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Yoga Vidya:  Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

October 5, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Yoga Vidya:  Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

Immerse yourself in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Vedic Wisdom

In a supportive community

Starts October 2019

with Heather Haxo Phillips

As we sit on this precipice of change, I invite you to explore and awaken your own inner wisdom. Most of us are very familiar with the instruments of asana and pranayama as tools for self reflection. But, the ancients also included study of yoga philosophy, mantra chanting and contemplative silence in their practices. This program will give you a means for exploring this path of yoga in a supportive and healing community.

Some of the benefits that I have personally experienced from a more full exploration of the ancient traditions:

  • Increased ability to get quiet and sit with stillness
  • Change of perspective on obstacles and ability to work with them vs. against them
  • More authentic connection with the people in my life
  • A deeper connection to my community and the concept of lineage
  • A personal devotional practice that is a refuge for me
  • Access to my own intuition
  • Clarity on my soul’s purpose

What you can expect from this program:

You can expect to go much deeper into your yoga practices; you can expect to connect with a community of other devotional seekers; you can expect to be surprised and delighted by what you find through this exploration!

On a practical level, this program will consist of 6 gatherings over the course of 8 months.

Our gatherings will include group study of yoga philosophy, chanting of auspicious mantras, asana and pranayama for intermediate and advanced practitioners.  Our discussions will include modern topics that we all encounter such as cultural appropriation, social justice and inclusion, access and equity within yoga, student-teacher relationships and anything else on your mind as it relates to our community.  We will have lots of time for group discussion. This will be a participatory program.

Between gatherings, our practices will be enhanced an online course developed by Gitte Beschgaard.  The online course provides important readings in yoga philosophy, recorded lectures and chants in a call-and-response learning format. These studies are rooted in traditional texts – especially the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads – and offer contemplations for how to work with the material in our modern daily lives.  The online course is extensive.  You will be working with it on a weekly basis by practicing asana and pranayama, reading the course materials, listening to lectures and talking with your study buddies.

You can expect to to commit to a daily practice at home that may include asana, pranayama, chanting and/or quiet contemplation. This program is meant to be reflective.  You can choose how you would like to reflect – you may choose to write or talk, paint or dance!


Program Themes:

A Deeper Dive into Yoga:  Alignment with the Sacred

Learning to Control the Mind: Concentration and Precision in Practice

Unveiling Luminosity:  Working with the Gunas in Practice

The Eightfold Path: Sequencing and Integration in Practice


Who is this program for?

The program is designed for any yoga seekers with at least 5 years of experience in the Iyengar yoga lineage.

Iyengar Yoga Teachers will benefit greatly, as they will be able to integrate these topics into their classes on a soul level.

This program is ideal for local students and those who live farther away.  A significant portion of this project will be done virtually through the online program, with our in-person meetings offering a chance for personal connection and community support.

Practitioners with less than 5 years experience should email Heather to discuss program suitability.



Tentative Schedule

October 5 – Program Kick-Off: The Power of Intention

November 2/3 – Alignment with the Sacred

January 18/19 – Cultivating Wisdom Mind

March 7/8 – Working with the Gunas

April 25/26 – Walking the Path: Sequencing in Practice

May 30 – Program Close: Walking the Path: Integration in Practice


Our Saturday gathers are Saturday 1 – 5:30 pm

Our weekend gathers are Saturday 1 – 5:30 pm and Sunday 12:45 – 3:15



Early Bird Rate: $895

Regular rate after Sept 1: $1025


*Payment plans available. Please inquire!

Gitte Beschgaard’s long distance program sells for $350 as a stand-alone.  It is included with your tuition and you will receive access to it prior to our first gather.

Students already enrolled in the long-distance program should contact Heather for custom pricing.


Secure your spot!

Register by sending your $200 deposit via check to our mailing address: Adeline Yoga 484 Lake Park Ave #644 in Oakland 94610







Heather Haxo Phillips is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor and the Director of Adeline Yoga. As a teacher, Heather offers expertise in yoga therapy, and is a Certified Yoga Therapist (c-IAYT), Relax and Renew restorative yoga teacher and Yoga Alliance E-500 level instructor. Her teaching is rooted in the ancient yogic traditions, including yoga philosophy, Sanskrit and chant.

Heather serves as a mentor to aspiring teachers and CIYT, leading teacher education programs and volunteering as an assessor.

Heather studies regularly with senior Iyengar Yoga teachers and the Iyengar family in Pune.  Her yoga philosophy and Sanskrit teachers include Dr. Gitte Beschgaard and Dr. Sucheta Paranjpe.

Heather is dedicated to her volunteer work as past President of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Northern California and an active volunteer for the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States.  She was a member of the Yoga Alliance Standards Review Process and is currently on the board of the Lorin Merchants Association (LBA).  Prior to her career with yoga, Heather worked in non-profit management with organizations that supported communities of color.  She is a graduate of Harvard College, with a degree in women’s studies.


Gitte Bechsgaard, Phd, is founder of Vidya Institute International, Toronto Canada.  She  has studied, taught and researched in the field of Yoga, Psychology and the Vedic Wisdom Traditions for almost 30 years. She is certified as a Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher (CIYT), and teaches throughout North America and Europe.  In 2011 Gitte completed her PhD thesis on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali  which is published as The Gift of Consciousness: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (Cambridge Scholars Press). Her other book, The Sacred in Exile: What It Really Means to Lose Our Religion, co-written with Dr. Gillian McCann,was published with Palgrave in 2017.  She also co-writes for Psychology Today on a monthly basis.

Gitte has studied privately with her mentor Sri Krishan Mantriji in the areas of Sanskrit, Yoga philosophy, Jyotish and Contemplative practice. Aside from Gitte’s work in the field of Yoga and spirituality she is also a registered psychotherapist (RP). Her main area of interest is the dialogue between Eastern and Western approaches to the mind, health and healing. She is a graduate from the Centre for Training in psychotherapy (CTP), Toronto. More details at


October 5, 2019
1:00 pm - 5:30 pm


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