Yoga Teacher Training Testimonials
Vidya Jacqueline Heisel—Testimonials
from Yoga Teacher Training Course Graduates
I warmly recommend both the retreat centre and the course, the 200 hour YTT with Frog Lotus Yoga at Suryalila was everything it advertised and more! The course was intensive in a really good way. It was clear from the beginning that this is a serious course and that the teachers really wanted us to feel confident when we leave, which I think all of us did! There are many different teacher trainings out there and I am really lucky I narrowed it down to this one. It’s hard to explain how three weeks can be so life changing. I left Suryalila feeling sure I will return to the beautiful place. There is something so special about the place and I’m sure everybody who has walked down to the Om Dome in the early morning, gazing up at the stars; watched the sun rise above the mountains after meditation, would agree, not to mention the glorious sunsets. Also there is no question about it that I am already looking forward to attending Frog Lotus Yoga’s Advanced Training in the future.
Amanda Homstrom, Vasa, Finland
I would just like to say thank you for the wonderful experience I had on the training. Aside from the beautiful surroundings, lovely atmosphere and phenomenal food, I was so impressed with the structure and content of the course. Even when it felt like there was so much work to do, I always felt secure and confident that we would be provided with everything we needed to achieve what we set out to. It was exciting to practice so intensively, and to feel my body get stronger and more able each day. The amount of information we absorbed is really mind-blowing, and the course was, as it should be, doing 200 hours in three weeks, rigorous and demanding. I also really felt there was time and space to listen and be attentive to the physical and spiritual changes that were happening, which was wonderful.
Caroline Mathias, Leominster, Herts, UK
The whole Suryalila experience revolves around the yoga, and the teaching modules are designed to impart information both cognitively and physically while insuring that students begin learning to teach. The instruction is intense, but fun. As a psychologist, I was most impressed with the process. And I really struggled. From the physical demands of the yoga to the stress of teaching the first class, I found myself falling behind. I knew that if I was going to make it, I would have to reach deep and find my edge. The night before teaching my second class I had a breakthrough. I realized that my fellow students thought I could do it. My friends and family thought so, too. The missing link was me…I found my edge.
After finishing the 200 hours certification I have a few thoughts. The quality of the
teaching was first class. The Anatomy section was fun.
Alicia, who taught poses, may be the best teacher I ever had. The assistants were always there with assists and tips, and, of course, it all comes back to Vidya, who made it all happen, and whose Sanskrit and Philosophy classes were dead on and really enjoyable. As everyone notes the facilities, food, excursions, massage, etc. were first rate. So while the memories are destined to fade I’m left with Tapas, fire and self-discipline…
Clark Heindel, Georgia USA
Words wont be enough to express the gratitude for everything I experienced at the training, under your guidance; largely expanding the knowledge of yoga philosophy, that I feel so passionate about; the way of life I commit to dedicate my life to, new physical and emotional practices; your gentle spiritual supervision. All that makes me feel now that I can contribute in a much better way to making the Universe lighter and happier. Only now i can fully understand what that “life changing” line in all testimonials of the course i read about earlier truly meant. I find myself making the move out of the corporate world towards the dream of becoming a TEACHER. An extraordinary one. It does take a lot of courage but it feels incredible to finally find the path that I am supposed to be on. I am teaching my first class today:) FREE! Excited, focused, grateful! Thank you for opening my eyes, for helping me to wake up. I am extremely content with where i am at this moment, inspired to stay present and continue learning.
Anya Belik, Dubai
I was in your Teacher Training in Bali back in April of 2011. I’m not sure I knew then, in the thick of it, just how amazing and transformational the training was. I took the training at the end of a couple of years abroad. I came home and immediately entered the world of teaching yoga. It’s been three years and I still refer back to my notes from the training and I still use so much of your advice. I’ve also become sisterly with Hana Lukac, from the same training and we often speak of how much we learned. I’ve become friends with two others who have taken training with you in the past and we are all so grateful for having found you as our teacher. I take classes with many different teachers all over the city (some great, and some still looking for their voice) and I think what I took away from the training the most, and where I feel you helped me the most is learning how to ‘teach’ effectively. Not just the physicality of the practice, but the languaging I use, how I hold space for the class, how I’ve found my seat as teacher, the readings I share, the music I play, the sequencing and themes that flow through my class. I feel a lot of my success as a teacher comes from that part of your training, and for that I Thank You.
After completing the Yoga teachers training with you, there was an obvious and immediate impact. Between graduation and my first class as a teacher, my personal practice and appreciation for the yogic lifestyle expanded considerably. Those three weeks opened up such a unique and beautiful relationship with myself, and my understanding of being human has shifted completely. I am so in touch with myself, and it is so obvious and amazing to be able to approach difficult situations without the anxiety and emotion I had before. Your training was superb, and that has really proven itself to me within the last 7 or 8 months of teaching and practicing. I genuinely feel confident and good as a teacher, so thank you for sharing your expertise with me.
Bethany Platenella, Margate, New Jersey, USA
In short, it was the best experience of my life. The spiritual journey you took us on pretty much saved my life and my passion for life. I did not realize until much after the training how powerful it really was. I often think back on classes you taught and discussions we had and am in awe as to how dedicated you and your team were to delivering us the most real, inspiring, educational training possible in that short period of time. I feel this incredible connection to you and am so proud to have attended your training. I am pleased to say I have taught over 300 yoga classes since training. I managed to get a full time position with a studio and am committed to being a better teacher every time I step in the room.
Deborah Gordon, Vancouver, Canada
I love you guys, my mind is still in turmoil after that beautiful experience that we all shared called teacher training. I came to improve my practice, and I left an ever changing, growing new soul. Thank you for helping me wake up and see the beauty of the world that surrounds us.
Michael Olivotto, Vancouver, Canada
The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, the greatest teacher inspires. Thank you for being such an inspiring teacher!
Rina D’Angelo, Amsterdam, Holland
The words “thank you” seem inadequate to express my gratitude! Between training with you and now assisting you, I have had some of the most amazing experiences in my life. Thank you for holding the space and affording the opportunity to learn and grow in so many ways. You are a bright light in this world! The way that you share touches and transforms so many people. I feel blessed that our paths have intertwined in this life and truly hope to continue to learn from and support you in what you do.
Tristina Quattlebum, Sacramento, California
I thoroughly loved every moment of my course with Vidya. The whole experience was wonderful, from the food to the cosy atmosphere and the unforgettable, inspirational practices taught by Vidya and Paula. Not only did I feel empowered through the new found strength of my physical practice, but through learning the philosophy of yoga and the anatomy of the human body as well. I have come out of the course feeling more knowledgeable, strong in my practice, hungry to learn more and confident to teach vinyassa flow yoga. The teachers and assistants were welcoming, motivating and well prepared. I would recommend this course to anyone who loves yoga, is interested in the philosophy of it and incorporating it into their every day life. For many of us it was a spiritual awakening to a lifelong practice of a common love we all share, yoga.
Raquelle Gracie, London England
Vidya is a mature woman with a deep dedication to her practice and this is exemplified in every area of her life and training. Her practice is strong and at the same time she has a wonderful softness that teaches the middle path. She knows her yoga and brings creativity variety spontaneity and commitment to the training. She is intelligent, grounded, humble and has great depth and wisdom which she generously imparts. Transformation is inevitable if you’re open to learning. I learned on a physical, mental and spiritual level. Vidya creates a warm, inspiring and knowledgeable training where friendship and alumni is encouraged amongst the trainees, which shows her presence, strength compassion and personal dedication to living the eight limb path. Vidya’s knowledge of Iyengar Yoga gives her great awareness about alignment that is detailed throughout her flow training and personal practice which I loved, as it protects the physical body from injury. Vidya comes highly recommended by me for all of the above reasons, plus she is warm personable and professional. The most important things I got out of the course were a deeper knowledge, intense training and a much improved practice. Most importantly I feel well equipped to start as a yoga teacher.
Yolande Hart, Melbourne, Australia
I feel absolutely blessed to have had the opportunity to do my yoga teacher training with Vidya from Frog Lotus Yoga. I can’t imagine there is anyone else with as much knowledge, passion and dedication than Vidya who shared her experience and expertise with us with such grace and in such detail. The Yoga practice was incredibly inspirational and refreshing and each day she pulled something new out of the bag to challenge us. In short, the Frog Lotus Yoga teacher training retreats are nothing short of excellent and I will definitely do my 500 hour with Vidya… Can’t wait and miss the practice immensely!
Hayley Menzies, London, UK
An incredible experience, the Frog Lotus Yoga Thailand Teacher Training at Absolute Sanctuary went above and beyond all my expectations for a yoga teacher training course. Inspiration from inspirational teachers. The course is so well organized and balanced, with a lot of material to get through and a plenty of new information to take in, it could’ve been over-whelming, but both Vidya and Jennie-Lee were amazingly re-assuring voices of reason throughout and always inspired confidence in us all. What have I gained from it? Far more than a Yoga Instructor Certificate… A more holistic and far advanced personal practice, a refined and uplifted meditation practice, far enhanced yoga philosophy and anatomy knowledge and importantly, confidence in myself as a teacher, brimming with enthusiasm to spread the Yoga love!
Joanne Batten, London, UK
I attended the 200hr YTT in Spain. I came to the training to become a Yoga teacher; but what happened during your training was a complete life alteration (for the better). I continued the Vegetarian diet upon leaving Spain, and now feel better than ever with this change! The spiritual aspect of the training was also very influential; I have always adhered to most of the yogic principles; but seeing them in the yoga light led to all the loose ends being tied up and really gave me a sense of peace with my life. I am now teaching several classes a week and loving every minute of it. When I talk to other teachers about their training, I am shocked at how little some of them know about the background of Yoga; their focus is simply on the Asanas. While this is obviously a very important aspect of yoga, I felt that your teachings developed my personal practice in a way I previously had thought impossible, and gave me the foundation to teach others. I am so glad that I chose your teacher training program, it has been truly influential in my life!
Kristine Doiron, Edmonton, Canada
I’m not sure what forces brought me here, but words fail to describe the beautiful experience you’ve put me through. When I signed up for this course I did not realize that I had signed up for this magical journey. You are a passionate, dedicated and inspiring lady, and you have deeply motivated me to firmly ground my practice in a holistic way. You radiate such warmth and positive energy; you are soft and assertive at the same time; I’m blessed to have had you as my first Guru. Thank you for everything.
Anjalika Bose, Eindhoven, Holland
All I can say a month post-course is: I wish I could be back there studying, bending and bonding! Monte Mariposa is a completely enchanting location, the accommodation rustically chic, the staff charmingly friendly and the food to die for. The course material is well-balanced, very well organized and exceedingly knowledgeably delivered. There is a very workable balance between discussion based learning, didactic teaching and self study. I left feeling equipped, confident and brimming with enthusiasm to embark on a new course in life as a yoga teacher. Vidya has a lovely warm personality and a twinkle in her eye which transforms the study and practice into medicine for the soul. A million thanks!
Biffy Neilson, Berkshire, UK
Frog Lotus Yoga Teacher Training is an incredible opportunity for all levels of your being. Its emphasis on Patanjalis Yoga Sutras and the eight limb path of yoga means that, whilst asana is obviously an integral aspect of the course, it also extends far beyond it. The physically, intellectually and spiritually challenging nature of the course ensures that certification is but the cherry on the cake of what is a truly transformational experience. One that is guaranteed to dramatically deepen your own yoga practice and further infuse you with a powerful desire to continue with the journey of exploration that constitutes the yogic path. And all within the context of delightful surroundings at a fabulous retreat centre in the hills of Portugal.
Lucy Jones, London, England
I had the time of my life and miss it everyday! All you need is enthusiasm and a commitment to learn and with her wealth of experience, knowledge and patience, Vidya will forge you into a yoga teacher in no time at all! Vidya provides a great space for learning and transformation to occur; she is compassionate, always approachable, and crucially present. The course material is through and if you don’t already, you will seriously know your stuff by the end of it. By the time you realize you have all the confidence and tools you need to teach yoga, you’ll be smiling inside and out! I am now a very grateful yoga teacher!
Carl Faure, YogaWest, London, England
I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Far more than just a teacher training, my stay at lovely Monte Mariposa has been a truly lifechanging experience. If you want to take your passion for yoga one step further by training as a teacher but don’t know which course to take, make it this one – you won’t regret it! If you just want to deepen your own understanding of yoga, or you are unsure if teaching is for you, come anyway! By the end of your time with Vidya, you will not only hold a certificate; you will have discovered a potential inside yourself you never knew you had. Thank you so much Vidya and all at Monte Mariposa.
Petra Ponnet, Edinburgh, Scotland
I came to Frog Lotus Yoga for the 200 hr teacher training program to gain my certification to teach yoga, with the hopes of a side benefit that would include more physical strength and balance. What I left with was much more than just my certification to teach yoga, but a deeper level of emotional, spiritual, physical strength and balance than I would have imagined. I not only found a mentor in the Director at Frog Lotus Yoga, Vidya Heisel, but the offer of a deeper, more meaningful way of living. Rather than a large, anonymous program, Frog Lotus Yoga is an intimate, personalized environment, where the entire staff is dedicated to one common goal, that of offering an understanding of all that yoga encompasses; including philosophy, art, science and discipline, along with the encouragement to explore and participate fully; mind, body and spirit. I am incredibly grateful that I found Frog Lotus Yoga. I now feel more qualified to teach yoga as a way of life, in addition to the practice of asanas, than I may have been had I chosen an alternative place to study. Thank you for your insight, dedication and commitment to yourself and to others Vidya!
Dana Mountain-Zona, Arlington, MA.
For anyone who is even considering going to Frog Lotus Yoga, I would definitely recommend the teacher training program. If you keep an open mind and heart you won’t believe how greatly it will effect your life. Vidya took a big city girl, whose life was full of chaos, and turned her into a true yogini. It wasn’t by a pushy attitude, it was by kindness and true guidance. She gives you the tools and knowledge to better yourself both physically and emotionally. It is then up to you to absorb all the goodness that is around you. Thanks Vidya, you and your staff will forever be in my heart.
Dana Robert, Chicago, IL.
I just wanted to thank you again for the opportunity and education you afforded me during my time in Portugal on the teacher training program. Upon arriving home, it became even more clear to me how much I learned on the retreat. Not only did I fall in love with yoga and the yogic lifestyle, but I had a real spirit-mind-body growth experience, and I attribute all that I have gained from it to both of you (Vidya and Jennifer). I now look on each day and everything I do in a new and improved light, and I look forward to passing on this knowledge to as many others as I can. It’s amazing how much this program has changed my life. Thank you so much again, I cannot express how much you have given me.
Rebecca Stern, Slingerlands, New York.
Thank you once again for the teacher training. I learned a lot about teaching, anatomy and my own practice, not to mention yoga philosophy, history, etc. I would love to have the opportunity to attend further training and workshops with you and October in the future. I miss your Hatha 3 classes SOO much, and I would love to be there to join you in your early morning sun salutations and practice. I learned so much from the intensive focus on backbending or inversions or balances – whatever the focus of the day was. I haven’t experienced another class or teacher before or since who offered such a challenging, deep and focused practice. I miss it! I have already started teaching as a sub in two studios within walking distance from my house in Indianapolis, and will have my own classes on the schedule at three starting in January. In addition, my husband and I have dedicated our living room to the function of yoga room, and I have been holding 4-5 classes a week at home for friends and friends of friends. So, I’m attempting to make full time work of teaching….
Laura Henderson, Indianapolis, IN
Thank you for an amazing training and all your teachings. I have not missed a day of practicing ever since; your energetic vinyasa flow is part of my daily routine now – thank you for this gift. I also wanted to tell you how strong these 3 weeks made me; the effect is manifesting in my newly found bakasana, parsva bakasana, and salamba sirsasana (would not miss an opportunity to keep practicing the Sanskrit). It’s beautiful and humbling!
Zsusanna Kiraly, New York, New York.
I loved my time at Acebo in Spain, the venue was beautiful, if a little rustic, but that only helped cement friendships with my fellow students. I underestimated the amount of work involved (even though it did say intensive!) but that only served me well as I left feeling so much more equipped than I had originally anticipated. The course layout builds well and eases you into each new step. The content is comprehensive and since finishing the course, I can’t believe how much I have taken in. You will be inspired to open your heart and mind and try new ways of thinking that can only benefit you and those around you. I arrived for a physical practice and left having gained a far greater understanding of the not only the Asanas but a more open mind and a desire to explore spirituality in greater depth. Vidya has such a wealth of knowledge as well as an inspiring practice and dedication the yoga that you can’t help but be inspired to follow. I really miss the morning meditation and daily practice but have continued to practice each morning equipped with a depth of knowledge I never had 2 months ago. Namaste!
Vicky Pitchers, Glasgow, Scotland. U.K.
Thank you so much for being such a wonderful influence on me. I can’t thank you enough for supporting this life changing experience for me. Initially it was all about learning to teach yoga but I realized it is so much more. The awareness, clarity and intention to always move forward in life is a gift. The combination of the incredibly diverse and dynamic group that I was privileged to practice with as well as a wonderful dedicated teacher made for a phenomenal experience at Frog Lotus Yoga. I can’t stop thinking about it, feeling, practicing yoga and smiling. Thank you! shanti, shanti, shanti, namaste,
Kristen Keuter, Binghamton, NY.
I just returned home from the January 200-hour yoga teacher’s training course at Frog Lotus Yoga, and am amazed at how profoundly my life has been affected. Not only has my own practice been deepened immeasurably, but the friendships that I made over the course of the month will affect my life every day. Vidya is a gracious and competent woman, and her passion for yoga infuses her teaching style with verve and authenticity. The studio itself is an incredibly beautiful place to spend an entire month diving into yoga’s possibilities, and all of her other teachers are wonderful as well. I highly recommend Frog Lotus Yoga to anyone looking to receive their 200-hour certification!
Dolly Stavros, LMT, RYT
I am so glad I chose to do my Yoga Teacher Training at Frog Lotus Yoga. I really appreciated the small group because it allowed for intimate connection and personal attention. The training was very thorough and clear in its organization and execution. The studio space itself is very beautiful and a comfortable place to be, which is essential when spending so many hours a day in one place! There were a variety of classes and teachers to choose from, thus I was able to really deepen my practice through exposure to various styles. I feel prepared to begin teaching and hope I can artfully implement all that I learned. Thanks!
Ava Roy, Lenox MA
Choosing from the many Teacher Training programs out there was no easy task. Frog Lotus definitely turned out to be the right decision. The program is a guided process that prepares you well to confidently create and instruct your own classes. More than just an education, this was a life affirming experience. It increases your thirst for continuing education and a lifetime of learning the ancient tradition of yoga. Vidya Heisel is generous in sharing her vast knowledge and experience.
The Yoga teacher Training at Frog Lotus provided me with a sturdy foundation of knowledge on all aspects of yoga. One of the greatest benefits was allowing us to choose which classes to take, so we could tailor the program to fit our yogic interests. The studio itself is a real gem and the instructors are wonderful. The program has well prepared me for an intended career in yoga and provided me with the confidence to do so. I highly recommend this program to anyone seeking to expand their knowledge and deepen their well-being. The lessons I’ve learned, the friends I’ve made and the memories that were created are all part of a total experience I will never forget.
Julie Weiss, Massapequa, New York.
Teacher training at Frog Lotus was all I expected it to be and more. Physically, my body became strong and agile, knowing the poses more completely. Anatomy training bettered my understanding of the body and the benefits of yoga. Mentally, I can see the whole of yoga now, the traditions, the goals, those who have shaped it, even the Sanskrit!! It was an intense and wonderful experience, with friendships that I can never forget. I am more myself than I was before. Thank you, Jaqueline. You are a remarkable teacher and mentor.
Hunter Clarke-Fields, Ardencroft, DE.
I wanted to thank you immensely as I have completely changed my lifestyle. I have remained a vegetarian and whilst I did not give it a lot of thought at the course, now I could no more eat meat then I could somebody’s shoe! ( I have also converted a close friend). I started teaching the Karate guys some Yoga and they have found new movement in their bodies and technique. The word has got around town and now I am teaching 3 lessons a week and the studio is packed. I am really enjoying teaching and I just love the benefits that everyone receives in a very short time from doing Yoga.Thank you for being a very inspirational teacher. Because of you and the course I am now leading a new much more peaceful, fulfilling and enjoyable life.
Mandy Pelly, Australia.
During the Teacher Training you get right down to it; the way I think the great yogi’s of the past would have expected. It’s mentally stimulating and physically demanding in a way that makes me feel stronger on all levels. I pushed my body, mind and heart and I feel lighter, happier, freer because of my experience at Frog Lotus. As with anything you do, you get what you put in to it. Vidya provides a beautiful space and years of experience that allow for amazing personal transformation if you let it…go for it, you’ll be glad you did.
Lydia Hellums, Grand Junction CO.
Vidya is a powerful, skilled and fun instructor and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study with her. It still surprises me how much I have learned and grown from the one month teacher training program. The experience has been transformative. Thank you very much Frog Lotus Yoga.
Sujata Sidhu, Ithaca, New York.
The Yoga Teachers training was an amazing experience! To be immersed in yoga 24/7 with 21 other like-minded individuals was wonderful. Both Vidya presented us with an incredible amount of information. I highly recommend this program to anyone considering teaching or deepening their own practice.
Betsy Barry, Franklin, MA.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to you for providing this excellent learning environment. The course exceeded my expectations. I appreciate your organization, clarity, commitment and broad knowledge and experience. Keep up the good work!
Jem Mix, Boston, MA.
Thank you for provoking so many excellent philosophical discussions during this course. Learning the how is one thing but learning the why is quite another-much more elusive and deserves the attention you gave it.
Sati Chmelar, Florida.
I am so glad I chose Frog Lotus for my training. I have learned and grown so much! Thank you for all of your knowledge. What a gift!
Caroline McMahon, New York, NY.
I particularly appreciate the beauty of the space you’ve created, your flexibility and openness to accommodating different students, the tuition which is affordable, the grounding of the teaching in asana but time to think about and discuss the other 7 limbs, and the readings from your teacher-so insistently optimistic that enlightenment is possible. Your evenness and grace as a teacher embody yogic principles. Keep sharing the light!
Leigh Strimbeck, Chatham, New York.
I want to thank you for an incredible teachers training. I learned so much and really appreciated all of your giving and sharing. The training was much more than I ever imagined. I still wake up some mornings missing the studio and all the classes I took there.
Brenda Holland, Butte, Montana.
The teachers Training Program challenged my physical skill and mental stamina, rewarding me with a rock solid base of knowledge to draw on in my teaching.
Jema Abbate, Albany, New York.
Thank you for taking us on an amazing journey. I cannot believe how much I have learned and grown in one month!
Betsy Barry, Franklin, Massachusetts
This time here has enriched my life, strengthened my practice and deepened my heart. Thank you for the opportunity.
Amanda Horton, Austin, Texas
The training gave me far more than I ever imagined-not only did I learn how to deepen my practice and share it with others, but I also grew an enormous amount intellectually, spiritually and emotionally over the four weeks. I will always appreciate the experience at Frog Lotus Yoga and know that it has contributed to my path of self-discovery.
Tatyana Mamut, Berkeley, California.
Thank you Vidya for a wonderful training and an extensive coverage of about 100 poses. I really enjoyed teaching and assisting my ‘students’, and it was worthwhile the trip over from Switzerland.
Marieluise Maiwald, Basel, Switzerland
Thank you for such a thorough training. I am grateful to have found you and this Training. Since I have been back and taking classes at the local studios, I see how truly amazing the training was. You are a great director.
Ashley Griswald, East Quoge, NY
This has been an incredible experience. I have enjoyed every minute. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. You are a truly inspiring person!
MaryBeth Conway, New York.
Thank you so much Vidya! I have learned SO MUCH and I really appreciate the depth of your knowledge and experience, as well as your sit-bone kicking classes!!
Jessica Begin, Montreal, Canada.
The amount of knowledge that I have obtained is life-changing. Plus you have helped bring my practice to a new level. Thanks it was great!
Gil Elhart, Boulder, CO.
Thanks Yoga Diva for passing on the Story of Life. It truly was inspiring and I have learned so much!
Georgina Kelly, Dublin, Ireland.