Using a non-dogmatic approach, Grace views the physical practice of yoga as gateway, not an end in itself. For her, the practice of yoga asana teaches us to not only broaden the breath, but also to expand stillness within ourselves....
Ancient Teachings, Modern Approach.
The Sacred Fig 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training is a highly-intensive program designed to educate & inspire the next generation of world-class yoga leaders. We firmly believe that the strongest attribute any yoga teacher possesses is themselves. And so we emphasize things like personal development, confidence, and speech (and we’ll bust some myths about alignment, too). Our rigorous program is approved by the Yoga Alliance, but it’s so much more than that. In fact, it’s one of the most comprehensive available today. Our teacher trainings attract students of all levels, from literally all 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 a profound sense of connection. 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.
Portugal’s beauty is subtle and understated - the magic here is witnessed only when you slow down. Portugal's beauty is lived + experienced.
The area were heading to is called Coastal Alentejo, and you probably haven't heard of it (that's a good thing). It's far removed from the coastal tourist culture of the rest of Europe. The beaches are windswept and untouched. As you move inland, golden rolling hillsides give way to a rugged coastline, traditional whitewashed villages, and majestic medieval towns.
Traditional farming here is a way of life. Cork production still continues. Even at our property, the eggs come from our chickens, the cheese from our neighbors sheep, and olives from an olive grower down the road. The birds here are some of the most majestic you'll see, and the walking paths, like the Costa Vicentina, are world renowned.
The world is (finally) catching on to Alentejo. Get there before it does.
The Retreat Center
Cocoon is a 275 acre farm and dedicated retreat center on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal, offering inspiration + community for the modern traveller. It's also pure magic, where between the oversized hammocks and the freshwater lake, you'll start to lose track of time. The kind of place where each morning is a celebration, practicing under the canopy of old growth pines, but so is each evening, with incredible farm-to-table meals and elevated dinner conversation.
Cocoon is situated on the breathtaking Atlantic coast of Portugal, near the charming fishing village of Vila Nova de Milfontes, in the Alentejo region, which is known for its long stretches of untouched coastline and charming white-washed villages. From Lisbon, its roughly two hours drive south, entirely dependent on how many espressos you’ve had. (from Faro, we’re slightly closer) The ocean, with bluffs, trails, and sandy coves, is a 10 minute drive away.
Cocoon has 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. The maximum capacity for this program is 25 students.
There are two yoga shalas at Cocoon. The pine shala is nestled under the canopy of old growth pines, with the occasional sheep or goat roaming around nearby. The pine shala is a dream for morning mediation and practice, especially as the morning fog rolls in. The indoor shala is lightfilled, with high ceilings and traditional hand-made Santa Catarina tiles, which are a joy to practice on.
Expect three healthy, lovingly-prepared meals each day. Strong coffee (yes, coffee) and herbal teas are available throughout the day. For breakfast, expect homemade granolas, greek yogurt, local honey, homemade jam, frittata, oats, fresh local fruit, and slow-rise breads. Lunch is typically lighter, like a bowl of ancient grains. Dinner is served family style, expect things like curry, beetroot hummus ancient grains, salads, and soups. Our menu is always changing, depending on what's available.
The rooms are clean, bright, and simple. There's different options for different budgets. You'll have your own bed in either a shared double or triple room, your preference. You can have a room with an en-suite bathroom, or share a bathroom between two rooms.
Check out this gorgeous 90 second video of Cocoon, which was actually filmed during one of our teacher trainings!
This is the largest portion of the curriculum, including sunrise Satsang, followed by daily Asana practice. Early morning Satsang will always include a form of meditation, and will also often include various traditional yoga techniques, such as Mantra repetition and Kriyas (cleansing techniques). The daily Asana portion is typically a rigorous 90 minute Vinyasa Flow.
The Sacred Fig Teaching Methodology is unique in it's approach. Yes, demonstrating, assisting, and adjusting students is certainly covered. But we also weave in personal development, confidence building, & group dynamics. Finally, we'll cover voice, rhythm, tone, and pace. The Sacred Fig Education is specifically geared to direct trainees to discover their authentic voice.
The Sacred Fig anatomical education is far from a traditional anatomy snooze-fest. You'll learn about ground-breaking anatomical theories in a real-life setting. We cover both the human physical anatomy (skeletal, muscular, respiratory, & cardiovascular systems) as well as energetic anatomy (prana, chakras, nadis, bandhas). There is a specific emphasis on understanding fascia & it's role in shaping our bodies. All the anatomical principles learned in the training are applicable to yoga asana practice in a real-life setting, in terms of healthy & sustainable movement patterns, benefits, and contraindications.
The Sacred Fig has a non-traditional approach to Yoga Philosophy. Expect a healthy dialogue on key concepts from The Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita, but that's just the start. As one could dedicate years to yoga philosophy, we hone-in on key traditional philosophical concepts. We also explore present-moment awareness techniques, and mindfulness practice as it relates to a yoga teacher.
Using accelerated learning techniques, trainees will practice teaching in a variety of settings & scenarios (including small & large groups, and plenty of surprise scenarios). We utilize technology, for example, via video feedback, as another layer to the learning process. 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.
6:30am - 7:15am
Satsang means to gather in the company of those seeking the highest truth. And so together, each morning we will meditate, practice pranayama, and chant mantra. Satsang practices will vary day to day.
7:30am - 9am
Intelligent, rigorous vinyasa yoga, led by various Sacred Fig faculty. After practice, there's just enough time to dip in the lake before breakfast.
9am - 10am
Enjoy a healthy breakfast of living foods. Expect eggs from our chickens, avocados from our neighbors, local fruits, Greek yogurt, homemade granola, homemade jams, fresh-baked breads. Breakfasts are vegetarian, and there's options for everyone. Food is most often organic + local. Strong coffee & herbal teas are available from sunrise.
10:30am - 1pm
The morning session tends to be the most "traditional" in terms of yoga education - the core elements. Topics vary each week, from yoga philosophy as it's relevant today, to anatomy of the body, and how it relates to asana practice.
1pm - 2pm
Nutritious vegetarian lunch. Strong coffee & herbal teas are available after lunch.
2pm - 3:30pm
Use this time to study, or enjoy a nap by the lake. This is also a great opportunity to enjoy a massage.
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.
6:45pm - 7:45pm
Much of our food comes from our own farm and neighbors farms.
8pm - 9pm
Evening sessions are specifically geared to be more experiential, spontaneous & appropriate for the hour. Some evenings will not have required sessions, while others may run slightly longer than the scheduled time.
Sofia Araujo is a yoga teacher, therapist, chef and writer that shares an enthusiastic passion for holistic health and movement education. She is trained in the alchemy of the 5 Elements through Yoga, Ayurveda, Macrobiotic Nutrition and Counselling, Ayurvedic Yoga...
When not standing on his hands, most of Anton’s adult life has been spent travelling the world, with the common thread linking his varied life experience being a search for the extraordinary. From founding a sustainable footwear brand, to working...
I began my practice over a decade ago in an attempt to metabolize deep grief and to understand the human condition through my own. After countless hours of practice + self study I began to shed the protective layers of...
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.
The first time I unrolled my mat in Anton's class I was swept up in his joy and love of yoga... in a word, it's infectious! He brings an authenticity to his teaching which allows you, as a student, to connect with him immediately. I was able to open up to possibility and explore my practice in a playful, inspiring and safe environment. In Anton's classes, he effortlessly strikes an often difficult balance between spirituality and a physically-challenging practice... something that so many yogis are looking for and so many instructors miss the mark on. If he's teaching, I'm there!
At least a year of consistent yoga asana practice (3x per week), and a basic understanding of vinyasa yoga.
Trainees are required to take 5 vinyasa classes (from 5 different teachers), and 5 non- vinyasa classes (such as Kundalini, Iyengar, 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, 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. Please bring these notes with you to training.
A basic familiarity of Ashtanga Vinyasa, Primary Series. While you are not required to memorize the entire sequence, you should be familiar with it. This is not an Ashtanga training; however, understanding the Ashtanga Vinyasa system will create a strong foundation for you to build on. If you live in an area where ‘led’ Ashtanga classes are offered, take at least 5 classes prior to the training. If you live in an area where ‘led’ Ashtanga classes are not offered, upon signing up, we will give you access to a ‘led half-primary’ class taught by Fig Faculty Tony Lupinacci on FigFlix: practice along with the video at least 5 times. Please write down your experience with these classes – including how the sequence felt in your body, the flow of the sequence, which poses challenged you, and any other feedback. Bring these notes to the training – we will collect them from you upon arrival.
Ability to communicate in English.
A positive attitude. We’re serious! A sense of openness & a desire to learn are truly the most important things you can bring to 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. Below is a list of required reading, as well as a list of optional recommended reading. Trainees are asked to read the following books prior to arrival at the training, and write a one-page commentary on the first three books listed below. No book report is required for the Yoga Anatomy book. Please realize this is not “traditional” reading material for most people, and some of the books might take quite some time to digest. Please email finished commentaries (all attached as word docs, in one email, with the subject line: YTT book reports, trainee name) to [email protected] prior to the start of the training. Books are purchased at the trainee’s expense, and can be picked up at a local bookstore or on Amazon.
A New Earth. Eckhart Tolle
Support local bookstores and buy it on bookshop.org
Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice. T.K.V. Desikachar
Support local bookstores and buy it on bookshop.org
Daring Greatly, Brené Brown
Support local bookstores and buy it on bookshop.org
Yoga Anatomy, 2nd Edition. Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews
Support local bookstores and buy it on bookshop.org
Bringing any of these books to the training is entirely optional. Upon arrival, students will receive The Sacred Fig Reader, which will serve as the master course curriculum & guide.
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:
Reflections on the Art of Living. A Joseph Campbell Companion. (Take what you like out of his ideas ~ he has some really great ones! ~ and leave the rest. This book used to be required reading on our trainings, but due to some of his dated language around gender, we’ve made his work suggested, not required.)
Rising Strong, by Brené Brown. (Dives deeper into vulnerability, shame, and worthiness)
Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Mark Singleton (demystifies where the yoga postures came from, and how old they actually are)
The Science of Yoga: The Risks and The Rewards. William Broad. (a lead science writer for The New York Times – and lifelong yoga practitioner – examines centuries of history and research to scrutinize the claims made about yoga for health, fitness, emotional wellbeing, sex, weight loss and healing.)
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?)
Light on Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar (This serves more like an asana reference manual, not really one to read cover to cover)
what you get
- A shared room for the duration of the course
- 3 farm-to-table vegetarian meals per day, for the duration of the course, including spring water, coffee and herbal teas
- Access to the entire 275 acre property, including lake, bicycles, animals, and wifi
- Tuition for 200+ hours of Yoga Alliance education
- The Sacred Fig Reader, covering a rigorous curriculum based on accelerated learning principles
- Access to online training materials
- World renowned faculty - all experts in their respective fields
- Access to The Fig global community of yogis
- Support & mentorship from The Fig faculty, including post-training guidance
- Recognition as a graduate from The Sacred Fig Yoga Education Program
All inclusive of the above:
USD $4600 (This rate is for your own bed in a shared triple room w/ ensuite bathroom. This is the early-bird rate: Full payment must be made by Nov 1, 2021. After Nov 1, rate goes up to $5100.)
USD $4600 (This rate is for your own bed in a shared double room. Bathroom is in the hallway, and is shared between two bedrooms. This is the early-bird rate: Full payment must be made by Nov 1, 2021. After Nov 1, rate goes up to $5100.)
USD $5400 (This rate is for your own bed in a shared double room, with a private en-suite bathroom. This is the early-bird rate: Full payment must be made by Nov 1, 2021. After Nov 1, rate goes up to $5900.)
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