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Honest Yoga: A Yoga Sanctuary in Vermont

By Marina I. Jokic

Initially launching as a teacher training program in 2010, Honest Yoga has expanded its core curriculum to include various yoga classes, comprehensive workshops, yoga retreats and camps, as well as dancing instruction for youngsters. Those interested in receiving individualized instruction can book a private yoga session.

Director of Honest Yoga Danielle Vardakas leads the teacher trainings and retreats. During her tenure at the center, she has taught over 40 teacher training groups with eight of the graduates continuing on to open their own yoga practices.

"Honest Yoga has produced an abundance of successful teachers," Vardakas said. Most aspiring teachers who train at the center complete the highest level training, the 500-hour intensives, which is considered to be the highest and most rigorous Yoga Alliance level.

"We keep our groups small, and run programs several times each year so that the trainees get close attention," Vardakas said. "Trainees learn our alignment system with effective cues and assistance; they dive into yoga philosophy and personal practice."

Some teacher trainee participants have described their experience as life-changing. There are several teacher training programs: the 200-hour, Find Your Voice, the 500 certificate, Live Your Truth, the 95-hour children and tweens teacher program, and the 200-hour hip hop yoga dance.

Popular yoga classes include flow, yoga essentials, core flow, and live music flow. The Dharma deep relaxation is a guided restorative session that helps people break free from the stress of everyday life. This class is particularly helpful for rebalancing the body and resetting bodily rhythms.

Before starting work at Honest Yoga, Vardakas initiated the B-Tru Dance in 2004 in Philadelphia, which in 2008 evolved into an all-levels dance school in Vermont. Vardakas wanted to continue teaching B-Tru at her center. Honest Yoga homes B-Try dance and has a wide variety of dancing classes, including hip hop, ballet, jazz, pointe, and breakdancing.

"We hold serial showcases every year [with] our older students at Vermont Dance Festival, Arts Riot, and Higher Ground," Vardakas said.

This spring, B-Tru Dance is directing Alice in Wonderland, a ballet performance, as well as a multifaceted Nutcracker next winter. There are also summer camps focusing on developing different dance styles and yoga styles. Honest Yoga's kids' yoga is quite famous; in fact, it is endorsed by Nike.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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