Ancient teachings, modern approach
The Sacred Fig Advanced Yoga Teacher Trainings are intensive, modular program designed to elevate + inform the next generation of leaders in the yoga community. Our advanced 300 hour programming is divided into 75 hour modules. Piece together any four modules, on your schedule, anywhere around the world, for the full 300 hour program. Each 75 hour module has a unique focus, led by experts in their respective fields.
This 75 hour, 7 day module dives deep into The Katonah Method. Katonah is a syncretic Hatha yoga practice developed by Nevine Michaan over 40 years. She and her teachers incorporate classical Hatha yoga with Taoist theory, geometry, magic, mythology, metaphor, and imagination — in a practical framework designed to potentiate personal and communal well-being.
We firmly believe that the strongest attribute any yoga teacher possesses is themselves. Learning refined alignment + biomechanics is a given on our trainings, but we don’t stop there – be prepared to explore things like personal development, confidence, and speech. Our 300 hour programs are registered with The Yoga Alliance, but they’re so much more than that. In fact, our advanced trainings are some of the most comprehensive available today. Our graduates now teach at studios, retreats & trainings around the globe. The Sacred Fig Yoga Teacher Trainings produce confident, knowledgeable, articulate, and empowered yoga teachers. Period.
At the core of the The Sacred Fig philosophy is connection + community. Not only do our thoughts affect us in tangible ways, but we also have the extraordinary capacity to affect those around us, and the environment we live in. And so as yoga practitioners and teachers, we strive for the extraordinary, so that we may serve as a beacon of possibility for those around us. We see the divine in everything around us, but we also know that it lies within us. So before trying to shape & control everything outside of us, we first look deep within, and do the work ourselves.
We don’t provide answers. (and we’re wary of any teacher or school who claims that they do) Instead, we welcome & provide different viewpoints, we stir lively discourse. We set the circumstances to challenge notions about what yoga is, what it might feel like or look like, and why we practice. We create an accelerated learning environment, where trainees gain the confidence to discover their own ‘truths’ about yoga, about their bodies and their practice. There’s no memorization, no mimicry, and no script. From this place, trainees find their authentic voice… sharing their knowledge & their practice naturally. Join Us.
About halfway between Italy and Tunisia, Pantelleria juts out from the Mediterranean ocean as a black volcanic rock. Exuding a sense of mystery & magic, its known as the black pearl of the Mediterranean. While officially Italian, the land & architecture feels somehow closer to Africa than it does to Sicily. It's rustic and wild: there's no umbrella-lined sandy beaches, thumping nightlife or postcards for sale. Rather, people come here to spend their afternoons hiking to the Lago di Venere, where the tradition is to get slathered in sulphuric mud from the milky-turquoise water. Wander off property, and clamor down a rocky path to explore the thermal baths below.
The beauty of Pantelleria is subtle & understated. This sparsely populated island, with it's terraced slopes of wild herbs, capers & olives, is home to more reclusive icons like Giorgio Armani. Still today, it's one of Italy's best kept secrets. The New York Times recently wrote an article about Pantelleria, listing our property as one of the finest places on the island.
The Retreat Center
We're staying on the southwest side of the island, near the ancient village of Scauri and the stunning cliff of Arco dell’Elefante. You might recognize our property from the stunning Luca Guadagnino film, A Bigger Splash. The surroundings are dotted with caves, lava sculptures, and emerald coves. Our property is dotted with exotic palms, fruit orchards, and a shaded pine forest. The Arabian garden is a stunning structure of ancient lava stone walls protecting the citrus trees inside. At night, the estate becomes charming and magical, conceived for strolls among the trees under the stars.
The seven traditional structures dotted around the property are called Dammusi - a symbiosis between settlement and nature, of closed and open spaces. The decor is a sophisticated combination of functional design furniture and vintage objects. The property has a few smaller plunge pools and one full-sized swimming pool.
Le Camere. (the rooms) The property has seven ancient dammusi, beautifully restored to preserve their rustic charm. Each dammusi has a kitchen and outdoor terrace, some have rooftops to lounge on, some have little plunge pools. The property spans over 30 acres, with gardens, pools, pine-forests and palm groves. Space for this advanced training is limited to 18 students. Each room is unique, with it's own rustic charm. Some bedrooms have one large bed, and some have two twin beds. Some rooms have adjoining living rooms, which have typically have a single bed in as well. Rates vary depending on if you decide to share a bed, to share a room but have your own bed, or opt for a single room. Please keep in mind this is not a resort - it's a private villa. If you are looking for a JW Mariott with staff, central AC and turn-down service, this is NOT the training for you. If you appreciate understated beauty, barefoot adventures, a freshwater pool with Roman palazzo tilework, breathtaking herbal gardens, and thermal energy all around you, then this PERFECT for you! The property is so spacious, with many places to relax, chat or study - and that from our experience people really only use their rooms to sleep.
La Cucina. (the food) For breakfast, expect egg fritatta, local cheeses, fig jam, fresh brewed coffees & teas, and local seasonal fruits. For lunch, expect smoked local fish, rocket salad, beetroot hummus, and caprese. For dinner, expect lots of vegetarian options, of course italian pastas, grilled local veggies, and ancient grains. Local Sicilian Wine is available for purchase at a reasonable price. We fly in a different chef each year, and so the menu changes according to their personal style. The menu items listed above are just to give you an idea!
How To Arrive. Take the short hour-long flight from Sicily's Palermo Airport to Pantelleria. DAT flies from Palermo to Pantelleria. We suggest you arrive in Pantelleria on the morning of May 30th, enjoy lunch by the sea, and then check in at the property after 2pm. From Pantelleria's airport to the property is a 45 minute drive through the gorgeous coastal road. Depending on if you're travelling alone or with a friend, the easiest option for most people is to rent a car. If you don't feel comfortable renting a car (or just don't want to), we can pair you with someone else arriving at the same time, so that you can drive together. Renting a car in Pantelleria is extremely easy & affordable. If you have time before or after the retreat, we highly recommend a couple nights in Palermo!
Activities. Our property has a few gorgeous swimming pools, perfect for lounging the afternoon away. (it's late summer, so we're expecting sunshine during the day, with cooler evenings). There are plenty of gorgeous places nearby to explore. Thermal baths, hikes, hot springs, the lake with its famous sulphuric mud, and the charming nearby town of Scauri.
What's Not Included? Extras like massage (unless you ask Anton nicely!) wine, car rental, one meal out, and your international travel.
This is the largest portion of contact hours, including Katonah pranayama techniques, meditation, and daily asana. The daily Asana portion is typically a 90 minute Katonah-inspired Vinyasa class. *Please note that this 75hr advanced TT includes approx. 50 total contact hours and 25 non contact hours, per Yoga Alliance guidelines. Visit Yoga Alliance's website for details.
The Sacred Fig Teaching Methodology is unique in it's approach. In this Katonah module, we'll specifically dive into hands on assists. The Sacred Fig Education is specifically geared to direct trainees to discover their authentic voice. *Please note that this 75hr advanced TT includes approx. 50 total contact hours and 25 non contact hours, per Yoga Alliance guidelines. Visit Yoga Alliance's website for details.
Using accelerated learning techniques, trainees practice teaching in various scenarios. The Sacred Fig Practicum is regarded at the forefront of Yoga education, using a thoroughly considered approach to teaching that greatly expands the potential and speed in which one learns. *Please note that this 75hr advanced TT includes approx. 50 total contact hours and 25 non contact hours, per Yoga Alliance guidelines. Visit Yoga Alliance's website for details.
7:30am - 8am
Katonah Pranayama + Meditation.
We gather together each sunrise and whip things up with a Katonah pranayama + meditation.
8am - 9:30am
Thoughtful and intelligent alignment-based vinyasa, led by Anton. Anton pulls from Katonah and many other lineages in his teaching. After practice, there's just enough time to enjoy a dip in the pool before breakfast.
9:30am - 10:30am
Enjoy a healthy breakfast of living foods. Expect fritatta, avocados, poached tomatoes, local fruits, yogurt, homemade granola, jams, hearty breads. Breakfast is mostly vegetarian, and there's options for everyone. Food is most often organic & local. French-press coffee & herbal teas are prepared for you after morning asana (and of course you can make your own anytime!)
11am - 1pm
The morning session with Dages Juvelier Keates focuses on the key aspects of Katonah theory and practice. Topics include the magic square, wraps for rapture, adjustments, reading a body, and more.
1pm - 2pm
Use this time to study, or enjoy a nap by the pool.
2pm - 3pm
Nutritious vegetarian lunch. Expect things like rocket salad, farro, lentils, beetroot hummus, and local ricotta cheese.
3:30pm - 6:30pm
The afternoon session is hands-on. Topics include teacher breakout sessions, energetics of the body & movement, alignment of key poses, and physical adjustments. Trainees can expect to teach, assist, as well as give + receive feedback.
7:30pm - 9pm
Delicious dinner. Fish is served when available, and fantastic local wine is available for a reasonable price.
The Sacred Fig teacher training exceeded all of my expectations! From the world class faculty to the property grounds & shala, and the amazing morning asana. I could stay here for another 5 months, and I'm already thinking about doing their 500 hours!!
This is SO much more than just a yoga teacher training. Prepare to be inspired. Prepare to be challenged. Prepare to explore & learn... This is a transformative journey that has changed my life and allowed me to better understand & accept myself, all while receiving some of the best vinyasa classes of my life, by some of the most amazing people I've had the pleasure of meeting.
Anton has thought of every last detail, allowing for a smooth, challenging, & rewarding yoga teacher training. I was blown away by what I received from this course. I had the space & encouragement to engage in powerful & meaningful self-study. He brought in knowledgable, inspiring & engaging teachers who are experts in their respective fields, and learning from them was unique & fun... I feel like I'll retain the information long after I leave the course. I'm confident with what I've learned, and how I've transformed! I had expectations for this training and I will honestly say they were vastly exceeded! I'm smiling as I write this. Thank you Anton for your attention to detail in every aspect of this course!
I find that when you meet a spirit with an exceptionally radiant, guiding light, you feel the desire to surround yourself with their presence. And if you’re fortunate enough to find this light source, it’s a gift. Anton Brandt, founder of The Sacred Fig, has a sparkle that exudes from an authentic place of ease and happiness deep within.
Completion of a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.
Trainees are required to take 5 Vinyasa classes (from 5 different teachers), and 5 non- vinyasa classes (such as Kundalini, Iyengar, Katonah, Yin, etc) prior to the training, and take notes on these classes. Include in your notes what you loved about the class & teacher, what you didn’t like, their musical choices if any, how the teacher entered the room & engaged students prior to class, sequencing, adjustments, language, how the teacher moved about the room, did they demo, how your body felt during & after, and anything else that struck you. It is your responsibility to bring these notes with you to training and give them to our coordinator upon arrival.
A basic familiarity of the pranayama techniques as taught in Katonah Yoga. If you live in an area where Katonah is taught, your best bet is to take at least 5 classes in person. If you don’t live near a place where Katonah is taught, you can listen to (and practice alongside the audio) a handful of Nevine Michaan’s Pranayama classes online. These are free and available to stream at KatonahYoga.com
Ability to communicate in English.
A positive attitude. An open mind and a willingness to learn are truly the most important pre-requisites for this training.
Like all great things in life, the more you put into this training, the more you’ll get from it. That starts before you arrive. The book below is required reading, please have it finished before you arrive, as well as write a one-page commentary on it. Please realize this is not ‘traditional’ reading material for most people, and it might take some time to digest. Please email the finished commentary (attached as a word .doc, in an email, with the subject line: YTT book report, trainee name) to [email protected] prior to the start of the training. This book is purchased at the trainee’s expense, and can be picked up at a local bookstore or on Amazon.
The Body Keeps the Score. Bessel Van der Kolk
Buy it here: amazon
Trainees do not need to bring this book to the training. Upon arrival, students will receive Radical Acts of Embodiment, as well as other Katonah materials, which will serve as the master course curriculum & guide.
The following books are not required. They’re quite varied in subject matter – so you can choose areas of your particular interest. Again, these are recommended, but not required, and listed in no particular order:
A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe. (a look at mathematical archetypes found in nature, art and science)
Staying Healthy with the Seasons (touches on how natures cycles not only affect the world around us, but the world inside of us)
A New Earth. Eckhart Tolle (If you haven’t read it, now is the time. This is required for our 200 hour programs)
Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice. T.K.V. Desikachar. (A yoga classic, a must read for any yoga teacher)
Rising Strong, by Brené Brown. (Dives into vulnerability, shame, and worthiness)
Mastery, The Keys to Success & Long-Term Fulfillment. George Leonard (Attain a higher level of excellence in your daily life. Who doesn’t want that?)
what you get
- Accomodations for the duration of the program at our private villa
- Three meals per day for the duration of the retreat, including coffees & teas
- Access to the entire gorgeous property, including pools, terraces & wifi
- Tuition for 75 hours of advanced training, which goes towards 300 hour registration w/ Katonah, The Sacred Fig, & Yoga Alliance.
- World renowned faculty - all experts in their respective fields
- Access to The Sacred Fig global community of yogis
- Recognition as a graduate from The Sacred Fig Yoga Advanced Training Program
- A few adventures along the way
All inclusive of the above:
USD $2200 | SOLD OUT (Large Triple Room. Two people share a large bed and one person on a cot. Remainder payment is due by March 30th, 2020.)
USD $2450 (Double Room. Two people share a large bed, with en-suite bath. Remainder payment is due by March 30th, 2020.)
USD $2750 (Double Room. Two people have their own small single beds, with en-suite bath. Remainder payment is due by March 30th, 2020.)
USD $3250 | SOLD OUT (Small Simple Private Room, with en-suite bath. Remainder payment is due by March 30th, 2020.)
USD $3850 (Larger Nicer Private Room, with en-suite bath. Remainder payment is due by March 30th, 2020.)
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