The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.
- T.K.V Desikachar
Join us for the journey of a lifetime. Explore yoga philosophy and its relevance in the 21st century. Learn the fundamentals of asana (posture), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation. Develop tools for happiness in challenging times. Surround yourself with a supportive community.
Led by Heart of the Village Owner/Director Jo Kirsch, E-RYT 500, with Bob Speck, E-RYT 500, our 200 hour and 300 hour Heart of the Village Yoga School Courses are a transformative program for self growth.
Heart of the Village Yoga’s mission is to create and provide a safe, compassionate space to practice stillness and study yoga. Our vision is to empower people to learn, be, stretch, transform, heal, know, find peace, connect, and unify with themselves, one another, community, and the world around them through the journey of practicing yoga. Additionally to expose individuals to this life-long practice that can enlighten all lives, individually and collectively.
We are experiential learners and teachers. Our training will be as hands-on as possible given the current Covid pandemic. The majority of the Course will be in-person at Heart of the Village Yoga in Manchester, Vermont. Reading and writing assignments will foreshadow our zoom and in-person sessions.
Coming from a background in Astanga Yoga, our influences are also Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, Bhakti and Tantra Yoga. We don’t limit our School or our Studio to one discipline of yoga, but offer an integrated approach where students can follow their own path.
Our School helps participants find and learn to express their inner and outer voice and nurture their truest self. Our non-dogmatic approach allows each individual to assimilate, integrate and foster their own relationship with the science of yoga. As the training progresses you will shed layers of conditioning, shoulds and should nots, and learn to access and trust your inner wisdom. You will learn to let go of what no longer serves you, and make room for what does.
We run our 200 Hour and 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Courses simultaneously. These accreditations are through Yoga Alliance, which offers a 200 Hour Credential and a 500 (200 + 300) Hour Credential. In order to attend our 300 Hour Course, applicants must already have a 200 Hour Certificate of Completion. Our combined student body therefore includes students with a range of experience enriching the experience for everyone. New students benefit from learning from their more advanced colleagues and more experienced teachers have the opportunity to teach their less experienced colleagues throughout the training.
Adjunct faculty includes Sean Johnson, Manoj Chalam and Christianna Morley.
Each Core Weekend will embrace multiple aspects of our curriculum including flow, yin and gentle yoga, teaching methodology, practice teaching, posture modifications and sequencing, philosophy, anatomy and physiology, meditation, breath work, nature focus, and chanting.
Required and recommended reading, and other assignments may require an additional 4-8 hours per month. Written study guides; group and mentored study will be included in program.
HOTV Yoga Classes are included in Tuition for the duration of the Course.
Weekend Schedule: (Times subject to change)
Thursday: 6 to 7:30 p.m. LIVESTREAM
Friday: 6 to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dates: (Dates subject to change)
September 22-25, 2022
October 13-16, 2022 featuring with Manoj Chalam
November 3-6, 2022 featuring Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band
November 17-20, 2022
December 15-18, 2022
January 12-15, 2023
February 2-5, 2023
February 23-26, 2023 Graduation
Additional Dates for 300 Hour Students:
Dates: (Dates subject to change)
March 16-19, 2023
March 30- April 2, 2023
April 27 – April 30, 2023
Additional Thursday’s: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
March 2, 2023
March 9, 2023
March 23, 2023
April 20, 2023
At this time, students and teachers need to be vaccinated for Covid 19 to attend or teach in-person classes at Heart of the Village Yoga. Proof of vaccination (Vaccination Card or photo) will be required upon your first visit to the studio, after which you are no longer required to bring it with you. We will photograph your Vaccination Card and upload to your client profile on our Pike 13 website.
200 Hour Course:
300 Hour Course:
Diversity Scholarships For Black, Indigenous and People Of Color
The diversity scholarships dedicated for BIPOC are one small way Heart of the Village Yoga seeks to contribute to the fight against systemic racism, and the hope to widen yoga’s diversity and representation. Our hope is to support the training of more yoga teachers of color who feel inspired to share the many gifts and benefits of yoga with the community. This scholarship covers 70% of tuition with the option of a monthly payment plan to pay the remaining balance.
Please complete our application and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be considered for one of these scholarships, as we have a limited number of them available. We also encourage all scholarship applicants to practice at the studio to get a deeper feel for our approach to yoga. This will be of benefit as well when being considered for the scholarship.
The requirements in exchange for the scholarship are to:
• have the intention to teach yoga after the program is complete
• fully participate in the program, and completing all required work to receive the certificate.
• write a short impact statement to help give future applicants to the People of Color Scholarships a clearer idea of the experience in our training program. We will utilize the impact statement to also help with fund-raising efforts to expand the POC Scholarships.
Advancement Grants are available through Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). Applications are accepted after June 1, 2021 and are awarded on a rolling basis. Click here to apply.
To get a deeper feel for the approach to yoga that HOTV Yoga School inspires, we highly recommend that you take classes with Jo, Bob and HOTV Yoga School graduates on HOTV Yoga’s teaching staff including: Barbara Lowes, Lela Hughes, Dina Bronson; Charlotte Alexander, Pat Meredith and Kaitlyn Zwagerman.
Sean Johnson is a well-loved yoga teacher who teaches at conferences and retreat centers internationally including Yoga Journal, Kripalu, Bhakti Fest, and The German Yoga Conference. He is the founder of Wild Lotus Yoga studios in New Orleans, and Soul School, an interdisciplinary yoga teacher training program that focuses on teaching yoga with both skill and imagination. He has a Master’s degree from The Naropa Institute- Oakland with focus on teaching chant as spiritual practice, and is the co-curater and co-producer of Putumayo World Music’s yoga music series. Find out more at: www.SeanJohnsonAndTheWildLotusBand.com.
Manoj Chalam uses humor and everyday experiences in his workshops. An Indian-born scientist with a PhD from Cornell University, he has compiled a book on Hindu and Buddhist symbolism and presents workshops on symbolism, Vedanta, and Tantra for Anusara Yoga, yoga studios, ashrams, and universities around the country.
Christianna Morley has been a science teacher and yoga practitioner for 20 years. For the past 10 years she has taught Anatomy and Physiology to aspiring nurses at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) and River Valley Community College. Chrissy brings a sense of wonder and joy in learning to both her yoga practice and teaching. She prides herself on making oft-complex study of the human body both engaging and accessible to her students. After being nominated by her students many times, in 2020, she received CCV’s Award for Teaching Excellence, an honor given to three faculty from among more than 700 active faculty.
Chrissy has a B.S in Comprehensive Science and Biology from Villanova University and an M.A. in Environmental Studies form Dartmouth College. Chrissy completed her RYT 200 and 300 at HOTV and an additional 200 hours of YTT at Soul School with Sean Johnson and Mitchel Bleier. She is delighted to explore yoga and the human body as part of the HOTV Yoga Teacher Training! When she is not teaching, practicing, or learning, you’re likely to find Chrissy playing in the dirt, sand, or snow with her two young daughters, dog and husband.
Our 200 and 300 Hour Courses have a standard of excellence and are in compliance with the standards of the nationally recognized Yoga Alliance. Heart of the Village Yoga is a Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance. If you are interested in our 300 Hour Course, email Jo@heartofvillageyoga.com for more information.
What some of our graduates have to say:
“The 200 hour teacher training at Heart of the Village Yoga was a heart opening experience. I left the training feeling thoroughly grounded in yoga asana, philosophy, seva practice and bhakti practice. I would highly recommend this program to someone seeking a well rounded experience from loving and inspiring instructors.” – Dianna Scott, RYT 200
“My life is now divided in two: who I was before Heart of the Village Yoga Teacher Training, and who I am after it. I had been treading water for some years, floating idly along, and this training set my life’s course. Understanding yoga at a level deeper than the asana helped me better understand myself. The philosophy of yoga, the 8-Limb path, and everything in between are valuable not just for life on the mat but for life out in the world. Bob and Jo are wonderful teachers – dedicated, passionate, curious, and incredibly knowledgeable. Even more than that, they are so inviting, holding space for the unique circumstances of each student’s life, which makes this journey that much richer.” – Nathalie Boyle, RYT 200
“Jo and Bob provided one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I feel equipped with the tools, support, and confidence to start my yoga teaching career.” – Kelli Ettori, RYT 200
“The biggest lesson that I’ve taken from this training is the power of practice, both in yoga and beyond. I was a little stuck when this training began, and it’s hard to express just how encouraging it’s been to feel myself progressing in my yoga practice. I feel that I now have the knowledge to address my problem areas over time, or at least to seek out the necessary resources. It’s reaffirming to know that there is always room to grow, and I’m working to apply that idea to other aspects of my life. This training has also made it clear to me that living a good life isn’t enough: it’s important to live a conscious life, and invest the effort necessary to earn the sweetness that life has to offer. Finally, the value of community has really become clear to me through this training, and that’s an area of my life that I’d really like to continue investing effort in—both on and off the mat. “ – Cherise Madigan, RYT 200
“Before this teacher training yoga was just about the pose, and about looking perfect. Now I’ve grown to realize it’s so much more than that. Yoga is about being who you are and understanding that no matter where you are in your practice, it’s okay. Yoga is acceptance and understanding. Personally I think if everyone did a little yoga, the world would be a much better place.” – Lexi Smith, RYT 200
“My experiences during training have opened my mind, my heart and my body to what following the path of yoga can do to enrich my life and the lives of those around me. The practice has allowed me to appreciate everything more. Whether it is finding ease in a difficult asana or seeing something new on a trail I have hiked a hundred times before. Or learning to really listen to people and be in the now during conversations. Or using the yoga sutras as I reminder that I alone have the control to choose the way I want to feel.” – Ray Kosach, RYT 200
“When I joined the 200-hour yoga teacher training through Heart of the Village Yoga, I had a mission to bring yoga to teachers and mamas. Finding yoga with Jo and Bob years prior became my self-care and sounding board throughout having my own children, and I was excited to learn to share this with others. I did learn to share with others, and before the conclusion of the YTT, I was able to lead a retreat for almost 20 teaching staff, and it was due to the thorough teachings that Jo and Bob’s training offer that prepared me to share this incredible offering – with confidence. More than sharing these teachings, however, this training invited a deep dive into a self-discovery journey; deeper than I could have imagined. We also became a community of friends and each weekend that we were together, we walked a profound path of sharing, openness and built a bond that will never be broken. Thank you for your love, presence & time, Bob and Jo, you fill the souls of many!” – Michelle Bonang, RYT 200
“I have found my voice through teaching. Ever since I took my first yoga class I have always wanted to sit in the cushion up front and be the one teaching. Through the training that love has deepened and I can wholeheartedly say I believe my passion is teaching. I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, maybe I will teach yoga or culinary arts or medicine. But I now know I love to teach.
My hope is to take this love and teach yoga during college, maybe even before. Obviously I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do know the eight limb path has helped prepare me for the outside world. It has taught me to face everything with love and gratitude. I have a constant effort to be present and do everything mindfully and joyfully.
We have created a family together at heart of the village. I walk up the steps like I’m walking in to my living room. During everything, I have felt loved and accepted. Jo, thank you for encouraging me to take this training. I never would have been bold enough to do this without your constant encouragement. Pam, thank you for teaching us (and simplifying) all of the beautiful ways the body moves. Bob, thank you for teaching us the unique and interesting philosophies behind yoga. I am grateful for all of you and all of the experiences we had together. This has been a journey I will never forget.” – Charlotte Alexander, RYT 200
“I came into this teacher training at a point in my life when I was in desperate need of a sense of belonging. I was looking to the external world to provide it to me. What came from this training was deep internal growth and healing. Though I can’t say I necessarily belong here physically in Vermont I know undoubtedly now that I belong here inside my heart, a place I had never looked. Yoga has given me this gift and it’s the yoga I learned, not the yoga I thought I knew coming in.” – Jamie Lombardo, RYT 200
“At the time I took the Heart of the Village 300 hour teacher training, I had already been teaching yoga for many years. Since my original 200 hour teacher training, I had completed a few hundred additional hours of advanced yoga training; because these trainings were from many different organizations, they could not be put together towards the advanced level of Yoga Alliance certification. Nonetheless, I had basically decided against doing a 300 hour training because I enjoy an eclectic approach to learning and teaching, and was convinced that I might be a bit bored in an entire 300 hour program from one organization’s perspective. However, when I read about Heart of the Village’s program, I was intrigued. I am so glad I was! Jo and Bob do a fabulous job presenting yoga with the depth and breadth it deserves. The program explores the physical practice of yoga from a variety of approaches, vinyasa to yin to restorative. Beyond that, the training puts the physical practice of yoga within the wider context of yogic philosophy and practices, especially highlighting the bhakti and japa yoga traditions. Furthermore, the Heart of the Village training featured many special guest teachers to share their own expertise and knowledge. Finally, the Heart of the Village is a wonderful community, and the students in the teacher training greatly benefit from being a part of it. I would highly recommend the Heart of the Village program.” – Stephanie Jones, RYT 500
“The 300 hour yoga Teacher Training experience at Heart of the Village Yoga is like adding a tube and mirrors to a small collection of favorite beads and trinkets. Each bead and trinket represents lessons learned from my 200 hour training such as anatomy, Sutra study and sequencing. The tube, the community, studio, environment, is a comfortable, solid, safe space to look over my knick knacks. Teachers, colleagues, guests, written assignments and discussions are all mirrors that encouraged reflection, magnification and expansion. The program supports and promotes going beyond the What and When. Understanding the Why and How enables us to create a limitless kaleidoscope of action, intention, knowledge and devotion. Jo and Bob understand how people learn best and have developed a professional, balanced and inclusive program. I highly recommend bringing in your own baubles and witness the transformation to an ever changing, beautiful practice.” – Alexandra Langstaff, RYT 500
“The Heart of the Village Yoga teacher training was a wonderful and supportive learning experience. Our teachers created a safe, supportive environment of learning and helped us grow as yogis and teachers. Jo and her fellow instructors epitomized the philosophy and practice of yoga on and off the mat. I went into this training thinking I just wanted to improve my practice, but came away with the desire to share my love and deep respect for yoga practice and inspired to become a yoga teacher. It was a transformational experience for me.” – Pat Meredith, RYT 500
“It is my absolute pleasure to recommend Heart of the Village Yoga for your teacher training whether you are a 200 hour candidate, a 300 hour candidate or combined, like me. I came to know Jo Kirsch and Bob Speck as the most wonderful teaching team. They are both incredibly hard working and their combined knowledge inspired everyone at both levels to intertwine learning, mentor each other, teach with confidence and share deeply in yoga philosophy and asana. The TT program is outstanding for anyone at any level, that is interested in delving deeper into the art and science of yoga with like minded wonderful people.” – Barbara Lowes, RYT 500, Reiki Master
“I was so blessed to be a part of the Advanced Studies/Teacher Training program at HOTV! Jo and Bob have such a profound understanding of the yoga path. Their teaching of both the physical and esoteric aspects of the practice is clear and embodied. In addition, their inclusion of guest teachers to broaden the scope of the learning was a gift. Even though the primary asana sequence taught through the training is a vinyasa based practice, there was so much variety offered that everyone was able to find the practice that most suited them. The spiritual aspects were taught with both respect and curiosity, enabling a deep immersion. And no one takes themselves too seriously! But for me, possibly the most important aspect was the safety and support Jo and Bob create in the training and in the studio as a whole. During the course of the training, I experienced a deeply traumatic event. The compassion and care I received at the studio gave me the space to breathe and to begin to process my feelings. Their modeling of “taking it off the mat” helped me complete the program and find my way home.” – Dina Bronson, RYT 500
“We are all seekers, but sometimes we don’t know what we are looking for. At least that was how it seemed for me when I began my 200 hour teacher training at Heart of the Village Yoga. This course gave me the tools needed to learn that what I was looking for was in my own mind and heart. I just needed a dedicated and enthusiastic “Yes!” to being open and trusting the journey I was already on.
Jo and Bob are the real deal, with a deep respect for yogic tradition and culture, and they don’t take shortcuts. Leading by example, they are the kind of teachers you need if you want to dive deep but they are also incredibly kind and supportive.
The 200 hour teacher training gave me the tools to understand myself more deeply, and the 300 hour training helped me to understanding that I am connected to everything and everyone. I am overcome daily with appreciation and gratitude at how beautiful and interesting life is. I rarely say anything with complete conviction but I will say this: My life has been completely changed by these 500 hours of teacher training and I am so grateful for it.” – Margaret McChesney, RYT 500