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Yoga Teacher Development Retreat

Tiruvannamalai, South India
20th - 29th January 2025
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Join us for an unforgettable 10 days in India, the magical, mesmerising and at times mind-blowing (for all the reasons) birthplace of yoga. An opportunity for all yoga teachers, new or well-seasoned, young or old, bendy or stiff to delve into both your personal practice as well as hone and develop your skills as a teacher. You will have the opportunity to explore Indian culture, experience firsthand Ayurveda (the sister science of yoga), expand your yoga teacher community and no doubt have an incredible start to the year.

Sammy and Jos met back in 2018 igniting a connection that transcended mere acquaintanceship and started teaching together on yoga teacher trainings in 2020. 

 

Since meeting  our bond has blossomed into a profound friendship, enriched by mutual interests and aligned perspectives on life, a friendship that is incredibly nourishing and infused with joy. We also discovered that we share a very similar approach to yoga, our teaching philosophies and pedagogical methods. fueled by our desire to work together in a deeper capacity we embarked on a journey of creation, giving birth to their brainchild—a transformative yoga teacher development retreat.

 

We recognize the reality that as yoga teachers, there's often a need to either choose between further training for skill development and ongoing education, or embarking on a retreat for personal practice and rejuvenation. However, for many of us, the constraints of time and finances make it difficult to pursue both. This is the reason why we decided to merge the two things together, resulting in a 10-day immersion where we seamlessly blend the pursuit of learning, growth, and self-care. Our aim is to offer participants the ultimate experience—a holistic journey that nurtures both professional development and personal nourishment.

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The Practice

The purpose of this teacher development retreat is to meet you exactly where you are in your practice and on your teaching journey. Our aim is to provide the space, knowledge and support, so that you can indulge in both education and relaxation, whilst surrounded by a community of fellow yoga teachers.

The immersion has been designed in a way to combine finding deep quietude in your own practice whilst also enhancing your skills as a teacher and refining your existing teaching methodologies. Throughout the 10-days, you'll engage in practical experiences, allowing ample time for hands-on learning, experimentation, and exploration, alongside lectures and knowledge sharing. We believe that in order to give our students the best possible experience of yoga, we need to be feeling nourished, inspired and connected and therefore, these are the qualities we will look to cultivate.

 

This 10 day immersion will provide you with 50 hours of CPD. Topics covered will include

  • Assisting Āsana and Sequencing

  • Inclusivity and critical thinking

  • Theming

  • Vedanta - with guest lecturer Raghav Kumar

  • Subtle Practices

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Your Teachers​

Sammy Rainbow Furnival

Sammy is a highly experienced Yoga Alliance certified ERYT with a decade of dedicated teaching. Her journey into teaching began in 2014 in Northern India, where she embarked on her transformative 200-hour yoga teacher training. This decision arose from her transition away from the dance industry, where she had immersed herself for 15 years, after recognizing the limiting lack of holistic focus. Since her initial training, Sammy has expanded her expertise, amassing over 1500 hours of additional training across locations such as the UK, India, Bali, Canada, and through online platforms. This extensive journey reflects her unwavering commitment to deepening her understanding and proficiency in yoga.

 

Sammy is incredibly passionate about the art of teaching yoga and believes in delving beyond asana to explore the rich inner dimensions of the practice. Sammy endeavours to offer her students a comprehensive representation of yoga, one that encompasses not only the body but also the mind and spirit. Sammy seeks to foster an environment of inclusivity, joy, and playfulness, with an aim to both educate and empower her students, guiding them on a  journey of self-discovery and growth. Through her teaching, Sammy aspires to share the profound benefits of yoga, making it accessible and enriching for all who seek it.

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Josephin Westerlund

Josephin is an experienced educator and teachers teacher with more than 10 years of dedicated training experience, conducted both in her residence town of Stockholm and in London. Her introduction to yoga at an early age, guided by her mother, has evolved into a comprehensive expertise, culminating in over 2000 hours of teacher training across disciplines such as Bhakti yoga, Vinyasa Krama, pre/post-natal yoga, restorative, yin, and Yoga Nidra. In 2024 Josephin has started her first own 300 hour advanced training, as well as her 5th Foundational 250 hour training. 

4 years ago Josephin opened a yoga studio in the hustle and bustle of Stockholm city centre, and since then is has grown to a respected school and health space in Sweden. Josephin is committed to fostering a community of individuals deeply engaged in their practice, and the key to coming home to our bodies, according to her, is by feeling welcomed. Her asana-philosophy centers around the notion that every action requires a return, any movement is asking for a respons - and the more we become aware of this play between effort and position, the better we get to read not just our own bodies but the bodies of our students as well.

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The large majority of practice and lectures will be led by Sammy and Jos. However, we are incredibly fortunate to also be working with a very inspirational and knowledgeable Vedanta teacher that Sammy met on her recent travels in India. We think it’s important that when travelling to India, the birthplace of yoga, that we seek to share the practice of yoga, not just from our Western perspectives but to include teachers that can provide a more diversified experience.

Raghav Kumar - Vedanta Teacher

Raghav Kumar comes from a family lineage steeped in the Vedic tradition – a background which has guided him and shaped his spiritual pursuits. After a degree in electronics engineering from IIT Bombay and a stint in the corporate sector as an IT professional, he felt drawn to a full-time pursuit of meditation and also charitable service activities to underprivileged sections of Indian society through the Ramakrishna Mission.

 

In 2001, Raghav first traveled the Himalayas, to Uttarkashi & Rishikesh, where he studied Sanskrit, Vedanta and Yoga Philosophy under the guidance of Swami Dayananda Saraswati and also other respected spiritual teachers. Since 2011, he has been dividing his time between Thiruvannamalai in Southern India near the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi, the great sage of Advaita, and traveling to ashrams and centres teaching Yoga philosophy, Bhagavad Gita and other Vedanta texts in India and Bali.

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The Venue​

​​Our home for the retreat is set over 13 acres of land on the outskirts of the temple town of Tiruvannamalai, a major pilgrimage destination in Tamil Nadu and at the base of the holy Mt Arunachala, “Fire Mountain of Wisdom”, recognised by many as the spiritual heart of the world. The venue has been developing since 2012 at the keen vision of Yogi Ashokananda, and specifically designed for sadhana.  

 

At the heart of the site, is the purpose-built  yogashala. Complementing the yogashala, you will find the Meditation Dome, a stone structure 7 levels into the earth and equidistant from ground to the centre of the dome, a magical place for meditation, self reflection, chanting or simple peace and quiet.

 

There is also an Ayurvedic wellness centre, multiple central areas for gathering, indoor and outdoor open dining areas, a roof for sunbathing and a swimming pool.

 

Blessed with constant views of Mt Arunachala and Immersed in nature, there are plenty of opportunities to wander onsite enjoying the farmland, orchards, cows and goshalas, roaming footpaths or relaxing in the hammock areas and enjoying uninterrupted views of the stunning sunrise.

The onsite Neuroprana Wellness Centre offers a full range of Ayurvedic treatments for healing, relaxing and restoring. Treatments, services, courses and consultations with the Ayurvedic doctor are all available. Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, originated in India more than five thousand years ago and is the oldest continuously practiced healthcare tradition in the world. 

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The Food

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be offered each day of the retreat with fruit and herbal teas available throughout the day. All vegetarian and plant based food is sattvic and will be prepared onsite at meal time. The kitchen sources local, organic, seasonal produce and the herbal teas are sourced directly from the gardens.

 

If you are vegan, gluten free or have any other intolerances, they can be catered to.

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The Plan

Over the course of the 10 days, there will be daily morning and evening practices, teaching workshops, lectures, afternoons of free time and both scheduled and optional extra activities with one day off in the middle for you to do whatever you please.

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Sample Daily Schedule

7.00-9.00 Āsana & Pranayama

9.00-10.00 Breakfast

10.00-13.00 Assisting āsana and sequencing

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.00 Vedanta lecture

Free time

17.30-19.00 Evening practice

19.00-20.00 Dinner

Excursion

Midway through the retreat we will have a half day excursion, visiting mount Arunchala as well as a largely influential local Ashram. The  guided tour will take us to three important caves on Arunachala that have been used by Enlightened masters for meditation over many centuries, for more than a thousand years. Sri Ramana Maharshi is one of those masters that spent 16 years in the cave from 1899 to 1916. These caves hold the energy of high consciousness, which is said can be experienced within. 

 

Following the Cave Trek, we will visit Sri Ramana Ashram. The ashram is a highly spiritual enriching place and there are temples and meditation halls to visit.  You will have the opprotunirty to spend time meditating in the meditation hall, and depending on the daily activities at the ashram we may observe or participate in the rituals of puja or Vedaparayana,where  boys from the onsite Gurukul lead the vedic chanting.

What’s included?

- 9 nights accommodation

- Three vegetarian Ayurvedic meals a day (excluding the day off where dinner will not be included) 

- Daily practice, workshops and lectures

- 1 half day excursion

- Traditional Puja and Gala dinner

- 50 hours yoga alliance certified CPD

- Unlimited fruit and herbal tea

- Towels

What’s not included?

- Flights to India

- Airport Transfer

- Visa 

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The closest domestic airport is Puducherry Airport and the closest International airport is Chennai. We will support you in arranging transfers should you need it.

Room options

Standard room - These rooms are the most basic rooms and are for single occupancy only. The room has one single bed and comes with either an en-suite or shared bathroom both with hot water, bathroom choices will be allocated on a first come first served basis. First floor rooms come with a balcony and ground floor rooms come with verandas. All rooms have screens, ceiling fans and some rooms have air conditioning.

 

Deluxe Room - These rooms are larger than the standard room and can be for either single or double occupancy with either two twin beds or one queen-size bed. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom with hot water. First floor rooms come with a balcony and ground floor rooms come with verandas. Screens, ceiling and air conditioning fitted in each room for your comfort. 

 

Super Deluxe Room -  These are the newest and largest rooms and can be for either single or double occupancy, with either two twin beds or one King-size bed. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom with hot water. Rooms have been fitted with stone floors throughout, double glazed floor to ceiling windows, screens, ceiling fans and air conditioning.  The hot water is primarily provided via solar heating with backup for those few days where the sun may be taking a break. These rooms are ideal for guests who wish to have a bit more privacy on a private or shared basis. 

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Investment

Early Bird - Available until 30th April

Standard room - single occupancy £1195

Deluxe room - Single occupancy £1350

Deluxe room - Double occupancy £1095

Super Deluxe room - Single occupancy £1495

Super Deluxe room - Double occupancy £1295

Regular Price - From 1st May

Standard room - single occupancy £1350

Deluxe room - Single occupancy £1500

Deluxe room - Double occupancy £1250

Super Deluxe room - Single occupancy £1650

Super Deluxe room - Double occupancy £1450

BIPOC Scholarship

We will be offering one partial scholarship a BIPOC teacher in our community. This will be at a 40% reduction of the regular price. If you are interested in applying for this scholarship, please get in touch and we will send over more information.

Photography Scholarship

We will be offering one scholarship space for a yoga teacher that is also a photographer. This will be at a 50% reduction of the regular price in exchange for documentation of the training. If you are interested in applying for this,, please get in touch and we will send over more information.

If you want to share but you're coming alone, let me know and if there are still twin deluxe rooms available, I can pair you up with a new retreat buddy.

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Prices are listed per person. A £350 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your booking. Payment plans are available. Lets chat about it.

 

For all bookings and enquiries, please contact me directly at sammy@sammyrainbowfurnival.com

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