leave our training prepared to teach a variety of styles to different populations and you’ll understand how to offer pose modifications to teach a multi-level class. We introduce you to Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Thai Yoga (Thai Massage), Gentle Yoga, Prenatal Yoga and more. We want you to leave the training feeling comfortable about leading students of all levels and we want to prepare you to lead several styles of classes so you aren’t limited in the classes you can offer.
  5. Yoga Tradition: While you may teach in a gym, this isn’t “gym-based” yoga. It is yoga that is steeped in deep tradition. White Crow Yoga founder Mary Irby studied in India with Dr. Asana Andiappan in Chennai, who was awarded the 2003 Gandhi Award and has made a place for himself in the history of Yoga through his work in Tamil. He was a student of Bangalore Sundaram and Swami Gitananda.
  6. Teaching Preparedness: We’ve experienced some YTT programs where students aren’t given ample opportunities for partner or team teaching or where students aren’t asked to create their own class flows and class themes. Some programs don’t allow enough time in class to allow each student to create and practice cues that work for the individual teacher. We believe that giving trainees a chance to do these things helps teachers find their unique teaching voice and gives them the confidence they need to actually start teaching when they leave the program. Furthermore, we spend many hours teaching and practicing hands-on adjustments and assisting, which is another area where we feel some programs are lacking. We want you to leave our program feeling confident about offering both correctional adjustments and “feel good” assists that enhance a student’s posture or create more relaxation in an asana. This is a key component of being a successful instructor!
  7. Fun: You deserve a fun training and we let that happen! While training is certainly hard work, we also believe it should be fun. We use small groups/partner sessions, hands-on practice, share circles and experiential activities to make learning interesting. We set a pace that keeps us moving along without feeling rushed of overwhelmed. 
  8. Last but not least, this program is being offered at The Sanctuary in Puerto Escondido. Visiting The Sanctuary can be a transformative experience in itself, let alone taking this RYT program. Influenced by a cornucopia of healing energies including Tibetan singing bowls, Thangka's, Peace the Cat, FiR sauna, Live Organic Foods grown in the garden and most especially Living in Loving Commuity, many guests at The Sanctuary extend thier stay, even inviting friends and family to join them. 

Perhaps you might want to consider adding an additional month to your stay to rest, relax and enjoy fully the healing modalities available at The Sanctuary. You might well be surprised how little the additional cost will be.

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There are no “Yoga Elitists” at White Crow Yoga. We believe that everyone who has a calling to share their Yoga passion should do so with no regard for what postures they might or might not practice. While we may introduce new concepts that help you get into poses you never thought possible, there is no pressure to perform any certain poses. 

We respect that you know your body and honor your modifications and posture selections. Yoga is not in the asanas; it is in the heart. Come and experience it with us!

Bottom Line - Why this program Works!

You’ll learn so much more than we could ever put into words. It’s not just about the knowledge you’ll gain; it’s about making a deep connection with your inner self and consciousness. We want you to leave this program feeling that it was the best 30 days (200 hours work and play) you’ve ever spent in your life!

You’ll be treated with respect and you’ll learn from humble teachers with compassionate hearts. No one will judge you or place any expectations upon you. You don’t have to wait until you are “better” or “more advanced” to take this RYT program; we meet you where you are in your yoga journey.

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Who are the Teachers?

The teachers for 2015 have not yet been finalised, but it is likely that the training will be led by Mary Irby, founder of White Crow Yoga.

Kim Gray - RYT   -- teacher in July 2014

Kim Gray has been at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) since 2003. She earned her B.S. in Physical Education (emphasis in Athletic Training & Sports Science) from Chowan College (now Chowan University) & her M.S. in Athletic Training from Indiana State University.

Along with her certification in Athletic Training, she is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), a certified Curvy Yoga Teacher and a Corrective Exercise Specialist.

Recently, Kim completed Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner Training via the White Lotus Foundation.

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Mary Irby, founder of White Crow Yoga, says the following about Kim:

"Kim and Christy have both led 200 hour trainings. Both have also traveled for me leading trainings.

Kim is ABD with her doctoral program in kinesiology and she teaches at SIUC in that field.  I taught with her at YogaFit before starting White Crow and she came over to WCY when I started my company. 

What will the Schedule be like?
When is this Yoga Instructor Certification Retreat?

You will arrive on (date to be confirmed) having time to relax after your journey and settle in. You will meet the other students and the teacher and eat together, perhaps go for a swim and watch the sun set over the ocean.

The first day of instrucion will be (date to be confirmed) with a typical day starting just before 7am in time to join in with our daily sunrise Agnihotra fire ceremony. Our community morning meditation immeditely follows the short fire ceremony, setting us up for a heart centered and present day ahead.  A healing breakfast smoothie, or a coconut water and banana,  or occasionally some delicious oatmeal at 8am round the community table is a great time for us all to check-in.

The morning session of the training will start around 8.30 am breaking for an frequently referred to as 5 star vegan lunch at 1pm. The afternoon session will begin around 2pm and finish around 6pm still leaving time to swim, eat and watch the sun set or join our evening Agnihotra suset fire ceremony. 

At least four out of seven evenings a week we have a workshop at 8 pm which might be a breathwork session, some kirtan sininging, ecsatic dance, a "conscious" movie or audio, or may other choices depending who wishes to share. You may also have the opportunity to share something you are passionae about.

With wi-fi turned off, gates locked and silence in the house from 10.30 pm we have plenty of time for healing sleep before starting a new day.

Sundays are a day of rest for retreat guests (with perhaps some homework / self-study). You will have time to explore the other nearby beaches in Puerto Escondido, take a trip to nearby Mazunte, or just relax in the gardens. Sometimes we may even organise a group boat trip to see dolphins and turtles. The final day of the teaching will be on Wednesday 30th July allowing time for an end of retreat celebration in the evening & a leisurely departure on Thursday.

For those wishing to arrive earlier than 1st July or depart later than 31st July, we can offer very competetive daily, weekly or monthly rates if pre-booked. Please enquire for prices.

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What is the cost, and what is included?

Mary Irby has kindly agreed terms with us which enable us to offer this yoga training retreat in both English and Spanish at what we feel is a very competetive price.

All Inclusive Residential Option

Staying in very nice shared rooms for 30 nights, with three delicious vegan meals per day (smoothie for breakfast - Monday's juice fasting all day), you will also have access to The Sanctuary's healing protocol included in the price of $2,750 USD

You can see pictures of the rooms here. The rooms as you will see are quite large with very comfortable beds. There are 3 very nice bathrooms which could potentially be shared by up to 17 people. With careful and considerate use this is not an issue. We have never yet had that many people in the house however.

Option to Upgrade to Own Space

If you prefer your own space we have some options, subject to availability.

Option 1 - Upgrade to Mandala Room - En-suite luxury master bedroom; + $900 USD for 30 days

Option 2 - Upgrade to Nirvana room (no private bathroom); + $600 USD for 30 days

Option 3 - Upgrade to Light Room (RV in Garden-no bathroom) + $350 USD for 30 days

Non-Resident Option for Local Residents

We are also very pleased to be able to offer this RYTT to non residents at a price of $1,850 USD (excluding food and accomodation). A lunch only option (our biggest meal of the day) can be added for 70 pesos per day.

If you are not a local resident but want to try to find cheaper accomodation and food due to budget restrictions, please ask as we may be able to do something to help.

Limited to only 12 students (plus The Sanctuary host Pete Adams and a Spanish translator) we advise you reserve your place early to be sure of securing your place.

Additional Options

We offer healing massage, Tibetan bowl sound therapy, Nuero Emotional Technique, Reiki, Temezcal (ceremonial sweat lodge), and other healing therapies.

We also offer year round a Childhood Deconditioning Retreat which you could take before or after your RYTTC, or you could even extend your stay for a month as a "Seva Guest" for as little as $450 USD

A reference from a guest who stayed for 6 days with her daughter (translated from Spanish) :

"This place is wonderful. Highly capable and loving people. Juicing, fasting, meditation, yoga, singing bowls ... you name it. Thank you all Luna, Kyle, Pete, Claudia, Lawrence, Fran!!"

How Do I Reserve a space?

To gaurantee your space for this yoga instructor certification retreat we require a 50% non-refundable deposit transferred to our Mexican bank account. Simply write us a message confirming your wish to join the TTC (or with any questions you may have) and we will write back by return with the information you need. The balance of the retreat cost is due i cash on arrival. 

Finally, whether or not you decide to join our RYTTC, you are invited to read the wonderful book Radical Forgiveness. This book helps to bring an understanding of what i call a "consciousness of oneness" and to help bring into being a level of "complete self-responsibility" which can lead to very loving relationships, particularly helpful when living in community. In my opinion this full-resposibility is essential for healing. You can find a free copy of the e-book here.

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