Heart of Yoga Mentorship and Teacher Training with Crescence Krueger

Heart of Yoga Mentorship & Teacher Training
October 16, 2013 – May 14, 2014,Toronto, Canada

TThrough direct experience, an ancient knowledge comes alive in each of us. It has been missing in yoga education and without it there is no Yoga. Welcome into a lineage of teachers who pass on a complete understanding, found in the Feminine, the nurturing source and force of life.

This is the first opportunity to get Heart of Yoga training in Canada. A personal connection between student and teacher is at its core; this is how yoga has been effectively transmitted from one to another for thousands of years.  Regular one-on-one sessions and classes with a small group of fellow students will support you in the development of your own daily practice.  Really living yoga, you’ll be able to not just instruct asana but also be a true teacher for others. 

"It is not enlightenment we need; it is intimacy. It is not positive thinking or awareness we need, but intimacy. It is not God realization we need, but intimacy. Yet intimacy gives all of these.” Mark Whitwell

The Lineage

Mark Whitwell is my teacher. Deeply respected in the international yoga community, Mark is a gentle revolutionary, divesting yoga of dogma, clarifying its core and making it accessible to everyone. Mark’s teachers were U.G. Krishnamurti (1918-2007), a Jivamukti, “free in this life”, and the renowned scholar, teacher and healer, T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), the father of modern yoga. Mark has married the technology of Krishnamacharya with the realization of U.G., liberating yoga from the power mechanisms of misogynist culture and restoring yoga’s ability to heal and bring us into our inherent freedom.
In 1995, Mark founded the non-profit, Heart of Yoga, as an overarching brand of yoga education, ensuring that yoga is useful for all people, cultures and contemporary lifestyles. It allows styles of Yoga to be perfectly personalized to become utterly nurturing.

The Teacher

I teach from my direct experience of Yoga. The gift I have gotten from Mark Whitwell is utter clarity about what Yoga is and how to practice it.
Yoga is participation in the movement of the life current. After giving birth to my daughter, twenty years’ intimate work helping other women give birth has brought me again and again into life’s tangible flow. I know that pain is inherent to our existence and that love is our natural state.

I also know that the necessary context of Yoga transmission is equal and honest friendship. Prior to meeting Mark, eight years’ study of Kathak, North Indian Classical Dance, with Joanna De Souza and her teacher, Pandit Chitresh Das, and four years’ study of Voice with David Smukler, who teaches the yoga of sound, have given me first hand knowledge of the power of relationship in spiritual transmission.

Over the last ten years, I have taught Yoga throughout Toronto. My focus now is on mentoring Yoga teachers and Doulas. I feel responsible to pass on what I’ve received.  It’s a vital understanding. Real relationship is at the heart of life and I am committed to teaching in a way that makes it possible.

Advanced Yoga for Everyone

By putting the principles of Krishnamacharya into your practice, you make it entirely your own, efficient, powerful and safe. Krishnamacharya was the teacher of our teachers, yet his empowering technologies have curiously been omitted from the popularization of yoga. Advanced principles taught in Heart of Yoga are easily given to perfect beginners and experienced students alike. All styles, including Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa, and their derivatives, require adaptation to the principles; they make the breath the means of Yoga, turning asana into moving pranayama. The feeling is at once soft and strong, without struggle. No force is used as practice develops your strength to receive. Masculine and feminine come together. The merging of opposites, which starts within the body, is the key to intimate connection with all of life.

Personal Practice

“Yoga must be adapted to the individual, not the individual to Yoga.” said Krishnamacharya. In this way, no one is excluded; there is a powerful Yoga for everyone. Your own daily practice is the ground of our work together. 


Regular one-on-one meetings with me, where a realistic personal practice and later, your teaching, are addressed, form the foundation of the programme.  You will have the personal support that is at the heart of yoga.

Intimate Group

No more than eight people will be accepted into the programme.


While information can be given quickly, it takes time to integrate what you learn and weave the training into the rest of your life.  Here, you’ll get that time.

Who is this Programme for?

The programme is for anyone wanting an authentic yoga education. Whether you are already teaching, have a desire to teach or simply want to learn how to practice Yoga in a way that is right for you, you will get what you need. 

If you have done an initial teacher training, this is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding that will both simplify your teaching and make it more effective. Prior learning will be integrated into a paradigm that makes it possible to teach in response to the unique needs of every individual.   You’ll have the means to link the practice to the rest of your life and understand philosophy not as complex doctrine but as a wisdom that grows out of your own experience.

If you have little yoga education, you’ll get directly to the heart of the matter and have the means to establish and develop a real yoga practice and pass on what it gives you.   
Commitment and ability to practice and to fully participate in the programme in the way that is right for you is the only requirement.   

Overview of Heart of Yoga Curriculum

The programme requires a minimum of 325 hours from you, satisfying and exceeding the 200-hour foundational training standards of the Yoga Alliance. We will use a teaching manual written by Mark Whitwell. The curriculum is based on the principles of practice received from Krishnamacharya who brought an unsurpassed intellectual and philosophical rigour to his teaching. Its profundity is laid out in beautiful simplicity, providing an accessible technology to everyone. The fundamental challenges and joys of practicing, teaching and living in our contemporary context will be addressed.

Three Trimesters

Divided into three trimesters, the programme facilitates the establishment and development of your personal practice, supports you in the changes that come from it and lays the foundation for your being able to guide others in their Yoga.

1st Trimester: October through December 2013

The Principles and Practice

• Regular one-on-one meetings establish a realistic and satisfying personal practice you can integrate into your life. Group classes: a detailed study and experience of the principles of practice: asana, pranayama, bandha, meditation and intimacy as a seamless process. Philosophical understanding comes from the physical practice, which brings opposites together, the definition of Hatha Yoga. Exploration of Yoga’s non-dual experience of life.
•History of Yoga: ancient shamanic roots; yoga’s integration into patriarchal religion and the consequent denial of the Feminine; its re-emergence now in the transmission of a whole understanding.

2nd Trimester: January through March 2014

The Practice and Relationship

• Daily personal practice
• A one-on-one meeting per month
• Group classes: continued exploration of the principles of practice with a focus on using them now to adapt the practice to individual needs, including body type, pregnancy and postpartum, children and the three stages of adult life.
• Yoga therapy: adapting practice to injury and illness.
• Adapting practice to cultural and/or religious needs.
• Integrating mantra/sound into asana and working with it on its own.
• Philosophy: Yoga as the means to be with pain and suffering/dukha and to restore life’s vitality.
• Yoga makes relationship to your self and others possible. Relationship is yoga.
• Loving sexual relationship is Yoga. Birth is Yoga. You are Yoga. Spirit is not separate from life’s expression. Consciousness and energy are one.
• Repression of the Feminine, sex and life through dysfunctional yoga practice. Relevance of Yoga to your own life and relationships.

3rd Trimester: March through May 2014

Relationship and Teaching

• Your own practice is the source of your teaching and allows you to really receive your students. If you don’t begin to teach, focus will be on using Yoga to support the relationships in your life and work.
• One-on-one meetings continue, providing support for your teaching, if you choose to.
• Group classes: focus on principles of teaching: concepts and practicalities.
• Practice teaching: groups and one-on-one.
• The teaching function: “no more than a friend, no less than one either.” Ethics in serving this function: intimacy as the source of clarity and compassion. Yoga nurtures “right relationship”/brahmacharya.
• Voice: giving voice to your truth.
• The power of words in teaching
• Writing project: reflecting on an aspect of Yoga through your own experience. Finding words for your experience is an essential aspect of its integration and a crucial aspect of your skill as a teacher.
• Practicalities of teaching in the current Yoga culture.
• Philosophy: rather than a retreat from and transcendence of life, Yoga brings us fully and freely into the world.

Anatomy of Yoga and Breath

A study of the living, breathing body created by internationally recognized specialist Leslie Kaminoff will be part of the programme. There will be in-class work with me and on-line work and feedback from Leslie. He has over thirty years’ experience teaching rooted in the Krishnamachary/Desikachar tradition.

Class Scheduling

Group classes will be held on selected Wednesday evenings and Sunday days.  One-on-one meetings (one initial 2-hour meeting and ten 1.5-hour meetings) will be scheduled privately to mutual convenience. Ample time over Christmas, New Year’s, Easter and March Break holidays is given.  
Wednesday evenings, 7:00pm to 9:30pm:
October 16, 23, 30; November 6,13,20,27; December 4,11; January 22,29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5, 26; April 2, 9, 23, 30; May 7,14.

Sundays,10:00am to 5:00pm:
October 20, 27; November 3,10,17; December 8, 15; January 19,26; February 2,23; March 2,23,30; April 6, 27; May 4,11.

Core Texts

You’ll receive a three-part Heart of Yoga Teaching Manual, which forms the basis of the curriculum.

Yoga of Heart, The Healing Power of Intimate Connection, Mark Whitwell. Click here to order.

The Heart of Yoga, Developing a Personal Practice, TKV. Desikachar (edited by Mark Whitwell), which includes a translation of Patanjali’s Yogasutra. Click here to order.

Yoga Therapy, A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Yoga and Ayurveda for Health and Fitness, A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan. Click here to order

Yoga Anatomy, Your illustrated guide to postures, movements and breathing techniques, Leslie Kaminoff. Click here to order.

All of the books were written by teachers who studied in the Krishnamacharya tradition, so a cohesive thread of understanding runs through them all.
The cost of purchasing the core texts is approximately $70.00. Further reading will be suggested, appropriate to specific needs and interests.

Heart of Yoga Teacher Certification and Community

As a graduate of the programme, you’ll join the company of an international group of teachers recognized for the clarity and depth of their yoga education and their commitment to their practice and their students. You’ll receive a Heart of Yoga Teacher’s certificate, documentation that enables you to get liability insurance as a yoga teacher and to register with the Yoga Alliance. The qualifications to teach however are simple: one has a good teacher, one practices yoga, and one cares about people.

Yoga Alliance Registration

The Heart of Yoga Mentorship and Teacher Training is registered with the Yoga Alliance, at the 200-hour level, enabling you to register as a teacher with them as well.      


All classes, both group and one-on-one, will take place at the beautifully renovated The Yoga Back Clinic located in the Annex at 330 Dupont St., suite 100, Toronto, ON  M5R 1V9, a few steps west of the Dupont subway station.  See map

Fee & Payment Schedule

The fee is $4,500.00.  Upon acceptance to the programme, a deposit of $500.00 is due.  On October 16th, $2,000.00 is due; and on January 19th, the final payment of $2,000.00 is due.

Please speak to me, if you need an alternative payment plan. 

Application is by interview. Please contact me at crescence@heartofbirth.org or 416.994.4566 to set a time to meet.  Looking forward to connecting!